Bloomberg is buying up so many campaign operatives that down-ballot Dem campaigns unable to find staff

The Law of Unintended Consequences is once again surprising liberals, and this time it has nothing to do with misguided social or tax policy. Michael Bloomberg’s willingness to spend lavishly on his presidential campaign, offering much higher compensation and job guarantees through November, is starving other Democrats’ campaigns of capable campaign workers.  Ryan Grim of the lefty-but-honest website, The Intercept, calls it “The Bloomberg Effect.”

Bloomberg’s spending is having a shockingly disruptive effect on Democratic politics throughout the country: He is hiring armies of staffers and canvassers in nearly every state in the country at eye-popping salaries, poaching talent from other campaigns and progressive organizations that are now struggling to fill jobs. In just three months, the Bloomberg campaign has hired thousands of people to staff more than 125 offices around the country, the New York Times reported Thursday. (snip)

Progressive groups, local campaigns, and presidential operations are either losing staff to the Bloomberg campaign, or are struggling to hire people because the former mayor has picked so many political operatives and canvassers up, according to interviews, emails, and messages from dozens of people involved in hiring. Several of them spoke to The Intercept on condition of anonymity, either not to offend the biggest spender in political history, or not to expose publicly that they are having a hard time finding staff, which the public could perceive as suggestive of weakness.

Both the scale of the effort and Bloomberg’s willingness to pay far more than other campaigns offer is disrupting business as usual for Democrats.

The Bloomberg campaign is offering field organizers, or FOs) $6,000 per month and guaranteed pay through November, and many have realized that if they demand more, they will likely get it, according to hiring managers. A typical salary for that position at the state or federal level might be $3,000 to $4,000, and multiple operatives in charge of hiring FOs say they’ve never had a harder time recruiting, and applicants are making extreme demands. Regional organizing directors are being offered $8,000 a month to start, significantly more than typical campaigns.

Monica Showalter adds: Here's another unintended consequence: Bloomberg's big spending ways are not only starving other Democrat campaigns of staff, they are driving up the cost of ads for other Democrats, leaving them with less money with which to battle Trump. Trumpsters can get onboard with that one: Spend, Mikey, spend.

It is very rare for a campaign operative to switch parties, so the crowding out effect of Bloomberg’s largesse is affecting Democrat, not Republican, campaigns. GOP staffers may be envious of their Dem counterparts, but those in non-presidential settings have the advantage when it comes to winning because they have access to adequate levels of staffing.


Up until he ran for president, Bloomberg’s financial support for Democrats was totally welcome by the Donkeys, and many in fact credit his $200 million in 2018 for swinging the House majority to Democrats. But now that he is out for Number One and outbidding everyone else for staff, that goodwill will turn into resentment, and then hatred. Even if he wins.

Caricature by Donkey Hotey

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