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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Presidential Election of 2020"

Bloomberg News’s Dilemma: How to Cover a Boss Seeking the Presidency

Westlake Legal Group 16BLOOMBERG-MEDIA-bloomberg-facebookJumbo Bloomberg News’s Dilemma: How to Cover a Boss Seeking the Presidency United States Politics and Government Presidential Election of 2020 News and News Media Micklethwait, John Conflicts of Interest Bloomberg, Michael R Bloomberg News

John Micklethwait, the editor in chief of Bloomberg News, walked into his Washington bureau on a Friday morning in December with a daunting task: explaining to his political reporters how to cover a presidential campaign when the boss is a candidate.

Addressing roughly 100 journalists spilling out of a glass-walled conference room, Mr. Micklethwait said Michael R. Bloomberg’s entry into the Democratic race had not changed his commitment to skeptical coverage. “We always knew it would be tough,” he told the group. “But we are actually showing what we are: an independent news organization.”

Not every reporter was reassured. Rival candidates had attacked the journalists’ coverage as biased; some sources had stopped returning calls. One reporter said the bureau’s credibility was at stake, citing Mr. Micklethwait’s public memo that Bloomberg News would refrain from “investigating” Mr. Bloomberg and his Democratic competitors.

Mr. Micklethwait said he had been referring to a team of specialized investigative reporters and not the broader political staff, but he declined requests from the journalists in the room to issue a clarification. Many reporters left feeling unsure how to proceed, according to several people who described the previously unreported town hall meeting.

Two months later, the pressure and unease inside Bloomberg News have only increased. Journalists who hoped Mr. Bloomberg’s candidacy would prove short-lived have watched him vault to the upper tier of the Democratic race. Now there are discussions about what a President Bloomberg could mean for a news organization already grappling with a perceived conflict of interest.

There are few precedents for a media mogul in charge of a major news operation seeking the presidency, though William Randolph Hearst, a Democratic candidate in 1904, enjoyed cheerleading coverage from his network of newspapers.

But Mr. Bloomberg’s presence looms large for the 2,700 journalists at his financial data company. New employees receive a copy of his autobiography, “Bloomberg by Bloomberg,” and company guidelines prohibit coverage of his “wealth or personal life.” In 2018, Mr. Bloomberg told an interviewer: “I don’t want the reporters I’m paying to write a bad story about me.”

That policy proved awkward during Mr. Bloomberg’s three terms as mayor of New York City and in his subsequent life as a billionaire philanthropist and political donor. Now it is bordering on untenable, according to interviews with half a dozen Bloomberg journalists who requested anonymity, citing fear of retribution from bosses who emphasize discretion.

When Mr. Bloomberg declared his candidacy in November, Mr. Micklethwait, an Oxford graduate and former editor in chief of The Economist, pledged in the memo he sent to the staff that the news outlet “will write about virtually all aspects of this presidential contest in much the same way as we have done so far.” But he said Mr. Bloomberg would remain off-limits from investigations, “and we will extend the same policy to his rivals in the Democratic primaries.”

Bloomberg News’s campaign reporters operate separately from the news outlet’s Projects and Investigations team. But the memo was widely perceived as a signal that Bloomberg News would cease accountability coverage of the Democratic field, even as Bloomberg executives called that a misunderstanding.

Mr. Micklethwait told reporters at the December town hall that Bloomberg News management had not prevented any political story from being published. “If you look at what we’re doing and the pieces we’re writing, any doubt that we’re reporting this aggressively disappears,” he said.

Political reporters at Bloomberg News, however, say the memo left them vulnerable to undue criticism from readers and campaign aides. And they express frustration that it suggested a level of internal censorship that they say is not reflective of their experience.

In December, the outlet published an article noting that Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren had criticized Amazon while paying the company for services. It was a run-of-the-mill story by the standards of a presidential race, where minor hypocrisies are fair game for journalists. But the candidates and their allies seized on the story to accuse Bloomberg News of bias.

There was outcry from Team Trump, too.

Because Mr. Micklethwait said in the memo that his staff would keep investigating the White House “as the government of the day,” the Trump campaign called Bloomberg News biased and barred it from covering its events. On the day of the Iowa caucuses, a Bloomberg reporter, Jennifer Jacobs, was escorted out of a Trump news conference outside Des Moines. (Mr. Micklethwait said in a statement last year that the Trump campaign’s “accusation of bias couldn’t be further from the truth.”)

Reporters are also battling a perception that Bloomberg News is an adjunct of its boss’s political operation.

Two opinion journalists at the company, Timothy L. O’Brien and David Shipley, who both previously worked at The New York Times, took a leave of absence to join the Bloomberg campaign. One editor at Bloomberg News jumped to the campaign, as well, along with a handful of staff members on the TV and video production side.

Mr. Micklethwait has had no contact with Mr. Bloomberg or his campaign since he declared his bid, according to a spokeswoman for Bloomberg News.

The distinction has not stopped critics like Ms. Warren from accusing Mr. Bloomberg of betraying the First Amendment. “He should let reporters do their jobs and report on him, and everyone else, as they see fit,” Ms. Warren wrote on Twitter last month, adding: “This ban puts reporters in an impossible situation and undermines a free press.”

Mr. Micklethwait declined to be interviewed for this article. A spokeswoman for Bloomberg News said in a statement: “Over the past 30 years, editorial independence has been at the core of Bloomberg News. We are proud of the more than 760 articles Bloomberg News has published on the election and the candidates, not to mention a host of broadcast interviews, since Mike Bloomberg announced he was running for president.”

To reassure readers, the news outlet is updating an “Election Coverage Snapshot” on its website, citing a promise “that we would be as transparent as possible” about election coverage. Bloomberg News also carries coverage about Mr. Bloomberg written by competitors, like The Times and The Washington Post, on its subscription-only terminals.

One Bloomberg News journalist has been assigned full-time to cover Mr. Bloomberg’s bid: Mark Niquette, a veteran reporter based in Columbus, Ohio, who previously covered infrastructure.

He has not shied from reporting on negative developments. Last week, his byline appeared atop a 600-word article about an audio recording from 2015 of Mr. Bloomberg praising stop-and-frisk policing. On Sunday, Mr. Niquette co-authored a story on concerns about Mr. Bloomberg’s “comments about policing, women and race.”

Mr. Niquette, who travels to many of Mr. Bloomberg’s campaign events, has also published a critical look at Mr. Bloomberg’s economic, health care and infrastructure plans under the headline “Bloomberg Offers Few Details to Back Up Trillions in Spending.”

In Washington, at the December town hall, Mr. Micklethwait said he was accustomed to hearing complaints about conflicts of interest. He cited Wall Street executives displeased with Bloomberg News’s coverage of their companies — companies that spend significant sums for access to Bloomberg L.P.’s financial data.

As for the challenges of covering his boss, Mr. Micklethwait noted that Mr. Bloomberg’s political second act could last anywhere from a few months to nine years.

It was a point not lost on the reporters gathered before him. The prospect of Mr. Bloomberg in the White House has become another matter of significant concern among Bloomberg News journalists.

If Mr. Bloomberg, as he has mused in the past, were to sell his company if elected, some journalists there believe a new owner may not be willing to subsidize an expensive news-gathering operation that is ultimately tangential to the company’s core product, the financial data terminals that command princely subscription sums from the investing class.

