Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a billionaire who backed out of a promise to pay his campaign staff after ending his White House run, will speak at the Democratic National Convention.
Bloomberg will be a featured speaker at the virtual convention, where he will express his support for former Vice President Joe Biden’s presidential bid and criticize President Donald Trump’s handling of the economy, CNBC reported Thursday. He will also speak on what he believes is the president’s poor response to the pandemic, a convention official told CNBC.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was provided the opportunity to deliver only a pre-recorded message, Business Insider reported Wednesday.
Bloomberg, a former Republican who has a net-worth of over $54 billion, donated $18 million to the Democratic Party in March after previously promising to create an independent expenditure campaign ahead of the election that would have kept staff employed throughout November.
Bloomberg campaign staffers lashed out after hearing the news.
“He’s chopping his employees in a pandemic,” one staffer in Florida, who asked to remain anonymous because the staff signed a nondisclosure agreement with the Bloomberg campaign, told BuzzFeed in March. “My life is now uprooted and I’m effectively homeless.”
Other staffers shared stories. “It’s fucking scary,” another staffer, who also spoke anonymously to BuzzFeed, said of the thought getting dropped from their insurance during a global pandemic. Officials imposed lockdowns to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, which has reportedly killed 751,000 people worldwide, according to data from John Hopkins University.
The lockdowns have resulted in staggeringly high unemployment rates and an economic recession.
Federal rules allow individuals to donate up to $355,000 per year under normal conditions, but Bloomberg’s transfer of $18 million from his self-funded campaign to the Democratic National Committee appears to have skirted those rules under a provision that allows federal campaigns to transfer an unlimited amount of money to party committees, according to a complaint filed with the Federal Election Commission
The commission lacks a quorum and has therefore not reviewed Bloomberg’s transfer.
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