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Democratic billionaire Mike Bloomberg tried to fund Philadelphia election officials in 2020

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has offered to pour millions of dollars into his Philadelphia campaign office to pay for poll workers and other election-related costs during the 2020 election. a new email said.

The offer from Bloomberg, a news media and financial services mogul who ranks as one of the richest men in the world, was arranged through an intermediary — Stanford Law School professor Nathaniel Percily, according to emails. I was. At the time, Persily was the co-director of the Sound Elections Project at Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he worked with local authorities to conduct the 2020 elections amid the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. He asked Philadelphia officials to provide a list of funds needed to conduct the election.

In an email obtained by the nonprofit research organization Broad and Liberty, Philadelphia Deputy Commissioner Nick Custodio told Persilley in an August 2020 email that the city had received an additional $3.07 million from Bloomberg. He said he could use the $4,900 to run the next presidential election.

The funding came after Philadelphia officials had already applied for a $10 million grant, which was ultimately received from the Center for Tech and Civic Life. CTCL was a vault of millions of dollars from anonymous donors and his CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, aimed at promoting the 2020 election. The money was heavily distributed to the Democratic Party’s home base.

A $10 million grant from CTCL nearly doubled Philadelphia’s campaign budget that year.

The city did not receive the final $3 million from Bloomberg, Custodio said Tuesday.

“We have explored every opportunity to save Philadelphia taxpayers money and provide the best possible service,” Custodio told The Washington Times. ”

Bloomberg’s offer to help Philadelphia came under scrutiny, along with unprecedented private funding for the 2020 election. contributed to a record turnout.

Biden defeated former President Donald Trump in Pennsylvania by just over 1% of the vote.

Zuckerberg has poured $350 million into CTCL to help state and local officials manage the 2020 election. The nonprofit also distributed millions of dollars in anonymously funded grants to election officials in major counties and cities across the country, including Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, ahead of Mr. Zuckerberg’s public offering. did.

Pennsylvania is one of several states that recently banned the use of third-party grants in elections.

“Regardless of how noble and nonpartisan this funding attempt by Mr. Bloomberg was, when the Pennsylvania Legislature passed a bill earlier this year outlawing private funds given to federal campaign offices, Pennsylvania It shows the kind of impact legislators were concerned about,” Todd said. Shepard, an investigative reporter for Broad and Liberty, has been following the trajectory of private fundraising in 2020.

Neither Bloomberg nor Persily responded to requests for comment.

Much has been written about Bloomberg’s attempts to influence politics with wealth. A third-term mayor has an estimated fortune of $60 billion. He unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nomination in his 2020 presidential campaign, giving away $3.3 billion before failing to run for the White House.

“His tactical philanthropy gives Bloomberg the unique ability to influence the decision-making of institutions that are traditional power brokers and opinion makers in Democratic politics,” says the Brookings Study. Vanessa Williamson, Senior Fellow in Government Studies at the Institute, wrote in 2020. From his tenure as mayor, Bloomberg is well aware that big-money “charity” is an imposition of the political will of donors. ”

Bloomberg withdrew from the presidential race in March 2020 and immediately endorsed Biden.

Shepard said Bloomberg’s proposal for Philadelphia came five months after he resigned from the presidential campaign. ”

The emails between Custodio and Persily also highlighted CTCL’s close ties to the Center for Secure and Modern Elections, a liberal election advocacy group funded by the leftist New Venture Fund. .

The Center for Secure and Modern Elections advocates for automated voter registration and other steps to expand voter access.

Little has been published about the relationship between the CSME and the CTCL in distributing private campaign funds in 2020, but Percily emailed Custodio to say that the two groups were to provide election grants. I have informed you that we are cooperating. Democratic billionaire Mike Bloomberg tried to fund Philadelphia election officials in 2020

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