And if a President Bloomberg held onto his media organization, how would Bloomberg News reporters cover Washington and a federal administration controlled by the man ultimately responsible for their paychecks?

The company declined to comment on those questions, and reporters there say it is too early to earnestly begin preparing for such an eventuality.

As for Mr. Bloomberg himself, he was asked by CBS News in December about his staff’s concerns about not being allowed to investigate his rivals in the presidential race.

“You just have to learn to live with some things,” Mr. Bloomberg told the anchor Gayle King. “They get a paycheck. But with your paycheck comes some restrictions and responsibilities.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Past Remarks Are Challenging for Bloomberg, and Fair Game for Rivals

Westlake Legal Group 17bloomberg-past-2-facebookJumbo Past Remarks Are Challenging for Bloomberg, and Fair Game for Rivals Sanders, Bernard Presidential Election of 2020 Political Advertising Endorsements Bloomberg, Michael R Biden, Joseph R Jr

HOUSTON — It hadn’t even been a full day since a 12-year-old video surfaced of Michael R. Bloomberg showing him linking the 2008 financial crisis to the end of redlining, a practice that allowed banks to declare low-income, mostly minority neighborhoods off-limits for loans.

But as the criticism swelled, Mr. Bloomberg was in Houston introducing a new initiative for his presidential campaign called “Mike for Black America.” Mayor Sylvester Turner of Houston, whose endorsement Mr. Bloomberg had pursued for weeks, delivered an impassioned speech, as did the mayors of Columbia, S.C., and Washington, both of whom are also helping Mr. Bloomberg with his African-American outreach.

“You don’t judge people by the mistakes they have made,” Mr. Turner declared. “You judge them by their ability to fess up.”

For the past two months, Mr. Bloomberg’s presidential campaign has been lining up endorsements and expanding its reach across the country with an eye toward the moment it knew would come: when Mr. Bloomberg, the 78-year-old multibillionaire, would no longer be an afterthought in the race but a prime target, and his long record — including policy stances and decades worth of impolitic and insensitive remarks would face renewed scrutiny.

That moment is now here: Over the weekend, the concern about Mr. Bloomberg’s ascendancy was evident as rival Democrats campaigning in Nevada unleashed a barrage of attacks on the former mayor, including familiar laments that he was trying to buy an election and new criticism aided by resurfaced videos that invoked his past controversies.

Speaking in Las Vegas, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont devoted an entire portion of his speech to Mr. Bloomberg, accusing him of supporting “racist policies” like the so-called stop-and-frisk searches of young minority men and attacking him for opposing minimum wage increases in the past.

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden said in an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, “Sixty billion dollars can buy you a lot of advertising, but it can’t erase your record.” And he appeared relieved that the scrutiny had shifted from him to Mr. Bloomberg. “You all are going to start focusing on him like you have on me,” Mr. Biden said.

Mr. Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City, is skipping the first four nominating contests, including the Nevada caucuses on Saturday, and instead will join the race on Super Tuesday, on March 3. The two weeks leading up to those contests figure to be the most intense and trying for him so far — not just because of the attacks that are certain to keep coming but because they will test the resolve and restraint of a candidate who has never displayed much patience when confronted with criticism.

“He’s not a career politician,” said the Columbia mayor, Stephen Benjamin, who is also Mr. Bloomberg’s campaign co-chairman. Citing what he said was the campaign’s internal polling of Super Tuesday states, which showed Mr. Bloomberg leading in Arkansas and in second or third place in North Carolina and Texas, Mr. Benjamin said: “That’s when arrows start flying. That’s when the daggers come out.

“But you’ve got to be able to show the resilience to take the arrows.”

The excavation of Mr. Bloomberg’s past has accelerated as the former mayor’s unorthodox candidacy begins to appear more plausible. In just the past week four different sets of remarks have surfaced dealing with questions of racial discrimination.

Within 24 hours alone there were the comments on redlining and a second tape from 2015 in which he unapologetically defends stop-and-frisk policing in New York City’s minority neighborhoods — “Because that’s where all the crime is,” he said — and asserting that it made sense to deploy police to “throw them up against the wall and frisk them.” He apologized for the practice in November, a week before he entered the presidential race.

After each instance his team was ready. When news of the stop-and-frisk comments broke, a group of 20 African-American faith leaders happened to be at the Bloomberg campaign headquarters for a previously scheduled meeting. They agreed to release a joint statement defending him.

His rivals have spent nearly all of their time and resources battling one another in early-voting states like Iowa and New Hampshire, while Mr. Bloomberg has spent hundreds of millions of dollars building up his image with advertising and campaign rallies in states where has had the field largely to himself.

Mr. Bloomberg hopes the campaign he has built in less than three months will armor him against these kinds of attacks. Operating in what was essentially a vacuum for so long has allowed him to introduce himself on his own terms to voters who knew little about him.

“There was not a lot of well-defined understanding of Bloomberg outside of ‘He was once mayor of New York and he’s rich,’” said Cornell Belcher, a former aide to President Barack Obama who is advising Mr. Bloomberg on strategy and polling. “The campaign has done a good job of getting in early and defining him,” Mr. Belcher added, while Mr. Bloomberg “had all the March states to himself.”

With African-American voters specifically, his campaign has highlighted parts of his biography that are likely to resonate, like his relationship with Mr. Obama. Campaign ads feature Mr. Bloomberg’s work to expand My Brother’s Keeper, an initiative by the Obama administration supporting boys and young men of color, and his efforts to reduce gun violence by requiring more scrutiny for arms purchases. The campaign also emphasizes his apology for the stop-and-frisk program.

Mr. Bloomberg’s events across the South last week drew large crowds — more than 1,000 people were in attendance at separate events in Nashville and Chattanooga, Tenn.— and often included large numbers of African-Americans. In interviews, many voters were aware that the issue of his record on racial discrimination was in the news. But they also cited the former mayor’s work with Mr. Obama and his gun control campaigns. And while his record on policing was a sore spot, some gave him credit for apologizing.

“He came out and apologized and said that’s not the kind of policy I would support as president,” said Sheree Johnson, 35, an educator who attended Mr. Bloomberg’s event in Houston. “The Christian in me says to forgive him for that. He acknowledged it. He was wrong.”

Dwight Smith, who works with the N.A.A.C.P. in Chattanooga and attended Mr. Bloomberg’s rally there, said he believed many black voters were focused more on the bigger-picture goal of beating President Trump than they were on blemishes in any candidate’s past. “Everybody makes mistakes,” Mr. Smith said. “And if you look at the mistakes Donald Trump has made versus the mistakes Mike Bloomberg has made, I think people are willing to let it go.”

Not everyone, though. Benjamin Dixon, an African-American podcaster, has shared on Twitter Mr. Bloomberg’s previous comments supporting stop-and-frisk with the hashtag #BloombergIsARacist. That sort of criticism is indicative of the kind of resistance Mr. Bloomberg will most likely continue to encounter.

