What Bloomberg Will Need to Do to Run for President as an Independent

The obstacles seem quite surmountable given his cash and the relevant deadlines.


Former New York mayor, powerful plutocrat, and bonafide Reason #1 "enemy of freedom" Michael Bloomberg claims to be contemplating an independent third party run for president should two candidates he disapproves of, fellow NY moneybags Donald Trump and fellow freedom-hater Bernie Sanders, take the major party reins.

Via information contained in a paper-only issue of Richard Winger's Ballot Access News newsletter, here's a summation of some of the barricades Bloomberg will face.

They are the sorts of barricades that having a lot of money can very much help you jump, allowing you to pay signature gatherers top dollar. He is very wise in not attempting to build a full party apparatus, as the legal qualifications tend to be higher for parties than for lone indies.

Some highlights on ballot access rules Bloomberg would face as a non-party-affiliated independent candidate:

• Only one state, Texas, currently has a deadline any earlier than June (and Winger thinks it is so early it could fall to court challenge).

• 37 states' deadlines not til August or September.

• The most signatures needed for any state is California's 178,039; the least Tennessee's 275.

• Only 4 states require over 50K signatures: California as above, plus Florida (119,316), North Carolina (89,366), Texas (79,539).

• 29 states require 5,000 or fewer signatures, or a similarly small amount of cash payment.

So, Bloomberg has plenty of time and opportunity to make it happen if he chooses, to give America a third completely terrible choice. (The breakdowns of how and from where the signatures need to be gathered are set on a state level and are highly variable, but he has the money to hire the consultants to help him navigate the rules.)

A review essay from 2002 on the "two party system" as a hegemony of both legal power and political science conceptualizing

NEXT: The Creation of a Crime Wave

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  1. OK, I'll ask the inevitable:

    How would you rank order Hillary, Trump, and Bloomberg as ballot choices?

    To me, the hardish question is whether Hillary or Bloomberg are worse. And I'm still thinking its Hillary.

    1. Hillary is clearly the worse.

      1. Bloomberg is just so thin-skinned and peevish. I don't see him in the knife fight of Presidential politics.

        1. I was just thinking in terms of accumulated damage over an 8-year presidency. Trump and Bloomberg are/were both "successful" business men -- so I assume they have some level of common sense.

          Hillary has no career that didn't come from her husbands coat tails, and her time at State indicates that she is completely capable of major fuckups like the above-top-secret emails on a private server.

          I see her as being very fucking dangerous in the oval office.

          1. This is roughly my take: at least Trump and Bloomberg have some sense of how markets work, and some respect for them.

            1. Trump's sense of how markets work is called "cronyism".

              1. To a great degree, yes, but that's still better than Bernie and Hillary, for whom the private sector exists merely to provide revenue for the state.

                1. To Sanders and Clinton, the private sector is almost the enemy?

                2. By 'some degree' you mean '100%'.

                  Businessmen are rarely friends of free markets.

        2. Bloomberg is just so thin-skinned and peevish. I don't see him in the knife fight of Presidential politics.

          Obama did just fine, and he's pretty thin-skinned and peevish himself.

          1. Nobody seriously criticized Obama except for some six-toed birfers that were easily dismissed.

            1. seriously criticized

              There is some truth to this.

            2. And since ol' Mike is a white Jew, there's no problem with criticizing him.

        3. I'd hate to see someone thin-skinned and peevish holding the reins of the US military?

      1. /Admiral Akbar


        You always have to do it in that voice, imagining tentacles coming off of your face.

        1. He doesn't have to imagine.

        2. I assume everyone knows to hear it in Ackbar's voice.

    2. 1. Suicide
      2. Traumatic Brain Injury
      3. Trump
      4. Hillary
      5. Bloomberg

      And 3-4-5 are pretty close to each other.

      1. Actually I might flip Hillary and Trump. I'd have to have the aforementioned traumatic brain injury before it made sense to vote for either of them, but Trump legitimately scares me. Though that's probably because I've had one too many run-ins with his white nationalist followers on Twitter.

        1. Well, what do you expect, Jewvenile Bluster?

          1. Well played.

        2. No doubt Trump has white nationalist followers. Obama has fans among communists and radical Muslims. Hillary has fans among radical feminists. If you are going to judge one candidate by their fringe, judge them all that way.

          1. Sure. It's his "fringe."

            1. Even so, when I rank fringe ideologies by their potential dangers to the country and to liberty in general, communism/socialism, Islam, and SJW/PC/feminism all seem a lot more dangerous than "white nationalism."

              1. That says a lot about you.

                1. I think it says I'm rational. There are few white nationalist terror attacks, they don't control the educational system, they have no widespread foreign support, they don't get their ideas passed as legislation, etc.

              2. You might be a redneck white nationalist.

                1. I'm white, and I suppose I might be considered a "nationalist" because I like this country and believe in borders, but I don't think that makes me a "white nationalist" in the sense you mean.

