Bloomberg's Billions Blast Bedrock Ballot Beliefs


Crackerjack journalist Ralph Z. Hallow reveals that Mike Bloomberg might spend $1 billion for an independent presidential bid, and Garance Franke-Ruta (make sure you're 21 before reading her punditry) sees the bright side.

A Bloomberg entry would raise the specter of an unprecedented all New Yorker race, if Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani win their primaries, as well as the effective obliteration of campaign finance laws as we know them.

Like I wrote last month, our campaign finance laws are already imploding because the two parties' frontrunners are opting out of the public financing system. A Bloomberg run doesn't really change that. But the "billionaire buys White House" scenario is the fantasy behind a lot of CFR, and a Bloomberg campaign would destroy that fantasy. It would be Croeses II: a super-confident tycoon will dump his fortune into the campaign and… come in a poor third to the candidates he just outspent by two to one. The "keep money out of politics!" crowd will have to explain that and justify the laws preventing the free flow of political money, and they won't be able to.

Either that or the Democrats and Republicans say "never again!" and pass a law forbidding candidates to fund their own campaigns.