However, Mr. Belcher said the sentiments of the activist community and the political punditry were often not a good proxy for how a majority of black voters consider matters like these. “Lord knows if African-Americans had absolute purity tests for people who had problematic issues in the past, we would never advance as people,” he said.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Past Remarks Are Troublesome for Bloomberg, and Fair Game for Rivals

Westlake Legal Group 17bloomberg-past-2-facebookJumbo Past Remarks Are Troublesome for Bloomberg, and Fair Game for Rivals Sanders, Bernard Presidential Election of 2020 Political Advertising Endorsements Bloomberg, Michael R Biden, Joseph R Jr

HOUSTON — It hadn’t even been a full day since a 12-year-old video surfaced of Michael R. Bloomberg showing him linking the 2008 financial crisis to the end of redlining, a practice that allowed banks to declare low-income, mostly minority neighborhoods off-limits for loans.

But as the criticism swelled over his record on race and inequality, Mr. Bloomberg was in Houston cutting the ribbon on a new initiative for his presidential campaign called “Mike for Black America.” Mayor Sylvester Turner of Houston, whose endorsement Mr. Bloomberg had pursued for weeks, delivered an impassioned speech, as did the mayors of Columbia, S.C., and Washington, both of whom are also helping Mr. Bloomberg with his African-American outreach.

“You don’t judge people by the mistakes they have made,” Mr. Turner declared. “You judge them by their ability to fess up.”

For the past two months, Mr. Bloomberg’s presidential campaign has been lining up endorsements, adjusting its messages to voters and expanding its reach across the country with an eye toward the moment it knew would come: when Mr. Bloomberg, the 78-year-old multibillionaire and former mayor of New York, would no longer be an afterthought in the race but a prime target, and decades worth of impolitic and insensitive remarks — as well as problematic policy stances — would face renewed scrutiny.

That moment is now here, presenting Mr. Bloomberg with the kind of political crucible he has not faced since 2009, when he last ran for public office. Over the weekend, the concern about Mr. Bloomberg’s ascendancy was evident as rival Democrats campaigning in Nevada unleashed a barrage of attacks on the former mayor, including familiar laments that he was trying to buy an election and new criticism aided by resurfaced videos that invoked his past controversies.

Speaking in Las Vegas, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont devoted an entire portion of his speech to Mr. Bloomberg, accusing him of supporting “racist policies” like the so-called stop-and-frisk searches of young minority men and attacking him for opposing minimum wage increases in the past.

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden said in an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, “Sixty billion dollars can buy you a lot of advertising, but it can’t erase your record.” And he appeared relieved that the scrutiny had shifted from him to Mr. Bloomberg. “You all are going to start focusing on him like you have on me,” Mr. Biden said.

Mr. Bloomberg is skipping the first four nominating contests, including the Nevada caucuses on Saturday, and instead will join the race on Super Tuesday, on March 3. The two weeks leading up to those contests figure to be the most intense and trying for him so far — not just because of the attacks that are certain to keep coming but because they will test the resolve and restraint of a candidate who has never displayed much patience when confronted with criticism.

“He’s not a career politician,” said the Columbia mayor, Stephen Benjamin, who is also Mr. Bloomberg’s campaign co-chairman. Citing what he said was the campaign’s internal polling of Super Tuesday states, which showed Mr. Bloomberg leading in Arkansas and in second or third place in North Carolina and Texas, Mr. Benjamin said: “That’s when arrows start flying. That’s when the daggers come out.

“But you’ve got to be able to show the resilience to take the arrows.”

The excavation of Mr. Bloomberg’s past has accelerated as the former mayor’s unorthodox candidacy begins to appear more plausible. In just the past week four different sets of remarks have surfaced in which he demonstrates a lack of tact in dealing with questions of racial discrimination. Within 24 hours alone there were the comments on redlining and a second tape from 2015 in which he unapologetically defends stop-and-frisk policing in New York City’s minority neighborhoods — “Because that’s where all the crime is,” he said. He apologized for the practice in November, a week before he entered the presidential race.

After each instance he was ready with a retort. When news of the stop-and-frisk comments broke, a group of 20 African-American faith leaders happened to be at the Bloomberg campaign headquarters for a previously scheduled meeting. They agreed to release a joint statement defending him.

His rivals have spent nearly all of their time and resources battling one another in early-voting states like Iowa and New Hampshire, while Mr. Bloomberg has spent hundreds of millions of dollars building up his image with advertising and campaign rallies in states where has had the field largely to himself.

Mr. Bloomberg hopes the campaign he has built in less than three months will armor him against these kinds of attacks. Operating in what was essentially a vacuum for so long has allowed him to introduce himself on his own terms to voters who knew little about him.

“There was not a lot of well-defined understanding of Bloomberg outside of ‘He was once mayor of New York and he’s rich,’” said Cornell Belcher, a former aide to President Barack Obama who is advising Mr. Bloomberg on strategy and polling. “The campaign has done a good job of getting in early and defining him,” Mr. Belcher added, while Mr. Bloomberg “had all the March states to himself.”

With African-American voters specifically, his campaign has highlighted parts of his biography that are likely to resonate, like his relationship with Mr. Obama. Campaign ads feature Mr. Bloomberg’s work to expand My Brother’s Keeper, an initiative by the Obama administration supporting boys and young men of color, and his efforts to reduce gun violence by requiring more scrutiny for arms purchases. The campaign also emphasizes his apology for the stop-and-frisk program.

Mr. Bloomberg’s events across the South last week drew large crowds — more than 1,000 people were in attendance at separate events in Nashville and Chattanooga, Tenn.— and often included large numbers of African-Americans. In interviews, many voters were aware that the issue of his record on racial discrimination was in the news. But they also cited the former mayor’s work with Mr. Obama and his gun control campaigns. And while his record on policing was a sore spot, some gave him credit for apologizing.

“He came out and apologized and said that’s not the kind of policy I would support as president,” said Sheree Johnson, 35, an educator who attended Mr. Bloomberg’s event in Houston. “The Christian in me says to forgive him for that. He acknowledged it. He was wrong.”

Dwight Smith, who works with the N.A.A.C.P. in Chattanooga and attended Mr. Bloomberg’s rally there, said he believed many black voters were focused more on the bigger-picture goal of beating President Trump than they were on blemishes in any candidate’s past. “Everybody makes mistakes,” Mr. Smith said. “And if you look at the mistakes Donald Trump has made versus the mistakes Mike Bloomberg has made, I think people are willing to let it go.”

Not everyone, though. Benjamin Dixon, an African-American podcaster, has shared on Twitter Mr. Bloomberg’s previous comments supporting stop-and-frisk with the hashtag #BloombergIsARacist. That sort of criticism is indicative of the kind of resistance Mr. Bloomberg will most likely continue to encounter.

However, Mr. Belcher said the sentiments of the activist community and the political punditry were often not a good proxy for how a majority of black voters consider matters like these. “Lord knows if African-Americans had absolute purity tests for people who had problematic issues in the past, we would never advance as people,” he said.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Democrats Look Ahead From Nevada and See a Common Enemy: Bloomberg

Westlake Legal Group 17DEMS-NEVADA1-facebookJumbo-v2 Democrats Look Ahead From Nevada and See a Common Enemy: Bloomberg Sanders, Bernard Race and Ethnicity Primaries and Caucuses Presidential Election of 2020 Nevada Klobuchar, Amy Health Insurance and Managed Care Democratic Party Bloomberg, Michael R Biden, Joseph R Jr

LAS VEGAS — The Democratic presidential candidates raced on Sunday to make the most of their final weekend day before the Nevada caucuses, selling their messages and tearing into their opponents.

