Washington: Mike Bloomberg is transferring $US18 million ($31 million) from his aborted US presidential campaign to the Democratic National Committee in the largest single such transfer ever.
It's the latest sign of the billionaire's continued involvement in the race since ending his own campaign this month because of a lacklustre showing in the March 3 primaries. In those Super Tuesday contests, the former New York City mayor won only one US territory.
Mike Bloomberg on Super Tuesday, March 3. Credit:AP
Bloomberg's contribution amounts to more than the national party's typical cash balance. The transfer will help the DNC make up for some steep fundraising disadvantage when compared with its Republican counterpart, which routinely has raised tens of millions more than the Democratic organisation throughout election cycles.
One of the world's wealthiest men with a net worth estimated to exceed $US60 billion, Bloomberg promised throughout his campaign that he would help Democrats try to defeat President Donald Trump regardless of how his own White House bid fared.
The Bloomberg campaign, which hired 2400 people across 43 states, will also transfer its offices in six pivotal states to the states' Democratic parties, to help accelerate their hiring and organising. Those states are Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
Former Bloomberg campaign staffers in those offices will continue to be paid by his campaign through the first week in April and have full benefits through the end of April. After that, they could, in theory, offer the state parties a trained and ready pool of potential hires to build out their operations heading into the November general election.
Bloomberg had promised staffers when they were hired that they would be paid through November, but earlier this month most of his campaign team was told they had been let go and would be paid only through the end of March.
DNC officials said Bloomberg's money and real-estate transfers would be used to expand the party's 12-state battleground program, with a focus on hiring additional staffers to work in organising and data operations. Bloomberg's former campaign employees will not have any advantage in the hiring process, officials said.
"Mayor Bloomberg and his team are making good on their commitment" to stay engaged through November, said DNC Chairman Tom Perez in a statement. He added that the support would "help Democrats win up and down the ballot" and "help make sure Donald Trump is a one-term president".
Bloomberg dropped out of the race March 4, the day after his Super Tuesday disappointment. Since then, he has given tens of millions of his own money to various Democratic groups and causes.
Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders during a Democratic presidential primary debate last December.Credit:AP
Though the DNC will never match its GOP counterpart in financial muscle, Perez and party leaders have placed a premium on coordination across the Democratic spectrum this presidential cycle after watching Republican quietly upstage them on data operations and voter outreach in 2016.
Democrats are still putting together a data exchange that will link campaigns, the national party's voter file and voter information from independent groups such as the Priorities USA Super PAC, a major advertising and voter outreach player for Democratic efforts.
As part of that effort, Bloomberg and every other Democratic presidential candidate who bought the DNC's national voter file, committed to update voter information. That means, for example, that likely nominee Joe Biden’s presidential campaign will be able to use voter information that Bloomberg's massive campaign operation gleaned while it was in operation.
Bloomberg's direct aid to the national party is possible only because he was a presidential candidate. Federal campaign finance laws place caps on how much an individual can give a political party committee. But individuals can loan or contribute as much of their personal money to their fortunes as they want. In turn, presidential campaigns can transfer unlimited sums to official party committees.
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This article appears in Sunday Life magazine within the Sun-Herald and the Sunday Age on sale March 8.
The Chicago White Sox have been one of the most active teams since the start of free agency, but this time, they went to work in retaining one of their core players long-term.
According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports, the White Sox and Yoan Moncada agreed on a five-year extension worth $70 million. The new contract also has a sixth-year option which could bring the total to $90 million.
This comes two months after Chicago handed another budding start, Luis Robert, a lucrative extension with a max value of $88 million. Like Moncada, Robert is considered a giant part of Chicago’s promising future.
The White Sox complemented their young core by adding veteran All-Star slugger Edwin Encarnacion on a one-year pact and stud catcher Yasmani Grandal on a four-year, $73 million contract.
Widely regarded as the top prospect in baseball before he joined the White Sox on a full-time basis, Moncada has batted .266 through his first three full seasons, with 50 total home runs and 163 RBI.
Moncada signed with the Boston Red Sox in 2015, but he was traded two years later to the White Sox in a blockbuster deal that sent All-Star pitcher Chris Sale to Beantown. Victor Diaz, Luis Alexander Basabe and fastball specialist Michael Kopech also joined the White Sox in the deal.
Moncada hasn’t reached superstar status yet, but he showed signs of breaking out in 2019 after hitting .315 with 25 homers, 79 RBI and an OPS of .915. He finished the season with a 4.6 wins above replacement.
The White Sox finished with a 72-89 record in 2019, but they figure to compete for a playoff spot in a wild open American League. Chicago has a lot of work to do in catching up to the defending AL Central champion Minnesota Twins, but a wild card berth is certainly realistic.
With Moncada and Robert signed long-term, and with the White Sox working extensively to add more productive veterans to their roster, it won’t be long until this team emerges as a World Series contender.
DEAR DEIDRE:MY husband point-blank refuses to give me oral sex and won’t even touch me down there. I feel unsatisfied the whole time.
We are in our late thirties and have two kids. He’s my best friend and a great dad, but such a selfish lover.
He expects me to give him oral sex and do everything else but he has only done it to me once.
He has refused ever since saying he doesn’t like it.
Foreplay is important to women, as you know.
I’ve tried talking to him about it, telling him what I’d like and asking him what he wants, but he’s happy with me just giving him oral and then falling into the missionary position.
It doesn’t work for me and it seems so selfish of him. He’s such a great guy in other ways, I just don’t get it.
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DEIDRE SAYS: He may feel embarrassed to explain but you have to know whether something about that one experience of giving you oral sex put him off, or is it that he has a general feeling of unease about women “down there”.
Some men are put off by seeing their partner give birth, for example. (I know, hollow laughter from you mums.)
Tell him you love him but this issue is sitting at the heart of your relationship and he can’t just shrug it off any more.
My e-leaflet Guide To Oral Sex will help you to resolve this issue.