      2. I'd vote for Trump over Hillary, and Bernie over Trump.

        Hillary has 30+ years of political experience. She has accumulated skeletons of her own and knowledge of everybody else's skeletons, and has no moral principles of any sort. Her only goal is to get elected.

        Trump and Bernie are both so far out of it that they will get nothing through Congress, whereas Hillary could do some damage, especially with judicial appointments.

        Bernie is warier of military adventures, whereas Trump has no understanding of the military period, and is far more likely to toss them around like his insults. I'd say Bernie is marginally better on civil liberties, primarily because Trump isn't even aware of what the term means.

        Trump has the advantage of no follow through on anything except hurling insults and bragging. Bernie unfortunately would be kicking his aides to keep pushing on unwinnable stuff, and eventually would get lesser initiatives implemented in some sorry-ass fashion.

        1. "Trump and Bernie are both so far out of it that they will get nothing through Congress, whereas Hillary could do some damage, especially with judicial appointments."

          ^ This, completely.

          Clinton is a warmongering Democrat, which will gain the support of establishment Republicans and Democrats alike. Sanders and Trump, especially Trump, will face bipartisan opposition. Far easier to manage the bad aspects of those candidates.

          1. Hillary mongers small wars. Trump might actually start WW3.

        2. I disagree. A socialist is unlikely to be "better on civil liberties." Trump seems unlikely to use the military lightly, whereas either Bernie or Hillary would be suckers for "humanitarian intervention."

          1. I did not compare "a socialist", but Bernie, whose positions are reasonably well-known. Trump's positions are either horrible (eminent domain) or unknown.

          2. Trump has been banging the military drum far more loudly than Bernie, who has said enough to be on the record as not favoring random military intervention.

        3. Trump and Bernie are both so far out of it that they will get nothing through Congress, whereas Hillary could do some damage, especially with judicial appointments.

          Clinton would have the media eating out of her hand while Trump would face a nearly hostile media. Not sure how well the media would treat Sanders ? probably somewhere between the two (but more towards being a lap dog).

          I'm not sure how the media would treat Bloomberg.

          I can also see foreign leaders and organizations being resistant to Trump's initiatives not that I think Clinton, Sanders, or Bloomberg would get as much enthusiasm from them (although Clinton does have her husband's goodwill to bank on).

          I do see the Nobel Prize committee handing a Peace Prize to Clinton, Sanders, or Bloomberg for defeating Trump. 😀

        4. "Trump and Bernie are both so far out of it that they will get nothing through Congress"

          That's exactly what people said about Hugo Chavez and I bet they said it about FDR too. This is hope projected as fact.

          1. No one said it about FDR, since he won Congress by a huge majority. Hugo Chavez is irrelevant, since Venezuela has an entirely different political system. You might as well throw in Hitler and Mao while you're thinking up strawmen.

    3. R C Dean|1.25.16 @ 3:31PM|#
      OK, I'll ask the inevitable:
      How would you rank order Hillary, Trump, and Bloomberg as ballot choices?"


      1. Uh, not your question, just the ranking of all three.

    4. Hillary is the more corrupt/incompetent candidate; Bloomberg is more likely to make flagrant and direct assaults on liberty.

    5. I would vote for Hillary before Bloomberg. Hillary doesn't feel as serious about guns as Bloomberg has clearly demonstrated.

    6. OK, I'll ask the inevitable:

      How would you rank order Hillary, Trump, and Bloomberg

      Are we playing "Fuck, Kill, Marry" now?

      1. Hillary, Kill
        Trump, Fuck
        Bloomberg, Kill

        And Trump's choice is just to act out that South Park episode where he gets fucked to death.

      2. Marry Bloomie, kill Hill, and seriously, fuck Trump.

        Marrying Bloomie involves also slowly poisoning him...

        1. "Sir, if you were my husband, I'd give you poison!"

          "Madam, if you were my wife, I'd take it."

    7. As I said over the weekend, Hillary and Bloomberg are devils that we know. Trump is sort of a wild card. He could be less awful or he could be as bad as everyone makes him out to be. So I probably rank Trump as the worst, but regardless if those were the only choices I'd write in "None of the Above".

      1. In these situations I usually write in my own name.

    8. Trump would hand Congress to the Democrats in two years, which is crazy because Trump is a Democrat. Hillary inherits Obama's relatively obstinate legislature. Bloomberg doesn't do anything because he can't win dick nationally.

      Trump would not be able to accomplish any of his supposed goals. Hillary will sway with the winds of popular opinion and rake in tons of cash under the table. And on top of it. And around it. Bloomberg won't do anything because he can't win squat nationally.

      Trump destroys whatever could possibly be left of the Republican brand. Hillary doesn't do anything to the Democrat brand because whoever heads the party owns the brand. Bloomberg doesn't change anything because you know why.

      Advantage: Those who get to die this year.

      1. So in any scenario, progress is at least made in right-to-die legislation? And maybe drug laws as well...people are going to need a coping mechanism. Hmm, I smell a Libertarian Moment.

