Billionaire Michael Bloomberg has received his latest endorsement for president and this time it’s coming from D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser. Although the two have built a close relationship over the years, folks are immediately starting to question the endorsement after Bloomberg donated a significant amount of money to D.C.
Bowser made her endorsement announcement via Twitter, writing, “We can resolve our most pressing problems if we have the right leader to turn innovative ideas into reality. @MikeBloomberg is a problem-solver with a proven track record of getting things done. He’s a mentor & friend & I’m proud to endorse him for president. #MikeWillGetItDone.”
Bowser went on to call Bloomberg “the only candidate who will unify the country and defeat Donald Trump.”
Although Bowser’s support for Bloomberg might be genuine, it’s hard to ignore the major donations he’s made to D.C. Some people noted this as soon as Bowser made her announcement.
“Mike Bloomberg is systematically buying off mayors across the country,” tweeted broadcast journalist Michael Tracey. “Bloomberg Philanthropies has given millions of dollars to Washington, DC during Bowser’s mayoralty.”
In 2015, Bloomberg Philanthropies indeed made a $4 million investment in DC Public Schools, along with the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, according to Muriel Bowser’s site.
“These investments will support Cornerstone Assignments, DCPS’ new curricular approach that exemplifies the Bowser Administration’s commitment to ensuring equity and increasing excellence in every classroom across the city,” reads the site.
Although Bloomberg’s actions might go towards good deeds, it’s hard to ignore the enormous privilege his money gives him as a candidate. The billionaire has already been setting spending records this presidential election cycle. According to The New York Times, his campaign has already spent nearly $170 million on T.V. and digital advertising. He also paid a reported $10 million for an upcoming ad during the Super Bowl this weekend. The media mogul and former New York mayor is funding his whole campaign with his own money and he’s not taking donations.
Along with all of the money, Bloomberg also recently hinted at Bowser becoming governor of D.C. if the region was to ever win statehood, according to ABC News. Earlier this month, when speaking at the winter meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in D.C., Bloomberg praised Bowser, saying, “She is doing a terrific job, and I hope that someday soon we’ll be calling her ‘Governor Bowser.’”
Both Bowser and Bloomberg have received similar criticism for their time as mayors, especially over racial profiling tactics used by city police. In D.C., residents and activists have slammed the mayor for jump-outs — or when officers randomly drive up on a crowded street corner, leap from their squad cars and pat everyone down, usually in search for guns or illegal substances. The tactic has been compared to stop-and-frisk, a procedure Bloomberg was criticized for in New York.
Time will tell if the mutual support between the mayors will have a significant impact on their political careers.