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Bloomberg’s Cash Shows Up in the Mississippi Primary

I confess that I have not been paying close attention to the Mississippi Senate primary, but now I’m curious to know if any of our readers know why Mike Bloomberg has recently donated $250,000 to keeping Thad Cochran in office. Cochran has the NRA endorsement and is rated A+, so this seems a little counter-intuitive.

My first assumption was that the PAC Bloomberg gave the money to was involved in multiple races around the country, but all I see is pro-Cochran material on their site, so I don’t think that’s the excuse. Any Mississippi voters who are paying close attention want to chime in?

26 Responses to “Bloomberg’s Cash Shows Up in the Mississippi Primary”

    • Bitter says:

      You’ll have to explain it to me since I guess I’m missing the “why” in that article. While Cochran might be trying to spin to some voters that he’d be friendlier to Democratic issues than his opponent now (after the June 3 primary), he would not have been running on that platform back on May 19. Eric Cantor’s fate was also not known back then, so I’m not sure how that plays into it.

      Assuming that a “playing nicely with Democrats” platform is what Bloomberg wants, what issue would it be on since it’s less likely to be on guns? Is there another pet issue of Bloomberg’s that Cochran is more squishy on?

  1. Thirdpower says:

    Maybe trying to sabotage campaigns by donating to them?

    • Bitter says:

      I did wonder about something like that. However, $250k in Mississippi media markets is HUGE and likely to make a difference in favor of the person he donated to. I also wondered if it was a situation like Missouri where Democrats pushed the candidate least likely to win in the primary as “most conservative” so he would win. But, this isn’t an open primary with a bunch of small names running, this is a sitting Senator. That doesn’t quite make sense in this situation.

      The best explanation I can imagine so far (given how little I know of the race in general) is that maybe this is a chance for Bloomberg to try and undermine NRA endorsements – hoping that word would get out in conservative circles that NRA endorsed the candidate backed by anti-gun Bloomberg since that would piss off people who view Thad as “too establishment.” However, I would hope they wouldn’t be that stupid and realize that a) Cochran’s rating is based off of votes and b) NRA endorsed him back in March where Bloomberg gave his big bucks in May. The other reason I don’t think this is most likely scenario is because the donation is to a PAC, not the candidate. The damage would be more severe if it was to Cochran directly, so I’m still not sure that’s a reasonable scenario, either.

      Really, I’m quite mystified.

      • Patrick says:

        Federal law prevents giving that much money to a candidate committee directly. All “soft” money has go to a PAC. So no matter what the cause or the donor, the money has to go to the PAC, not the candidate themselves. Not even non-profits can avoid the restriction.

        Since Citizen’s United, the limit on soft money is gone; Bloomberg can buy anyone he wants so long as the Evil Koch Brothers(tm) can do the same. It’s up to voters to follow the money and determine for themselves what it all means.

        And right now, I think Thad Cochran is unlikely our friend. When push comes to shove (National Reciprocity in the Senate?), will he stand for us or find a way to scuttle our protections, like so many before him?

        • Bitter says:

          I know about campaign donation limits. What is implied when I say that giving money to a candidate would be a more effective way to send a particular message is that it is done within the bounds of the law. I think it’s safe to assume that if Bloomberg can cut a check for $250,000 to one single PAC for one single primary, he can afford both the $5,200 (primary & general combined) donation to the individual and the cost of a lawyer to advise him to Google the FEC and find out the appropriate limits.

          • Patrick says:

            I know you know those limits as good as any candidate herself. Didn’t meant to imply otherwise.

            I was adding detail to the story so that others would see the way it comes together, and to point out the absolute hypocrisy of the Citizens-Unites/Koch haters decrying money in politics.

            And finally, I want to see what old Thad says about Nanny Mike’s last-ditch infusion.

  2. RP says:

    Bloomberg has other pet issues besides gun control. I know he’s thrown a lot of money behind pro-choice causes, for example. A quick google search brings up the following:

    Another of Bloomberg’s lobbying outfits—the Partnership for a New American Economy—is pushing comprehensive immigration reform… Cochran has cast several votes in Congress in favor of amnesty, weakened border security, and a massive increase in legal immigration… McDaniel, on the other hand, has come out swinging against amnesty—signing the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) pledge against it and against a massive increase in legal immigration. McDaniel has also called out Cochran for remaining silent on the efforts by Senate Democrats and President Obama’s administration to use America’s military as a tool to grant amnesty to illegal alien minors.