      2. Bloomberg doesn't do anything because he can't win dick nationally.

        Not so fast.

    9. The Donald over The Michael over The Hillary.

    10. Stalin, Kim Jong Il, or Napoleon?

    11. Bloomberg, then Hillary, then Trump. That order should be pretty obvious.

  2. I wonder why he doesn't want to run if Hillary is in the main race. Does he think he will split the vote for her or the GOP vote?

    1. He thinks he'll split the Dem vote. Is any GOPer going to vote for Mr Gun Control?

      1. They will if he promises to run young people through an industrial juicer to fund Social Security and Medicare.

        1. Hmm. One of the more interesting policy proposals. I don't suppose you have a newsletter?

        2. Sticking with the theme, didn't you mean "industrial jewcer"?

          1. The industrial jew, sir.

    2. Bloomberg believes in capitalism.

      So does Hillary, as long as she can wet her beak.

      Bloomberg is more worried about Sanders winning, and then defeating Trump.

      (He must thinks it unimaginable that Trump could win.)

      Or maybe he's really against Trump on immigration/trade, too?

      1. Or maybe he realizes that Trump's appeal and Sanders's appeal are very similar, and thinks he might walk away with the "elite" vote and win.

        1. I hope you're being sarcastic. Bloomberg's not an idiot. In a democracy, populism (at least when it's on a roll, as today) always beats the "elite" vote.

          1. Even when the populist vote is split, maybe closely?

          2. LOL no it doesn't. Populism has been getting its ass handed to it in Latin America. Canada had a burst of 'Reform populism' in the '90s and it did not win elections.

            1. In a democracy, populism (at least when it's on a roll, as today) always beats the "elite" vote.

      2. Bloomberg is just jealous that Trump is doing so well. the egotistical narcissism of the rich they can't stand to be outdone by their fellow billionairs thats the only reason Bloomberg is thinking of running to hopefully out do trump he won't run if he thinks he can't.

        1. Bloomberg's been one of the biggest backers of No Label for years, so maybe he thinks he'd kill 2 birds w 1 stone.

  3. So there is some good news:

    "Melissa Click, the Missouri professor who blocked media at protests in November, has been charged with assault."
    "In a statement Monday, Schierbecker (the photoger that asshole was trying to get 'removed') said, "Although my video might seem to pin free speech issues on an individual, Melissa Click's actions reflect a broader problem that students and journalists are facing on college campuses. I don't want anyone to assume that because the city is dealing with her criminal behavior that this problem goes away."

    1. Good for him.

      Note: He's also been wrongly attacked as a racist for a speech he gave at Skepticon.

      I have a feeling this guy is not going to leave college a leftist given how those fuckers have treated him.

      1. BTW, if you check her 'apology', you'll find it's mostly an apology for getting caught and how her actions 'might affect her (pathetic) cause'.

      2. 1) Wow. These people are racist shitbirds.

        2) That guy spends half of his column clarifying his words and preempting any dishonest interpretations of his words. At that point, why would you continue to bother with these people?

        1. I zoned out part way through. It was clear that with that much hedging, nothing really "racist" happened.

  4. "Only one state, Texas, currently has a deadline any earlier than June"

    What is the date? Only deadlines for filing I can find is in August.

    1. May 9, according to both Winger and this: http://www.sos.state.tx.us/ele.....dent.shtml

  5. if your pro 2nd amendment you will not vote for this guy

    1. If you're pro any of those first ten amendments, you won't vote for any of the above.

      1. Seconded.

  6. Just off the top of my head, Hillary has never really been behind any legislation that affected me personally. Bloomberg has, so that puts him square in the crosshairs of my eliminationist rhetoric.

  7. Maybe Bloomberg could win the LP nomination by buying 300 or 400 delegates? Probably cheaper than trying to get on the ballot in all fifty states as an independent.

    1. How much does a libertarian delegate cost?

      /Capitalism in action

    2. The LP can't even get on the ballot in all 50 states.

      1. And they're quite blue about it.

  8. To be fair, if there's one person dumb enough to start the 2nd (3rd?) American revolution by trying to confiscate guns, it's Bloomberg.

    But there is precisely 0 chance of him winning. No-one likes him outside of the beltway ...and perhaps Cali.

    1. How many Wacos would stop it?

      1. Not sure that too many men are willing to stand up against armed citizens. Bullets hurt.

  9. When I first saw this headline I immediately thought that this may be a move orchestrated by the Hillary machine to sway voters to her side in the primary. Because the run is contingent on if Sanders winning the primary he would mean a split vote amongst liberal voters in the general which equals a trump victory. Just a bit of a conspiracy from me but I can see Bloomberg getting nice with the Clinton campaign with a tactic like this for some appointments in key positions at the SEC or something along those lines.

  10. Bloomberg would never stand a chance in a normal election with normal candidates. This is not that election. These candidates are The Worst. He would need to find a way to placate Hillary for it to work though.

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