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HORIST: Michael Bloomberg – fifty years in the making

HORIST: Michael Bloomberg – fifty years in the making

It took almost 50 years, but it has finally happened.  I should explain.

In the early 1970s – when Congress created the Federal Election Commission — I predicted that it would turn over our electoral process to the richest of the rich.  That is because the law put very tight restrictions on campaign contributions on everyone EXCEPT the super-rich.

Those were the days when the wealthiest Americans included names like Howard Hughes, J. Paul Getty and Nelson Rockefeller – and it is debatable if any of them were even billionaires.  To understand just how much wealth has been amassed at the top, a billion dollars in the 1970s would be worth about $9 billion today.  That means that if there were not exponential growth at the top, the richest person in America would be worth about $9 billion – but today, that amount of wealth would not get you among the top 50 billionaires.

The problem with the law is that our Supreme Court said that it is okay to limit contributions to a candidate, but NOT okay to limit the amount of money a person can spend of their own wealth on their own campaign.  I predicted way back then that someday we would have a person of enormous wealth and ambition who would just write the check to run for President.

We have already seen a growing number of so-called self-funders running for the United States House and Senate.  In fact, both the Republican and Democrat committees look for self-funders because of the Herculean task of raising lots of money in small increments.  Unfortunately, that tends to brush aside a lot of candidates with great potential.

Consider this.  You are a candidate running for President and you will need to raise a few hundred million dollars — minimally.   You would have to spend an enormous amount of time soliciting money – and you would have to budget your money over time without knowing how much you will ultimately raise.  In addition, you will have huge expenses associated with fundraising.

Let us say your opponent is a multi-billionaire.  He or she can immediately donate billions of dollars to the campaign – more than has ever been spent on a presidential election.  He or she has zero cost of fundraising – and can establish a budget for the entire campaign from day one.

President Trump came close to that definition, but he still had to raise a lot of money from donors and Political Action Committees.  He had a net worth of something around $3 billion.  It was estimated that he self-funded in the range of $70 to $100 million.

Small potatoes compared to former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg – who has a net worth north of $50 billion.  Bloomberg has said that he will spend WHATEVER IT TAKES to beat Trump.  What he really means is that he will spend whatever it takes to fulfill his ambition to be President of the United States – beating Trump is only step two.

Bloomberg will likely spend a fortune to beat all those folks running in the Democrat primary.  He is especially targeting the front-runners, former Vice President Joe Biden – who is already having a difficult time raising money – and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren – who is having a problem with her exorbitantly expensive plans.

Neither of them could possibly match what Bloomberg would spend to defeat them.  Hell … all the Democrat candidates combined could not raise more money than Bloomberg can withdraw from his bank account.  Not even billionaire businessman Tom Steyer could match Bloomberg.

Bloomberg is the presidential candidate I imagined back in the 1970s – a person who could swamp all the fundraising of traditional candidates by writing out personal checks.  He could self-fund with one … three … five … ten billion dollars and still be among the richest men in America.

Just for the record, he is also ANOTHER septuagenarian (71 years old) to enter the race.  It would seem that the Democrat ranks are filled with old white guys.  But that is another issue.

Since the Supreme Court has already decided that an individual can spend unlimited amounts of their own money to seek public office, there is only one solution – and no, it is not more restrictions or government funded campaigns.  It is to REMOVE the limits.

Those on the elitist authoritarian left who want to have our federal government take more and more control over the lives of we the people have fostered a false narrative that corporate America is corrupting the political process with money.  They point the finger at “corporate money,” but see no problem with the huge political activities and contributions of the unions affiliated with AFL-CIO – and especially the money from government unions, such as the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) – and major donors such as George Soros and Tom Steyer.

Money is the means by which candidates and political parties get their message to the voters – and that is an essential service in a small-d democratic republic.  Hindering or controlling that process is a detriment to an informed public – voters who need to hear from all sides in order to make an intelligent judgment.

As long as there is full public reporting of all campaign income, we should leave it up to the American voter to decide if they do not like certain contributions.  That would at least give candidates a chance to compete against the super-rich.

The current system puts the thumb on the scale for the super-rich self-funding candidate.  That is not a theory.  We have Michael Bloomberg as proof.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.

5 Comments

  1. Kurt Walker

    Certainly Bloomberg has the dough. And money is a great part of campaign. But I don’t believe he could win if he spent the entire 50 billion. The voting public is not as stupid as they once were. And Bloomberg presents a dictatorial image that I doubt few will go for.

    Reply
  2. Yadja

    Nobody in their right minds would even think of voting for anyone but Trump. The accomplishments he has made, the promises he has kept are piling more each day.

    All the “Others” have to offer is Socialism and anyone who knows history and there are indeed millions of us who do and we taught our children and they are teaching theirs, are HORRIFIED at what the “Others” are proposing for this country.

    We also know that the New Green Deal is nothing but Communism and UN Agenda 21 wrapped in a new package along with new language.

    So forget it. NO “Drastically Changing” America anytime soon.

    Reply
  3. David Barron

    Bloomberg is not even liked in New York! Why should the nation have to put up with his arrogance?

    Reply
  4. stephen leonhard

    All voters must remain aware of the Democratic Party secret agenda of converting the United States to a socialist/communist
    country like Venezuala

    Reply
  5. Arthur Cohen

    Bloomberg does not want to become President – he does not need the aggravation !

    He is only running because Trump is such a disaster to our Democracy – he lies, he is a con man (that thru modern media communication created a false image of himself knowing most people do not know history or follow politics – or his true history) – he has a history of doing illegal things, screwing the “little people”, and bullying and suing his way thru,
    he did not clean up the swamp – he added to it; he is reversing common sense rules just to aid the rich (lobbyists) and his own ego, he promotes immorality, screws up international relationships,
    etc., etc., etc.
    So Bloomberg feels it is his moral obligation to run against Trump to straighten out the mess Trump has made. And Bloomberg knows Wall Street way better than Trump – so there will not be the disasterous melt down that Trump predicts (threatens) will happen if he is not reelected.

    Reply

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