    A couple more issues

    Bloomberg is so pro-abortion that he actually criticized Sen. Chuck Schumer for not being pro-choice enough when Schumer backed pro-life Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) in order to beat the strongly pro-life now former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA). Santorum—a 2012 GOP presidential candidate whose conservative views led him to win Mississippi in the primary over Mitt Romney—has endorsed McDaniel over his former colleague Cochran.
    While the National Right-to-Life Committee has endorsed Cochran, McDaniel serves as pro bono counsel for Pro Life Mississippi—a state-based pro-life group… To top it off, Bloomberg also supports Common Core—something Cochran now claims he’s against but in 2010 offered public support for in a letter to Education Secretary Arne Duncan.

    I’d guess amnesty is the big issue here.

  3. Whetherman says:

    Several of the above comments touch on something I have been preaching for a long time — that often an “issue” is not the REAL issue being pursued, but only a front or a “decoy” to attract a certain constituency to support a candidate or candidates who give lip service to it, while their real agenda is something else entirely.

    For example, if you watch the candidates that GOA will go balls-out to promote, they usually have solid records of accomplishment with social conservative or “Religious Right” issues, while having records of little except lip-service to guns. I’m not sure whether their recent participation in phone banks for David Brat is an example or not, given that Brat didn’t appear (to me) to have a record of anything but lip-service to any issue, and Cantor had a “moderate” anti-gun record; but GOA was obviously participating in a coalition of issue organizations supporting Brat. As were their cousins at NAGR.

  4. punaperson says:

    The NRA also supported and endorsed Eric Cantor.

    The NRA also supported and endorsed Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown, who has refused to issue or renew a single CCW permit in the whole county, except for his personal friends and donors (which total less than 60 permits in a county population of 350,000). At least the other candidate “claimed” to be open to issuing permits for ordinary citizens and support for the second amendment… then again, so does Sheriff Brown… with the usual “but”.

    • Bitter says:

      What, exactly, what the problem with Cantor on guns?

      • RP says:

        Cantor voted for the one-gun-per-month bill when he was in the VA state legislature. He’s also consistently refused to fill out VCDL’s questionnaire and run afoul of VCDL by holding fundraising events at a posted gun-free zone. Cantor votes pro-gun because he knows that’s the smart move politically, but he’s not a true believer in gun rights. Brat probably is stronger on guns.

        Although I can see supporting Cantor from the NRA’s standpoint. It’d be great if a given candidate was in favor of repealing the NFA and Hughes, gutting the ATF, etc, but those things are only great in theory. If a candidate is going to vote your way on any issue that might actually come up for a vote, anything beyond that doesn’t really matter. Beyond that point, you start considering other factors. Like having a House majority leader who you know is pretty strong on guns, rather than having that spot vacated to be filled by a lesser known quantity.

        • RP says:

          I just want to add a couple more thoughts to my second paragraph. The NRA needs to show the critters that they’ll support them if they do as the NRA wants. If Cantor reliably voted the NRA’s way, then the NRA campaigned against him, that sends a bad message to other congressmen.

          It also makes sense to back the incumbent because they’re the safe bet. If you back Brat, and Brat loses (which was always considered most likely… this was a huge upset), you just pissed off the likely future Speaker of the House.

          Personally, I’d support Brat, but I understand the NRA backing Cantor.

          Criticizing the NRA is fine. They are far, far from perfect. But if you support gun rights and you’re not a member, you’re a fucking idiot. You really are.

          • punaperson says:

            “…you’re a fucking idiot. You really are.”

            Profane name-calling. High class. Good argument.

            Just out of curiosity, exactly what percentage of your annual income do you give to the NRA to purchase plane tickets for them to send a lobbyist to a distant state in order to testify in alignment with a confirmed anti-second-amendment legislator?

            • RP says:

              I shouldn’t have said that. I’d edit it out if I could. And as far as “good argument”, well, it was. The name calling was in poor taste, but it was in addition to an argument, not a replacement for one.

              I don’t give them anything beyond dues, I don’t support them blindly, and I recognize they screw up more than I wish they would.

              But there’s a reason Bloomberg, Feinstein, Pelosi, Schumer, et al curse them constantly but probably aren’t even aware GOA exists. If the NRA sucks so bad, why do the gun grabbers loathe them so passionately? They are by far the most powerful weapon we have. If everyone took the attitude that they won’t support the NRA because they got it wrong on X and Y, or because they’re too conservative generally and not just on guns, or whatever else, the gun grabbers would start winning the fight.

