Advance Notice: Briefs

Mike Bloomberg’s PAC supported Rick Snyder, several Michigan Dems

By: - November 26, 2019 10:41 am

Former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg | Bloomberg Philanthropies, Flickr

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.

Former Gov. Rick Snyder
Rick Snyder | Michigan Municipal League, Flickr

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.

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Susan J. Demas

Susan J. Demas is a 21-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQs, the state budget, the economy and more. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Farough & Associates, Michigan’s premier political communications firm. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 80 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive. She is the only Michigan journalist to be named to the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Reporters,” the Huffington Post’s list of “Best Political Tweeters” and the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Bloggers.” Susan was the recipient of a prestigious Knight Foundation fellowship in nonprofits and politics. She served as Deputy Editor for MIRS News and helped launch the Michigan Truth Squad, the Center for Michigan’s fact-checking project. She started her journalism career reporting on the Iowa caucuses for The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette. Susan has hiked over 4,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 70 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two teenagers along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.