Mike Bloomberg, media mogul and former New York mayor, has jumped into the Democratic presidential race. The billionaire, who has run as a Republican, Democrat and independent, is no stranger to Michigan elections, backing candidates in both parties.
Bloomberg has been criticized by national Democrats for endorsing President George W. Bush at the 2004 Republican National Convention. Closer to home in Michigan, his 2014 support of GOP former Gov. Rick Snyder still sticks in progressives’ craws.
Bloomberg held a New York fundraiser for Snyder in 2014 and kicked in the maximum $6,800 to his campaign. Bloomberg’s Independence USA political action committee (PAC) invested in a major TV ad buy on his behalf of at least $2.3 million. That year, Bloomberg also backed now-U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-Bloomfield Twp.), but there’s no Federal Elections Commission (FEC) record of the PAC doing independent expenditures for the Democrat.
In the 2018 cycle, Bloomberg’s PAC shelled out roughly $65 million.* Two of the beneficiaries flipped key congressional districts in Michigan, now-U.S. Reps. Elissa Slotkin (D-Holly) and Haley Stevens (D-Rochester). Bloomberg’s PAC provided independent expenditure aide to the tune of $2.4 million for Slotkin and $2.2 million for Stevens.
The PAC spent $788,926 opposing now-President Donald Trump in the 2016 cycle, but did not play in any federal Michigan races. The FEC doesn’t have record of the Independence USA PAC funding independent expenditure campaigns for the 2020 cycle.