10 Reasons Not To Vote for Mike Bloomberg

Raegan Davis
12 min readFeb 18, 2020
Pictured: Mike Bloomberg leaving New York City Hall

1. Bloomberg’s History of Racist Policing Policies
One of Mike Bloomberg’s biggest lasting legacies as mayor of New York City was his record expansion of the policing policy of “stop & frisk” tactics. Under Bloomberg, the strategy of temporarily detaining “suspicious” individuals and searching them without a stated cause was largely employed. The policy not only disproportionately targeted people of color, 90% of whom turned out to be innocent, but it did so on purpose. In 2015, during a speech at the Aspen Institute, Bloomberg defended the policy by stating that “ninety-five percent of murderers fit one M.O. You can just take a description, Xerox it, and pass it out to all the cops . . . They are male, minorities, 16–25. That’s true in New York, that’s true in virtually every city.” You can watch him say this here. What’s worse, Bloomberg’s largest progressive bone fide, gun control, is weighed down by this racist policy — his proposals to enact it are enforced through the stop-and-frisk practice! All in all, one can understand why his “Plan for Black America” and his “Latino Empowerment” programs largely center on expanding property and business ownership instead of substantive reforms to the criminal justice system.

2. There are Dozens of Sexual Harassment & Discrimination Allegations Against Bloomberg
Mike Bloomberg has a well-documented history of sexism. In fact, 62 different women have alleged that Bloomberg sexually harassed or discriminated against them for being women at some point in his career, though many of them were paid off and made to sign nondisclosure agreements about the experience. In one particular case, he told a female staff member with a wanted pregnancy to “kill it” so her pregnancy wouldn’t interfere with her work. He also appeared in convicted pedophile and sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein’s ‘little black book’ of associates and has been pictured with Epstein’s assistant, Ghislaine Maxwell. By comparison, Donald Trump has 23 sexual misconduct allegations, about one third of Bloomberg’s number; if Democrats nominate Bloomberg, they’re potentially putting an even more dangerous sexual predator in the White House than even the one we already have.

3. Bloomberg’s Racist Housing Policies
Another damning audio which recently resurfaced features Mike Bloomberg claiming that the 2008 housing crisis was a result of banks no longer practicing “redlining.” Redlining is defined as “an unethical practice that puts services (financial and otherwise) out of reach for residents of certain areas based on race or ethnicity. It can be seen in the systematic denial of mortgages, insurance, loans, and other financial services based on location rather than an individual’s qualifications and creditworthiness. Notably, the policy of redlining is felt the most by residents of minority neighborhoods.” Redlining was made illegal in 1977, but it is still practiced in less overt ways and its effects still loom over people of color across the United States. Its end was clearly not the cause of a financial crisis three decades later and the implication that it was shows Bloomberg’s racism once again as well as his lack of knowledge about the financial crisis that still has lingering effects for the American economy he claims he knows how to handle. If you need more evidence for this, you can look at his housing policies as mayor of New York City. During his tenure, the number of homeless individuals in the city increased while Bloomberg flatly denied the problem existed, claiming that “nobody sleeps on the streets,” spending city money to ship homeless people out to other cities rather than invest in housing for them, and claiming the free market would solve the issue itself.

4. Bloomberg Is Intentionally Misleading the Public For Political Gain
This one is related to Bloomberg’s advertising campaign, where he boasts that “when New York suffered the terrible tragedy of 9/11, he took charge, becoming a three-term mayor who brought a city back from the ashes.” I mostly wanted to include this point to clarify that, though the framing here is intentionally misleading, Bloomberg was not mayor of New York during 9/11. (This ad employs the same careful wording aimed at creating a false narrative as another recent ad, which confusingly implies that Barack Obama endorsed Bloomberg, an emerging pattern for the campaign.) In truth, the mayor of New York in September of 2001 was Rudy Giuliani, who left after two terms, as was the law at the time. Bloomberg then helped ensure that the term limits law was overturned so he could stay in power for an additional term. It’s also worth noting that, during his undemocratically extended time in office, he told 9/11 widows (on camera) to “suck it up” and move on.