But the rival they focused on most intently was one who isn’t even competing in the state.

“I got news for Mr. Bloomberg,” Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont said at an event in Carson City, Nev., taking aim at the former New York City mayor, Michael R. Bloomberg, within five minutes of opening his remarks. “The American people are sick and tired of billionaires buying elections.”

In a rarity, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. echoed his progressive counterpart. “Sixty billion dollars can buy you a lot of advertising, but it can’t erase your record,” he said of Mr. Bloomberg in an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that aired on Sunday.

Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, another moderate, had similar thoughts. “I’m here getting votes,” Ms. Klobuchar said in an interview on Sunday. “It’s not something where I can just — what would be the word — transport in a bunch of ads.” She called on Mr. Bloomberg to “go on the shows that every other candidate goes on, on the Sunday shows and the like.”

She added: “I don’t think I’m going to beat him on the airwaves, but I can beat him on the debate stage.” At a forum on Sunday focused on infrastructure, Ms. Klobuchar, who won the endorsement of The Las Vegas Sun last week, mentioned Mr. Bloomberg early on, referring to President Trump’s comments about his height as she stood to speak. “I am the only candidate that is 5-foot-4,” she joked. “I want that out there now.”

The fixation on Mr. Bloomberg, the free-spending multibillionaire, reflected his rising prominence in the Democratic race, even though he is skipping the first four nominating contests and focusing on the 14 Super Tuesday states that will vote on March 3.

As early voting continued in Nevada on Sunday, some of the criticism seemed to be sticking.

“Bloomberg just has bad connotations that come along with him,” Leah Garwood said as she waited in line with her husband on Sunday in Las Vegas for roughly 45 minutes to vote for a different billionaire, Tom Steyer of California. “It’s just at the back of my mind. It makes me uncomfortable, uneasy.”

Kelly Mays, an English professor who said she favored Ms. Klobuchar and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, called it “a little frightening that you can buy your way in at this late date.” Standing in line to vote on Sunday afternoon, she said she thought Ms. Warren’s chances in Nevada were “probably not great, but I also think people are counting her out way too early.”

Nevada, which will hold its caucuses on Saturday, is more diverse than either of the two states that have held presidential nominating contests so far. The state is determined to shrug off the conventional wisdom that any momentum gained — or hopes cruelly dashed — in the wintry, rural expanses of Iowa and New Hampshire will decide what comes after.

“I don’t think either Iowa or New Hampshire reflect America,” said Jonathan Quitt, who works for a casino on the Las Vegas Strip and volunteers for Mr. Biden. “I think they’re small, white-bread communities without diversity.”

The presidential race’s shift into states with more diverse electorates brings with it the potential for an increased focus on racial issues, and opportunities for candidates like Mr. Biden as well as challenges for Ms. Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Ind., who so far have shown little traction with nonwhite voters.

At a Clark County Democratic Party dinner gala at the Tropicana Las Vegas on Saturday night — filled by an establishment crowd willing to pay $150 for dinner and dress up in suits and cocktail dresses — six top presidential candidates spoke, and Mr. Biden seemed to own the room. He gave a raise-the-roof speech about the accomplishments of the Obama administration while criticizing Mr. Sanders’s health care plan for ending the private insurance that unions have fought hard for.

On “Meet the Press,” Mr. Biden more explicitly went after Mr. Sanders, the winner of the popular votes in Iowa and New Hampshire, citing the cost of his “Medicare for all” proposal.

“He’s never gotten anything done,” Mr. Biden said of his rival.

“I mean, he’s been talking about health care, Medicare for all, universal health care, for 35 years,” Mr. Biden said. “Nothing’s happened. I helped get passed Obamacare. I helped move it forward. I got the votes.”

Mr. Sanders devoted a sizable portion of his dinner remarks in Clark County, home to 75 percent of the state’s population, to attacking Mr. Bloomberg for his positions on minimum wage laws, taxes, the financial crisis and “racist policies like stop-and-frisk,” the policing tactic that has been criticized for disproportionately affecting people of color and for which Mr. Bloomberg has apologized.

At an event on Sunday in Carson City, Nev., Mr. Sanders denounced “the power of big money interests and the greed and corruption of the corporate elite,” and singled out Mr. Bloomberg.

“Now, Mike Bloomberg is struggling — he’s down to his last $60 billion,” Mr. Sanders said mockingly. “Hey, life is hard, you know — food prices going up, housing going up. How are you going to make it on $60 billion? Mike is trying.”

Later on Sunday, speaking to to thousands of supporters at a rally at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, Mr. Sanders renewed his jabs at Mr. Bloomberg.

“Democracy, to me, means ‘one person, one vote,’” said Mr. Sanders, who dominated the Democratic caucuses four years ago in Colorado, which has switched to a primary and will vote on Super Tuesday. “Not Bloomberg or anybody else spending hundreds of millions of dollars trying to buy an election.”

As Mr. Sanders’s supporters waited for him to speak, head-bopping to the band DeVotchKa, Mr. Bloomberg’s name rankled several. They said they disliked Mr. Bloomberg’s record on policing in New York and the fortune he was spending on his campaign, and said they might not support him if he won the Democratic nomination.

“I could justify Biden; Bloomberg, no,” said Will Mulligan, 20, a student at Colorado State University. “He’s Trump, but just more competent.”

His friend Kylie VonEiff, 19, a community college student, agreed. “I can’t get behind anyone who is using his own wealth to fund an election,” she said.

Mr. Bloomberg’s rising presence as a wild-card candidate around whom center-left voters might coalesce reflects Mr. Biden’s diminished stature, after he finished fifth in New Hampshire and fourth in Iowa.

But the former vice president and his supporters remain hopeful. Mr. Quitt, when asked if he was discouraged, was adamant: “Not. At. All.”

Public polling has been scarce in Nevada. But there are some signs that Mr. Biden could find at least the partial firewall he needs here for his campaign in Saturday’s caucuses. “There can be no Democratic nominee, none, without the voice of Latinos and African-Americans being heard, and heard loudly,” he said on Saturday night. The state is nearly 30 percent Latino and 10 percent black and has a fast-growing Asian-American population.

In addition to Nevada’s greater diversity, its residents have witnessed fewer candidate visits, and they have not been the focus of national news for a year in the way that those in Iowa and New Hampshire were.

The state’s more transient population, with many residents disconnected from neighbors and focused on jobs, makes for less obsessive following of political news.

Thirty minutes into waiting in line to vote on Sunday, Bob Ahern still had not decided whom he liked best. “I like Buttigieg. I like Klobuchar. And, actually, I like Tom Steyer,” Mr. Ahern said. He paused with an afterthought, adding: “And I do like Biden, too. Biden is good, too.”

Just as Mr. Biden’s name recognition kept him aloft in national polls for months, he still seems to enjoy that edge in the state.

At the same time, the base of support that Mr. Sanders established with a close-fought second-place finish in the state’s 2016 caucuses is much intact.

Jessica Slovak, a nurse who caucused for Mr. Sanders four years ago, was still with him as she waited in a long line over the weekend at a site for early caucusgoers in Las Vegas, where other Sanders supporters strummed an electric guitar and sang along to “The Bernie Necessities.”

