Ex-campaign staffers are blasting Michael Bloomberg for reversing his position that his campaign would offer competitive salaries and benefits until the November election, regardless of whether the former mayor became the Democratic presidential nominee.
The New York Times reports that the campaign has since decided to shut down operations, send $18 million to the Democratic National Committee, and instruct the more than 1,500 recently fired employees to apply to the DNC for new jobs.
The now-defunct Bloomberg campaign has also instructed ex-staffers they will be “fed into a competitive hiring process,” and are not guaranteed a job, reports the news agency.
“I’m so sorry I worked for this guy. I thought he was totally different,” said former field organizer Jane Conrad, who the news agency reports was recruited to the campaign. “He took me out of my job for his own gain.”
About a dozen other ex-staffers told the Times that they were drawn to the Bloomberg campaign because of the job security and benefits, and were scared to speak out publicly because they were temporarily still on his payroll.
Politico reports on another ex-staffer, who also requested anonymity and blasted Bloomberg for firing them during a national emergency: “He has left us with no health insurance during this pandemic. I have a family and do not know what we will do at the end of the month.”
Amol Jethwani, another former staffer, remarked on Twitter that while he was “disappointed” Bloomberg “had just fired his whole campaign staff,” he was “not surprised that a billionaire is cheating scum,” reports the news agency.
The Bloomberg campaign assured field organizers during the hiring process that they could expect $6,000 a month, an array of benefits, and employment until the general election, Politico reported.
An unsigned Bloomberg campaign memo obtained by the Times explains the change in plans and new decision to terminate the campaign apparatus.
“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,” said the memo.
The decision comes as new financial disclosures for the Bloomberg campaign show that the businessman’s 100-day presidential bid cost more money than has been previously reported.
The New York Times reports that Bloomberg spent more than $900 million over the course of his 100-day campaign, including $600 million in digital and television ads.
The news agency reports that when the cost of the advertising blitz is combined with the miscellaneous costs of managing a campaign with over 2,000 staffers, Bloomberg burned through about $17 million per day of his short-lived candidacy — a truly historic feat.
Despite a massive advertising budget, the businessman-turned New York City mayor only managed to win a plurality of the caucus votes in American Samoa, which doesn’t even vote for president in the general election. (Bloomberg was narrowly denied a majority victory by Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard.)
As The Wall Street Journal reported in November, Bloomberg entered the crowded primary field as it was narrowing because he was concerned that none of the Democratic candidates were capable of beating President Donald Trump in a presidential election.
Bloomberg’s candidacy flopped after former Vice President Joe Biden received a wave of support in light of his resounding electoral victory in the South Carolina primary, the first presidential voting contest he has won from his three presidential bids.