Bloomberg May Spend Up To $1 Billion For Third Party Run

The Washington Times reports that New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg may spend up to $1 billion for a third party run. yId=577

New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg is prepared to spend an unprecedented $1 billion of his own $5.5 billion personal fortune for a third-party presidential campaign, personal friends of the mayor tell The Washington Times.

   "He has set aside $1 billion to go for it," confided a long-time business adviser to the Republican mayor. "The thinking about where it will come from and do we have it is over, and the answer is yes, we can do it."

   Another personal friend and fellow Republican said in recent days that Mr. Bloomberg, who is a social liberal and fiscal conservative, has "lowered the bar" and upped the ante for a final decision on making a run.

   The mayor has told close associates he will make a third-party run if he thinks he can influence the national debate and has said he will spend up to $1 billion. Earlier, he told friends he would make a run only if he thought he could win a plurality in a three-way race and would spend $500 million -- or less than 10 percent of his personal fortune.

   A $1 billion campaign budget would wipe out many of the common obstacles faced by third-party candidates seeking the White House. 20070515-123142-3314r.htm

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Withdrawal Language Survives!

Looks like the Cochran amendment was defeated and the withdrawal language stays in the bill, for now. That's a big deal.

My earlier cynicism notwithstanding, kudos to Harry Reid, Dick Durbin, and the Senate leadership!  I'm told that we lost Pryor, held Nelson, and gained Smith and Hagel. I'll update as soon as I confirm.

Update (Chris): The vote is up on the Senate Roll Call page now, so it is confirmed. Senator Feingold, the first Senator to come out in favor of a timetable, and who once again has turned a majority of one into a voting majority in the Senate, just issued the following statement:
Today marks an important step toward ending the war in Iraq . For the first time, the U.S. Senate will pass binding legislation requiring the President to begin withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq . While this is long overdue, it is a big step in the right direction and it brings us closer to ending our involvement in this disastrous war.
The only Democrat who voted to strike the withdrawal language was Mark Pryor. I don't care what state he is from--that is the sort of issue that could cause you to lose either a primary or a general election. There isn't a state in the country that currently has a majority in favor of the war, or against this bill. Even moderate Republicans are split.

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USAToday Piece On Unity '08

Chuck Raasch has a story in USAToday asking the question on whether a third party candidate could succeed in 2008. While Unity '08 is seen by many political observers as a vehicle for NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg the article floats the names of some other possible candidates who could be nominated for the ticket including Al Gore, Sandra Day O'Connor, Joe Lieberman, Chuck Hagel, Fred Thompson, and Wesley Clark.

Bailey thinks the Democrats and Republicans will have an especially vulnerable period of voter weariness and wariness between Feb. 5, when it is likely both parties will know their nominees, and the national conventions in late August and early September. So many states are moving up their primaries and caucuses to Feb. 5 -- as many as 24 may vote that day -- that it could make the Democrats' and Republicans' primary campaign a mad three-week sprint between Iowa's anticipated Jan. 16 kickoff and the Feb. 5 mega-Tuesday.

After Feb. 5, Bailey said in an interview, "there is no contest except for those two (nominees). It creates a void, if you will, where Unity '08 is the only game in town. Plus, there has historically been something called buyer's remorse that sets in after the parties have made their choices. People say, 'oh my God, did we really do that?' ... And the fact that there is, four months later, a (Unity '08) convention at which every registered voter in America, without leaving their party and their own home, can participate in nominating another ticket might seem reasonably attractive."

There are huge obstacles for any outside challenger, for sure. Getting positions on state ballots requires the gathering of tens of thousands of verifiable signatures under onerous deadlines. And, as Bailey points out, some state ballot deadlines are triggered by primary dates, meaning the push to move to Feb. 5 means Unity '08 must ramp up ballot access work in '07. And as Ross Perot's mighty flameouts proved, even well funded outsiders with mega-media coverage can have trouble winning. umnist/raasch/2007-03-22-raasch-third-pa rty_N.htm

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New Lifetime Voting Ratings: Part I: '08 Pres. Contenders

Frist diary ever!  Also, cross-posted with Daily Kos, but I thought the folks at MyDD would find this interesting.  I'm looking at the updated voting records amongst those in Congress.  What I do (and have done for the last 3 years) is take the lifetime voting ratings of two organizations, Americans for Democratic Action, and the American Conservative Union, and average their ratings to come up with what I consider something close to a definitive vote ratking for all members of Congress.  This aims to show how liberal, moderate or conservative a given member of Congress is.

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Gore/Clark/Hagel/Gingrich/Thompson - Debate?

I want to be the first to propose that Al Gore, Wes Clark, Newt Gingrich, Chuck Hagel & Fred Thompson have a Maybe Presidential Debate.  An ideal moderator would be Mario Cuomo who spent most of 1988 and 1992 deciding on a presidential candidacy which never made it off the runway of an airport tarmac in Albany.  Heck, maybe Cuomo is considering a run.  Anybody but Fox "News" or Fox's print inspiration, the Washington Times, should run the debate.

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