              Some conservatives don’t want the NRA backing friendly Dems. On the other hand, you have people like Beatbox who think they support conservatives too much. They’re always going to piss people off. I just wish people would realize that yes, they screw up, but overall they are extremely good at what they do.

              • Whetherman says:

                “But there’s a reason Bloomberg, Feinstein, Pelosi, Schumer, et al curse them [NRA] constantly. . .”

                Of course. They need a high-profile boogeyman, but hopefully one that isn’t all that dangerous. There would always be a chance of a real boogeyman evolving if they didn’t give credibility to the one they can deal with.

                GOA was always a front organization for another agenda, but, it had potential for being a real threat, before Larry Pratt and Company started to go increasingly off the rails, wandering into Alex Jones land.

          • Geodkyt says:

            Exactly. You gotta dance with the one that brung ya. For the NRA to dump Cantor in the primary would show that NRA wasn’t watching out for guys who voted they way NRA wanted.

            Plus, this was an endorsement in the primary, where NRA thought endorsing Cantor was the smart move – he voted the way they wanted in Congress, and was the incumbent in a (by all early polling) massively one-sided primary, in a district that is almost certain to go for the guy with the (R) behind his name. ALL the informed money was on Cantor winning the primary in a blow out (and then pretty much coasting to victory in the general), right up to the end.

            Now that Cantor is out of the race, the NRA may well endorse Brat in the general election. Or they may not, if they don’t think he is a major improvement over the Dem.

            I’m glad Cantor is out – as far as I am concerned, he only voted pro-gun for the NRA endorsement in a very Republican district. (Remember, threatening political consequences if they don;t do what you want is not something you generally do to a politician who truly agrees with you – so half hearted support out of fear of loss is better than a politician who knows he can screw you without consequence, so he might as well placate some “moderates”.)

      • punaperson says:

        Besides what RP writes about Cantor, Brat is libertarian leaning and has voiced strong support for the second amendment as a freedom and liberty issue. Cantor supported other policies that in effect support indirectly the likelihood of future legislators/legislation designed to limit second amendment guaranteed rights.

        For another instance of NRA support of an extremely dubious nature: http://wyominggunowners.org/you-won-nra-reveals-real-stripes/

        • RP says:

          I added another post above to clarify my position. Backing the big underdog over the next House Speaker might be satisfying, but its not the smart move. That is what separates the NRA from dipshits like OCT.

  5. Adam Z says:

    http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/senate-races/209295-cochran-on-cantor-what-happened-in-virginia

    Asked by a Fox News interviewer in a clip posted on Friday whether “what happened in Virginia” concerns him in his own GOP primary runoff battle with state Sen. Chris McDaniel, Cochran replied, “I don’t know what you’re talking about. What happened in Virginia?”

    The interview clarified that Cantor lost “his seat,” and Cochran said that he hasn’t “really followed that campaign very closely at all.”

    “Really?” the interviewer asks with surprise.

    “Really,” Cochran replies.

    Cochran = Clueless

    If word of this interview gets out and enough MI primary voters are tuned in to it, then I think no amount of Bloomberg’s money or NRA endorsements will save Cochran.

    If he his not aware that the House Majority leader just lost his primary race, then he needs to go.

    • Patrick says:

      You have to understand that what happens to a sitting member of the lower chamber is not an issue to a member of the House of Lords.

      The fact the question was posed to the Lord is proof that the reporter was out of line.

      Got it, pisling?

      • Bitter says:

        Except that he did know about the day before while talking to another media outlet.

        Speaking to WLBT, the senator said that he was “surprised by the margin of victory for [Cantor’s] opponent,” adding, “but that happens in politics.” Unless Fox News’s dating of their taped interview with Cochran is incorrect, it appears that the senator was able to comment on the race one day after the stunning loss, but unable to speak to the subject a day or two later.

        He’s either unable to speak coherently anymore or he’s a really terrible liar who doesn’t realize that we can compare the two interviews.

        • Adam Z says:

          I am going with he can’t speak/remember coherently anymore…its like a very mild (not as extreme as in the movie) episode of Weekend at Bernie’s. His “handlers/advisors” will tell him the Day of vote…telling which way to vote. Otherwise, if they tell him they day before…he will be totally lost on the day of the vote.

          Or they will have to pin a note to his coat with instructions…its a shame.

        • Patrick says:

          Oh boy.

          I guess his memory is kinda shaky these days, eh?

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