Her husband, Chase Slovak, who also supports Mr. Sanders, said he was not as extreme as rivals and the news media portrayed him. But Ms. Slovak disagreed.

“I personally think he’s as far left as you can go,” she said. “It’s for the greater good.”

The Nevada Democratic Party reported that 18,538 people had voted on Saturday alone, nearly a quarter of the total number of votes cast in 2016.

Darla Mayfield, 67, waited in line with her sister to vote for the first time in her life on Sunday. “I like Amy, and then Elizabeth,” Ms. Mayfield said. “I finally did my research. I’m not going to vote just because.”

Jack Healy contributed reporting from Denver.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

The Next Hurdle for Bernie Sanders: Nevada’s Top Union Dislikes ‘Medicare for All’

Westlake Legal Group 16sanders-nevada-1-facebookJumbo The Next Hurdle for Bernie Sanders: Nevada’s Top Union Dislikes ‘Medicare for All’ Sanders, Bernard Primaries and Caucuses Presidential Election of 2020 Organized Labor Nevada Medicare Health Insurance and Managed Care Democratic Party

LAS VEGAS — Senator Bernie Sanders is a longtime supporter of “Medicare for all.” “I wrote the damn bill,” he said on a debate stage last summer, and his support for universal health care has helped propel him to the front of the 2020 Democratic field.

But in Nevada, where the race heads next, his signature policy is a liability with the largest labor union in the state. And the union has enthusiastic allies in Mr. Sanders’s opponents.

On Friday morning, moments after Senator Amy Klobuchar finished a tour of the health care facility run by the culinary workers’ union, she began to lace into Mr. Sanders and his focus on the proposal, which would effectively eliminate union members’ current health care system.

It is unwise and unrealistic, she argued, to eliminate the private health insurance that millions of Americans now use — or to think such a measure could pass.

“Since we’re in Vegas I’d say if your number is not on the wheel, maybe you don’t want to bet on that number,” Ms. Klobuchar said.

A night earlier, former Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., raised the issue at a forum for Latino voters. “Who are we to tell them that they have to give up those plans?” Mr. Buttigieg said of the culinary workers’ health care coverage.

Then there’s Tom Steyer, the billionaire self-funder, who is competing aggressively in Nevada and has started airing a commercial that says “unions don’t like” Mr. Sanders’s plan and includes a vow to protect “union negotiated plans.”

The flurry of attacks against Mr. Sanders in Nevada illustrates his growing strength — and the urgency his Democratic rivals feel about the need to stop him from winning the most votes in a third consecutive contest next Saturday. If no Democrat slows Mr. Sanders in the caucuses here, he will gather what may be unstoppable momentum heading into next month’s Super Tuesday states.

But the offensive against the Vermont senator also highlighted some of his most glaring vulnerabilities: The culinary union, which represents many of the workers in Las Vegas’s casinos, is opposed to his single-payer plan. And after its leaders stated that opposition, they were met with the sort of scathing and personal invective that critics of Mr. Sanders often receive.

Culinary Workers Local 226, which is 60,000 members strong and over half Latino, is perhaps the most powerful force in Democratic politics in this state. And there is no benefit its members cherish more than the health care coverage they’ve won in their contract negotiations.

“For their membership, that is the key issue, that is the 800-pound gorilla,” said Richard Bryan, a Nevada Democrat who served as governor and senator.

Mr. Sanders argues that Medicare for all is the only way to guarantee universal coverage, lower costs and bring the nation in line with other industrialized nations, making it both more competitive and just. In Nevada, as he has around the country, he is pitching it as a core part of his agenda for the working class.

Supporters of Medicare for all argue that everyone should be entitled to the same kind of care for which union members negotiate. At a town hall event with culinary union members late last year, Mr. Sanders said that they could expect more money in their paychecks if they did not bargain with employers over health care.

But leaders of the culinary union say his plan would hurt members and their families. After years of organizing, difficult negotiations and multiple strikes, the union won a generous private health insurance plan that leaders are loath to give up. They are wary of the idea that Medicare for all, should it ever pass, would be better than the private plan they have now.

Their unease is shared by other unions, but it’s particularly important because of the culinary union’s clout in Nevada, this pivotal moment in the primary calendar and because it complicates Mr. Sanders’s overarching message — that he’s running on an agenda that’s best for workers.

Suzanne Poquiz, 61, a resident of Las Vegas who was visiting the union health care clinic Friday morning, said she was still undecided but knew she would not vote for Mr. Sanders because of his stance on health care.

“That’s the most important issue to me, being able to come here and get what I need,” Ms. Poquiz said.

What could prove just as problematic to Mr. Sanders, though, is not his split with the culinary union over policy — but over how his supporters handled the dispute.

The fight began last week after the union began distributing fliers to members, comparing the candidates’ stances on policy.

“End Culinary Healthcare,” reads the first bullet point beside Mr. Sanders’s name on a flyer.

It was an unwelcome criticism, made worse by the reaction among some of Mr. Sanders’s supporters. Geoconda Argüello-Kline, the union’s secretary-treasurer, said she received hundreds of emails, phone calls and texts calling her names and threatening her. Her home address was posted online, she said, and her adult children were worried about her safety.

“I believe in the democratic process, and to have this happen is very scary,” Ms. Argüello-Kline said. “After many years as an activist, after many strikes, I have never felt that way in my life. And we are not telling people how to vote — they can make their own decision.”

The vile language prompted Mr. Sanders to issue a statement, in which he said “harassment of all forms is unacceptable to me” and urged “supporters of all campaigns not to engage in bullying or ugly personal attacks.”

But his general reference to “all campaigns” only further angered some of the union leaders, who, like many of the rank-and-file members, are women of color. Ms. Argüello-Kline said that she wished Mr. Sanders would have spoken out sooner to help quell the threats.

“He understands the world we live in, where there can be a shooting anytime at a church or a school or a casino — that’s the environment we’re in,” she said.

A top aide to Mr. Sanders, Ari Rabin-Havt, declined to discuss how the culinary union’s opposition may affect the campaign in the state, saying only that the senator has ”the utmost respect for them.”

By Saturday, though, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. was seizing on the matter on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” condemning “vicious, malicious, misogynistic” statements by Sanders supporters even as the senator’s aides pointed to his comment that “anybody making personal attacks against anybody else in my name is not part of our movement.”

The response in Nevada to Mr. Sanders’s stance on Medicare for all also shows a split among two of his bases — union members and young Latinos. Several other local hospitality unions have endorsed Mr. Sanders, and young Latinos often cite his health care plan as a key reason for their support.

Even among culinary union members, there is a strain of quiet support for Mr. Sanders. In interviews with several union members over the weekend, several said they were backing Mr. Sanders regardless of what the union’s leadership said. Some said they felt stuck in their jobs because leaving would mean losing coverage, and they wanted family members to have access to care as well. “I think his medical plan is really good, I think it is good for everybody,” said Laura Alvarez, 44, a housekeeper at the Aria who voted in the early caucus at the union’s hall Saturday. “We deserve to have a good medical plan. If it’s going to be for everyone, I think that would be the best thing we could have.”

Even as the culinary union’s leaders criticize Mr. Sanders, their decision to not offer an endorsement of any leading alternative may have only helped him — a fact that has irked some of Mr. Biden’s leading Nevada supporters.

