WASHINGTON — Michael Bloomberg is abandoning plans to form a new super PAC for the presidential race and pay his field organizers through November, instead opting to give $18 million to the Democratic National Committee for the party’s battleground states program.
Bloomberg’s presidential campaign had promised at its outset that it would finance a field program through the November election. Then upon his withdrawal from the race earlier this month, Bloomberg officials said the former New York mayor would continue to employ many of his campaign’s field staff through an independent campaign organization.
In the end, Bloomberg, a multibillionaire, has chosen to do none of those things. He has transferred $18 million from his campaign account to the DNC, which intends to use the funds to hire its own organizing staff in battleground states.
“While we considered creating our own independent entity to support the nominee and hold the president accountable, this race is too important to have many competing groups with good intentions but that are not coordinated and united in strategy and execution,” the Bloomberg campaign wrote in an unsigned memo released Friday.
“We therefore believe the best thing we can all do over the next eight months is to help the group that matters most in this fight: the Democratic National Committee.”
The Bloomberg campaign had already paid rents through November for dozens of field offices in states expected to be competitive in the general election. Ownership of those offices will be transferred to Democratic state parties, which DNC officials said would hire organizers using the $18 million from Bloomberg’s campaign. The Bloomberg memo said new DNC staffing would be “drawing in part from our own incredibly experienced and talented organizing staff.”
Bloomberg’s $18 million contribution to the DNC, a figure that far exceeds individual limits, is legal, party officials said, because it is coming in the form of a transfer from the Bloomberg campaign. Individuals are allowed to make unlimited contributions to their own campaigns, and campaigns can make unlimited transfers to political parties.
Brynne Craig, a senior adviser to Bloomberg, said Friday that the former mayor remained determined to fund the campaign to topple President Donald Trump.