5. A Bloomberg Victory Sets a Dangerous Precedent for Our Democracy
The Bloomberg campaign follows an unprecedented strategy which, if allowed to succeed, will forever change the shape of our democracy. Mike Bloomberg has been called an oligarch, a very rich business leader with a great deal of political influence, because this presidential campaign is very clearly an attempt to buy an election. As of this piece, he has spent half a billion dollars of his personal wealth on advertisements, skirting around election law by paying off apolitical accounts on Instagram to post about him, and hiring the most expensive consultants in the country to maximize his ability to use his vast wealth to put his name all over your Facebook feed, YouTube ads, and cable television commercials. He gets all the media he wants without ever having to give an interview or submit to criticism, entirely controlling the narrative and taking over the airwaves. On top of that, while he claims his wealth is justified by his history of philanthropy, that charitable history is also turning out to be self-serving in this campaign. He has donated billions of dollars to the campaigns, personal charities, and political organizations of Democratic leaders around the country, including the mayors of most major cities and many House Representatives. In turn, one after the other, they are falling in line and endorsing him. So, while your city’s mayor might have some nice things to say about him and he might be all over your TV right now, that doesn’t make Bloomberg a good candidate. It makes him an oligarch. It’s no wonder he has no plans for campaign finance reform — the kind of transparency could only hurt him. He’s already tried to bribe his way into the Democratic debates, despite the fact that he doesn’t have enough individual donors to reach the threshold to participate because, as mentioned, he’s just spending his own wealth to put himself all over your Facebook feed. If we as voters allow this strategy to win Bloomberg the nomination, it will open the floodgates for other ultra-wealthy billionaires to bypass the public and use our own addiction to screens against us, hoping that we will see enough of their faces on camera to think of them when we go vote. Don’t let them.

6. Mike Bloomberg Was a Republican (And Still Thinks Like One)
Bloomberg, throughout his first two terms as mayor of New York, ran as a Republican. He then identified as an Independent for his final term and up until 2018, when he began considering his run for president on the Democratic ticket and conveniently had a change of heart, registering as a Democrat for the first time in 20 years. Maybe he truly shifted his ideals and regrets his previous Republican actions, like his full-throated endorsement of George Bush at the 2004 Republican National Convention. He hasn’t shown signs of that yet, though, as he was recently asked about the Bush endorsement by the Washington Post and refused to recant it. In truth, Michael Bloomberg still seems to think like a Republican in a lot of ways. For example, rather than halting construction on Trump’s border wall entirely, Bloomberg’s proposal is to technocratically switch from a physical wall to more effective “smart security measures,” reminiscent of the unconstitutional surveillance techniques he used on Muslim communities during his tenure as mayor of New York. From his far-right foreign policy on Iraq, Israel, and Saudi Arabia to his belief that legalizing marijuana is “the stupidest thing anybody has ever done,” it’s clear that Bloomberg can’t even hide his lingering Republican tendencies.

7. Bloomberg’s Proposed Climate Policy Is Woefully Inadequate
Another key rationale which Bloomberg cites for calling himself a Democrat now is his climate policy. However, as someone who has worked extensively in the climate justice movement, I can assure you that it has all the markings of an empty promise. The Union of Concerned Scientists describes the Paris Accords as a plan which “does not include the emissions reductions we need” to stop a climate breakdown. Bloomberg’s plan is basically just to reenter it. While the UN agrees to the global scientific consensus that our goal should be net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, the Bloomberg campaign has set a shorter-term, lower-intensity goal of halving our carbon emissions by 2030. Nowhere on the website does it mention the goal of net-zero emissions or any sort of plan to get us there. If Bloomberg’s plan is meant to be a step on the way to the necessary solutions for the greatest existential crisis of our lifetimes, voters deserve to know. Moreover, he frames climate change as a security threat, paradoxically claiming the need to work together with nations around the world while simultaneously squaring up against them by strengthening our military (which, reminder, is the single largest carbon producing entity in the world). Bloomberg supports fracking, a process for extracting fossil fuels which emits methane and polluted groundwater among other disasterous climate problems. Methane pollutes the atmosphere 86 times as much as CO2. Bloomberg also opposes attempts to stop the Keystone XL pipeline and supports nuclear energy. While technocrats like to claim that nuclear power is necessary to stop climate change, it isn’t. Plus, carbon dioxide is emitted throughout the process from mining uranium to building plants to transporting nuclear waste and that waste, as of right now, is largely disposed of through sequestration. The problem is, humans have never been able to produce a container for this waste which will protect the environment from its toxicity as long as it is dangerous. Waiting on future generations to come up with a solution for this problem, when we can transition without nuclear waste, sounds like the exact kind of thinking that gave us climate breakdown in the first place. On top of all of this, remember that whatever these candidates propose right now will get whittled down through compromise once they’re in office, so a candidate who promises you the bare minimum will end up giving you even less in the end. With the upcoming climate catastrophe, we can’t afford that.