If no single rival to Mr. Sanders emerges in the days before the caucuses, Nevadans could render the same muddled or narrow verdict as their predecessors in Iowa and New Hampshire, a result that would benefit Mr. Sanders.

And veterans of Nevada politics say that’s looking even more likely in part because of the presence of a candidate who has spent more than $10 million in television advertising here but was less of a factor in the first two states: Mr. Steyer.

“For a lot of people, that’s all they’ve seen is Steyer, Steyer, Steyer,” said Megan Jones, a Democratic strategist in the state, who said her father had received about “16 pieces of Steyer mail.”

Ms. Jones said that Mr. Sanders’s dedicated supporters, Mr. Steyer’s spending, the residual organizational strength of Mr. Biden and Senator Elizabeth Warren and the new attention Ms. Klobuchar and Mr. Buttigieg were enjoying were likely to lead to another split decision.

“I don’t see a scenario in which anybody gets more than 30 percent,” she said.

A poll taken last week and published Friday by The Las Vegas Review-Journal captured the fractured nature of the field: Mr. Sanders leads the field, but all six of the top candidates were in double digits.

One big open question among many in Nevada is turnout. With the culinary union not backing a specific candidate, it is unclear whether its operation will encourage members to show up to the caucuses in droves.

D. Taylor, the president of Unite Here, the national union that Culinary is affiliated with, said that despite the direct involvement of the union in Nevada, many labor leaders throughout the country wanted to stay out of the primary and instead focus on defeating President Trump in the fall.

“It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to say it looks like there’s a split between the progressive and moderate wing of the party,” he said. “I don’t know that there’s a whole lot of benefit for us to get into that.”

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Biden Calls on Sanders to Show Accountability for ‘Outrageous’ Online Threats by Followers

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LAS VEGAS — Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. took aim at Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont on Saturday, calling on him to condemn the “vicious, malicious, misogynistic” rhetoric of some Sanders supporters and to do more to stamp it out.

The remarks came at a key time for both campaigns, as Mr. Biden tries to regain his footing after weak showings in the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary — in which Mr. Sanders surged toward the front of the Democratic pack — and a week before next Saturday’s Nevada caucuses.

The zeal of Mr. Sanders’s online base has been both a source of strength and perpetual aggravation for his campaign, which has delicately balanced condemning bullying without diluting the force of his most fervent followers.

Mr. Biden’s comments on Saturday specifically seized on attacks that Sanders supporters had made against officials at the powerful Culinary Workers Union, Local 226, after that union had criticized Mr. Sanders’s health care plan.

“If any of my supporters did that, I’d disown them,” Mr. Biden said as part of an interview with “Meet the Press,” which will air Sunday on NBC. “To say ‘I disassociate’ is one thing. Find out who the hell they are, if any of them work for me. Fire them. Find out. See what’s going on.”

Asked about Mr. Biden’s comments, a spokesman for Mr. Sanders, Mike Casca, said that Mr. Sanders “continues to be unequivocal on the issue,” pointing to remarks the senator had made earlier in the week. “Anybody making personal attacks against anybody else in my name is not part of our movement,” Mr. Sanders had said. “And I’m not so sure, to be honest with you, that they are necessarily part of our movement. You understand, you know, the nature of the internet.”

Mr. Sanders went on an offensive of his own Saturday night. At a Clark County Democratic Party dinner at the Tropicana Las Vegas, Mr. Sanders spoke first among all the candidates and devoted a sizable portion of his remarks to attacking an opponent who was not present: Michael R. Bloomberg.

Mr. Sanders denounced “racist policies like stop-and-frisk,” a reference to the policing tactics under Mr. Bloomberg when he was mayor of New York City, which have been criticized for disproportionately affecting minorities and for which Mr. Bloomberg has apologized. Mr. Sanders also criticized Mr. Bloomberg as “a candidate who opposed modest proposals during Barack Obama’s presidency to raise taxes on the wealthy while advocating for cuts to Medicare and Social Security.”

He concluded: “The simple truth is that Mayor Bloomberg with all his money will not create the kind of excitement and energy we need to have the voter turnout we must have to defeat Donald Trump.”

The barbs came as early voting for Nevada’s Democratic caucuses began on Saturday, with most of the leading candidates rallying supporters amid lingering concerns about whether Nevada would be able to avoid a repeat of the caucus fiasco in Iowa.

As Mr. Sanders addressed a crowd in a high school cafeteria on Saturday morning, with a mariachi band taking the stage before he did, his supporters were sharply focused on the process as well as on Mr. Sanders and his opponents.

Numerous people expressed concern about the logistics of a caucus in which they want to deliver a speedy and unequivocal victory to their candidate.

“I went to a training last week, and there are lots of concerns among the campaign — ‘How’s it actually going to work?’” said Paul Kleemann, a precinct captain volunteer for the Sanders campaign who teaches high school guitar in Las Vegas. “We were supposed to use the same app as Iowa, but they scrapped that, and as of Wednesday, they hadn’t released how they were going to get the early caucus results to the precincts.” He added, “It’s a little frightening at this point.”

In Nevada, early voting is being held from Saturday through Tuesday in advance of next Saturday’s caucuses. At an early caucus site at the East Las Vegas Library, voters waited in a 40-minute line on Saturday morning. After presenting their IDs, they filled in paper ballots by order of their choices, up to a total of five, then deposited them in a slotted box. The state Democratic Party said that almost 12,000 people had participated in the early voting as of 5 p.m. Saturday.

The ballots will be shared with the caucus precincts corresponding to their residences. If their first choice is not viable in their home precinct, the next in line will be counted if that person reaches the 15 percent threshold.

“This is the first time we’ve done early voting, and we’ve got to get this right because all eyes are on Nevada,” Representative Dina Titus, Democrat of Nevada, said on Friday. “And if we do a good job, then maybe we get to be first instead of Iowa next time around.”

Still, the concerns about the process did not distract from the high stakes for the candidates.

The burst of campaigning in Nevada signaled a new phase in the primary race, after the Iowa caucuses on Feb. 3 and the New Hampshire primary this past Tuesday. The candidates have now plunged into a pivotal and chaotic portion of the calendar, with critical contests coming up in Nevada and South Carolina, and a slew of contests looming on Super Tuesday on March 3.

Mr. Sanders came into the weekend riding high, having emerged from New Hampshire with a victory in this past week’s primary, and he was one of several candidates who sought to rally supporters in the state on Saturday.

Mr. Biden, seeking to stabilize his campaign with a strong showing in Nevada., visited a barber school before making several other campaign stops.

Earlier, in an interview on Friday, Mr. Biden was pressed by the Univision anchor Jorge Ramos over the deportations that occurred during the Obama administration. “We took far too long to get it right,” Mr. Biden said. Asked about deportations of people without criminal records, Mr. Biden responded, “I think it was a big mistake.”

As she fights to build on momentum coming out of New Hampshire, Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota began Saturday in the suburb of Henderson, speaking at a wedding event center tucked inside a strip mall. She said she had received more than $3 million in online donations since the New Hampshire primary.

Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, seeking to reignite her sliding candidacy, tried to lean on her local ties in a town-hall-style event on Saturday, trumpeting her links to former Senator Harry Reid of Nevada and her connections to the labor movement that holds so much power in the state.

Ms. Warren also began airing a new television advertisement that invokes Mr. Reid as well as former President Barack Obama.

“When she talks, people listen,” the ad quotes Mr. Reid saying of Ms. Warren.

At the early caucus site at the East Las Vegas Library, much of the interest was directed toward someone not on the Nevada ballot.

Linda Vaganov, a Navy Reserves veteran who is on disability, said she voted for Ms. Klobuchar but really wanted Mr. Bloomberg to be the nominee.

She said Mr. Bloomberg had the money and street-fighting instincts to defeat President Trump. “I don’t see Biden as the street fighter that Bloomberg is,” she said. “When I saw Bloomberg’s tweets to Trump, I thought, this guy can get down and dirty and still look dignified.”

Mr. Reid, who appeared at the caucus site in a wheelchair, has not endorsed a Democrat in the race and generally praised all of the candidates he was asked about.

He said it was “way too early to count Joe Biden out” and shrugged off a question about whether Mr. Sanders would hurt down-ballot Democrats.

“Well they’ve been saying that about Bernie since long before he started running,” he said, adding, “All the polls show that if he becomes the nominee, he will beat Trump.”

Asked about Mr. Bloomberg, Mr. Reid said: “Mayor Bloomberg came to my home. I met him, of course, when I was the leader. I like him a lot.”

Jennifer Medina and Astead W. Herndon contributed reporting.

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A Presidency Increasingly Guided by Suspicion and Distrust

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WASHINGTON — President Trump suggested in recent days that he had, in fact, learned a lesson from his now-famous telephone call with Ukraine’s president that ultimately led to his impeachment: Too many people are listening to his phone calls.

“When you call a foreign leader, people listen,” he observed on Geraldo Rivera’s radio show. “I may end the practice entirely. I may end it entirely.”

Mr. Trump has always been convinced that he is surrounded by people who cannot be trusted. But in the 10 days since he was acquitted by the Senate, he has grown more vocal about it and turned paranoia into policy, purging his White House of more career officials, bringing back loyalists and tightening the circle around him to a smaller and more faithful coterie of confidants.

The impeachment case against Mr. Trump, built largely on the testimony of officials who actually worked for him, reinforced his view that the government is full of leakers, plotters, whistle-blowers and traitors. Career professionals who worked in government before he arrived are viewed as “Obama holdovers” even if they were there long before President Barack Obama. Testifying under subpoena was, Mr. Trump has made clear, “insubordinate.”

The president’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., said on Twitter after the acquittal that the investigation was useful, in its own way, because it made it easier “unearthing who all needed to be fired.” The president and his staff have increasingly equated disloyalty to him with disloyalty to the nation. All of which makes for a volatile eight months ahead as Mr. Trump fights a rear-guard battle with his own government while facing off against Democrats on the campaign trail to win a second term.

“I think he feels like the people are out to get him, going overboard. I mean just put yourself in his shoes,” Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina and a staunch ally, told reporters this past week as the president railed on Twitter against Justice Department prosecutors. “There’s just a general frustration that the system is — there’s a double standard in the media and actually in the law.”

In the last week and a half, Mr. Trump has pushed out two witnesses who testified in the House inquiry, stripped a nomination from an official he blamed for being insufficiently loyal and assailed prosecutors, a judge and even the jury forewoman in the case of his friend Roger J. Stone Jr.

His national security adviser has just finished transferring more than 50 career professionals out of the White House and back to their home agencies. The president has brought back two of his earliest and most trusted aides, Hope Hicks and Johnny McEntee, as he retreats into a cocoon of his original 2016 campaign team. And more personnel moves are likely in the days to come.

Mr. Trump’s personal loyalty test now extends not to whether someone has worked in his White House since his inauguration, but to whether someone was part of his 2016 campaign and there from the beginning, according to interviews with more than a half-dozen administration officials and advisers to the president. His decision to turn the Office of Presidential Personnel over to Mr. McEntee, a 29-year-old aide who was once ordered marched out of the White House by John F. Kelly, the White House chief of staff at the time, was born out of concern about who is surrounding him, people familiar with the move said.

While some officials cited a lack of responsiveness from officials working in the personnel office, others said that Mr. Trump had taken to blaming them for appointments that he made, on the advice of other advisers. That included Gordon D. Sondland, the Republican donor he appointed ambassador to the European Union who became a key witness in the impeachment inquiry and has now been dismissed. It also included John R. Bolton, his former national security adviser, who plans to publish a book next month revealing Mr. Trump’s machinations about Ukraine.

In private conversations, Mr. Trump has complained bitterly that none of his enemies have been criminally charged, citing James B. Comey, the former F.B.I. director, and his onetime deputy, Andrew G. McCabe. Mr. Bolton in particular has been a source of his anger in several conversations, according to people familiar with what the president has said. He has accused Mr. Bolton of betraying him, and made clear his anger extends to anyone he believes helped Mr. Bolton.

Mr. Trump’s suggestion that he may bar government officials from listening into his phone calls with foreign leaders would reverse decades of practice in the White House. Presidents traditionally have multiple aides from the National Security Council and State Department monitor foreign leader calls to help interpret their meaning, record any agreements and inform relevant parts of government.

Mr. Trump, however, felt burned early on when transcripts of his calls with the leaders of Mexico and Australia were leaked to The Washington Post. During subsequent conversations with foreign leaders, he sometimes kicked out aides for more private talks and in the case of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia even demanded that his own interpreter turn over notes of the discussion.

“He knows that anything even reasonably controversial out of his mouth, on the phone or off, will be reported out and construed in the most evil way possible,” Mr. Rivera, a friend of the president’s who interviewed him for his Cleveland radio show, said on Saturday. “As a result, he indicated to me that he’s dramatically scaling back” the number of people “looped into a state call.”

Going back to his days in the real estate business, Mr. Trump has long considered suspicion a key to success. “Be paranoid,” he advised in a motivational seminar in 2000. “Now that sounds terrible. But you have to realize that people, sadly, sadly, are very vicious. You think we’re so different from the lions in the jungle? I don’t know.”

Nor is presidential paranoia a new phenomenon even as Mr. Trump seems to have elevated it to a guiding philosophy of his White House. From Thomas Jefferson to Franklin D. Roosevelt to John F. Kennedy, other presidents turned at times to unseemly and even ruthless methods against their enemies like illegal wiretapping. Probably no previous presidents were as paranoid as Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard M. Nixon and in the latter case it helped bring down his presidency.

“The paranoid style is an old and recurrent phenomenon in our public life which has been frequently linked with movements of suspicious discontent,” as Richard Hofstadter, the famed midcentury American historian, wrote in his landmark 1964 essay, “The Paranoid Style in American Politics.” In Mr. Trump’s case, it connects with supporters suspicious of the elite.

John A. Farrell, a Nixon biographer, said most other presidents managed to contain or disguise their paranoid elements, but it drove Johnson and Nixon to extremes that were ultimately self-destructive. Mr. Trump, he said, sees no need to hide it.

“He has responded to criticism, opposition and other curbs on his power with a vulgar energy and the vile Nixonian strategy that making Americans hate each other is a potent way to seize and secure power,” Mr. Farrell said. “It is no accident that a president acting this way comes from a chain of influences that includes Roy Cohn and Roger Stone.”