8. Bloomberg’s Political Plans Won’t Help Working Class Americans
Bloomberg has always treated his staffers and employees poorly, but perhaps his policies don’t reflect that! To find out, I poured over Bloomberg’s website and went through every single policy he has proposed, just to see where his redeemable qualities for middle and lower class people are. I couldn’t find them. For starters, Bloomberg’s healthcare policy is a public option plan. A public option means, rather than supporting the more universal programs proposed by other candidates, Bloomberg’s proposal ensures that private insurance would still maintain its stranglehold on American healthcare. Plans like Bloomberg’s guarantee that healthcare premiums stay high for those enrolled in private insurance plans while taxes will increase on everyone at the same time. He’s also been documented suggesting care should be denied to elderly healthcare patients because it’s “not cost effective.” His education policies are even worse for lower and middle class families. He supports means-testing for access to his affordable college education plans and has absolutely no proposal for addressing the student loan debt bubble, which is predicted to be the next 2008 housing bubble. He also proposes means-testing for access to rental assistance and supports it only for an ill-defined group of “extremely” low income individuals, all the while proposing that affordable housing units be built. In a country with six empty houses for every homeless individual, trying to house people by building more ignores the real roots of the problem and wastes money at the same time. Even the Fed agrees that affordable housing isn’t something we “build” anymore. Bloomberg doesn’t seem that interested in truly redistributing wealth though — after all, his tax plan is one of the least progressive in the race. He himself would end up paying up to $5 BILLION less under his own tax plan than other candidate proposals. Compared to other candidates, he also falls short on ensuring access to preschool for working parents, offering them a tax credit which expects them to scrap together the money for daycare until tax season when he reimburses them. This is by comparison to the veritable norm in the Democratic field: making preschool a public good like grade school. Bloomberg’s plans are all clearly crafted by someone who has enough money to buy an election, from his calls to cut Social Security to his proposed regressive taxes on ecigarrettes that mirrors his disastrous policy on soft drinks from when he was mayor of New York to his solution to the opioid epidemic of “collecting data” and individualizing the issue.

9. Bloomberg Has a History of Transphobia and Homophobia
From using the f-slur in business settings to describing the movement for trans rights as “men wearing dresses” and trying to “use the locker room with girls,” Mike Bloomberg has hardly been a friend to the LGBT community. Perhaps that’s why his plan for LGBT equality has so little bearing on the realities of our lives. It does not discuss homelessness, which disproportionately affects our community, nor does it discuss criminal justice reform, which also disproportionately affects us, or mental healthcare, another key issue for queer folks in the US. Most egregiously, its only prong regarding transgender rights is lifting the trans military ban, a largely symbolic gesture which helps the military industrial complex more than the queer community. Nowhere does Bloomberg discuss gender confirmation surgery or funding for it on his website. Bloomberg seems to still believe the largest issue for our community is the HIV/AIDS epidemic of the 1980’s and 1990’s, proving how disconnected he is from our realities while showing us that he doesn’t care to connect with them by insulting us in broad daylight.

10. Bloomberg Will Lose to Donald Trump
I’ve written a couple times on the strategy it will take to beat Trump: centering one’s own campaign messaging, not letting Trump set the stage, expanding voter turnout. You can read a more in-depth analysis on why that is here. At first, it seems lucky for Democrats that the numbers show just about any Democrat, including Bloomberg, beating Trump, but we have to remember that they also showed Hillary Clinton beating him by a large margin and they rarely take into account the electoral college which guaranteed his win in 2016. If you trust those polls, you’re free to vote for literally any candidate your heart desires and have no reason to vote for Bloomberg. If you don’t trust the polls and believe a candidate needs to excite a voting base with inspirational speeches or innovative policies, you also have no reason to vote for Bloomberg. The candidate described in this piece alienates voters and operates on a strategy of trying to out-Trump Donald Trump. He lacks charisma, empathy, and a unifying message. I mean, if he manages to make it to the debate stage on Wednesday at all, he will do it by the skin of his teeth, having fought to change the rules so he didn’t need the support of small donors because he couldn’t get it. He will be walking onto that debate stage with fewer individual contributions than Tom Steyer of all people — if that doesn’t say ‘this man lacks the voter base to defeat Trump,’ I don’t know what does. His campaign also focuses much of its messaging on Donald Trump, mentioning him on every single page of the website, rather than centering Bloomberg’s own vision. This strategy is a key reason that’s been cited over and over and over as a flaw in the Clinton campaign which Bloomberg never learned from. When it isn’t centering Trump, it’s wasting money making ads about how Andrew Yang, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders’ supporters make fun of Bloomberg on Twitter for being racist. Bloomberg has the exact kind of baggage Trump loves to exploit and he’s shown he can’t even handle a troll on Twitter — how will he handle Trump on a debate stage?

If you’re a Democrat, Bloomberg is not ideologically aligned with you. He does not stand for what you stand for. He will not help you achieve your goals. He will not make your life better. Don’t waste your vote on this racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, ineffectual, uncharismatic, classist oligarch.



Raegan Davis

DC-based community organizer. IU Political Science Grad @TheRaeganDavis (Opinions are mine, not my employer’s)