Mr. Trump’s advisers and defenders turn to the old nostrum — just because he may be paranoid does not mean people are not out to get him. The relentless investigations against him, the Trump-bashing text messages by F.B.I. officials, the excesses of the surveillance warrant on a former campaign adviser, the longtime lawyer-fixer who turned against him, the whistle-blower who took his concerns to House Democrats, all of it, they said, has contributed to an understandable defensiveness.

“Trump came to office with an almost pathological distrust of others and an irresistible impulse to attack any perceived threat,” said Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University who testified against impeachment last year before the House Judiciary Committee. “The well-documented bias in the F.B.I. and Justice Department against Trump fuels his suspicions and tendency to counterpunch. Both his perceptions and his responses became more exaggerated.

“However,” Mr. Turley added, “his suspicions were validated to some degree in these investigations — something that many refuse to acknowledge. He came to Washington with an agenda that was highly antagonistic and threatening to the status quo. It was immediately clear that he faced deep opposition to his agenda.”

As with so many aspects of his personality, the seeds of Mr. Trump’s reaction may lie in his biography. Michael D’Antonio, the author of “The Truth About Trump,” recalled that the future president was raised by a father who taught him that all of life is a battle for power and that he should be a “killer.” Mr. Trump, Mr. D’Antonio said, came to see others as useful for his own purposes or obstacles to be crushed.

“In this way, he’s forcing us all to live in the world that once existed only in Trump’s mind and in his close circle,” Mr. D’Antonio said. “Here, in Trump’s America, we’re to believe that all institutions are corrupt. No one is to be trusted. Those who would speak against him hesitate. Words of protest and revelations that might be made by whistle-blowers are stifled by fear. This is the world Trump has always inhabited and he wants us to live there too.”

Peter Baker reported from Washington, and Maggie Haberman from New York.

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Bloomberg’s Money Machine: 5 Takeaways on His Political Spending

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In a divided Democratic field, Michael R. Bloomberg has emerged as a last-minute candidate with an unusual strategy. He is leaning on his record as mayor of New York but also on the good he has done as a philanthropist, betting more than anything that his fortune will enable him to run a national campaign. His campaign is a test of the degree to which a candidate can use his vast wealth to impose himself on the political system.

The New York Times took an exhaustive look at his spending and found that Mr. Bloomberg had given away or spent more than $10 billion on a combination of charitable and political donations. Much of that has gone to important and largely apolitical ends, in fields like public health, but The Times’s examination revealed in new detail how it helped the candidate build an influence network on a scale rarely if ever seen.

Mr. Bloomberg gave away $3.3 billion in 2019. It was by far the most he had given away in a single year — more than in the previous five years combined — and most of it has not been publicly disclosed.

Only his family foundation has any public reporting requirements for its donations. His personal giving — money straight from his own checkbook — and donations made by his namesake company, Bloomberg L.P., do not have to be publicly disclosed.

His charitable and political spending have grown enormously since he left office as mayor of New York City at the end of 2013. Since then, he has built a national — and in some cases, international — network of causes, candidates and organizations that he supports.

Time and again, Mr. Bloomberg’s political spending followed nonprofit dollars and vice versa. In places like Washington State, he gave a mix of philanthropic and campaign funds for issues including gun control, carbon pricing, soda taxes and same-sex marriage. In Colorado, his support of gun control and education measures overlapped with huge charitable donations to an apprenticeship program, a school-choice organization and the Denver public schools.

His areas of concern are fairly consistent, focusing on gun control, education reform, the environment, the arts and public health, including smoking cessation and soda taxes.

The result is that Mr. Bloomberg can become an enveloping presence in the places where he concentrates his attention, instilling a sense of good will and raising his profile far beyond the city he led for a dozen years as mayor.

Unlike his fellow self-funded billionaire in the race, Tom Steyer, Mr. Bloomberg has paved the way for a slew of endorsements with his political and philanthropic activism.

He has been endorsed by dozens of Democratic politicians who have benefited from his spending. A number of them are members of Congress, but most are mayors, from cities like Houston, San Francisco, San Jose and Washington.

Mr. Bloomberg has given tens of millions of dollars to congressional candidates, helping Democrats seize the House in 2018. But in addition to his overtly political spending, he is a leading donor for many top left-wing priorities, including gun control and climate change, supporting organizations like the Sierra Club and Planned Parenthood.

That has created a complicated set of incentives for Democratic groups that either work with Mr. Bloomberg already or hope to work with him in the future. So far, most organizations and politicians that have received Mr. Bloomberg’s money have not endorsed his candidacy, but a number of them acknowledged that they are keenly sensitive to his interests and take pains not to alienate him needlessly.

There is no indication that Mr. Bloomberg has threatened or coerced people in order to get his way. But many people called his more than $60 billion fortune a force powerful enough to make coercion unnecessary.

Other candidates like Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts have accused Mr. Bloomberg of trying to buy the party’s nomination. It remains to be seen whether self-funding his campaign to the tune of $400 million and counting can get him past the likes of Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont or fellow former Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind.

His campaign has already proved that many party stalwarts will hold back criticism of stances and statements that typically trouble Democrats, including Mr. Bloomberg’s support for stop-and-frisk policing, charter schools and big banks, as well as his past skepticism about the #MeToo movement and crude comments on women.

Mr. Bloomberg has said he will use his fortune to defeat President Trump in 2020, no matter who the Democratic nominee is. But his campaign has indicated that he may spend more broadly if the party chooses him.

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Pete Buttigieg’s Dash for Cash: 10 Fund-Raisers in Two Weeks

In the compressed and crucial weeks between the New Hampshire primary and Super Tuesday, Pete Buttigieg is moving aggressively to replenish his campaign coffers with an ambitious schedule of 10 fund-raisers held across six states in a 14-day period.

The money chase for Mr. Buttigieg began in Indianapolis on Thursday at the 16,000-square foot home of a supporter as donors noshed on egg salad and cucumber sandwiches — “What a thrill to be back home again in Indiana,” Mr. Buttigieg said — and continued on Friday in California, as he traveled from San Francisco to Silicon Valley to the state capital of Sacramento for a photo line with contributors.

He will soon visit Seattle, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, the Washington D.C. area, Miami and Palm Beach — with most of the events built around states that will vote in early March.

Pete Buttigieg’s Fund-Raisers





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Westlake Legal Group 0215-nat-web-PETEmap-600 Pete Buttigieg’s Dash for Cash: 10 Fund-Raisers in Two Weeks United States Politics and Government Steyer, Thomas F Sanders, Bernard Primaries and Caucuses Presidential Election of 2020 Democratic Party Campaign Finance Buttigieg, Pete (1982- ) Buttigieg, Chasten Bloomberg, Michael R Biden, Joseph R Jr Beyer, Donald S Jr

Seattle

Feb. 15

Milwaukee

Cleveland

Madison

San Francisco

Feb. 14

Salt Lake City

Feb. 17

Baltimore

Washington

Feb. 23

Washington

Indianapolis

Feb. 13

Denver

Richmond

Palo Alto

Feb. 14

Charlottesville

Los Angeles

Feb. 20

Phoenix

Palm Beach

Feb. 26

Wellington

Feb. 26

Miami

Feb. 26

Attended by Mr. Buttigieg

Attended by his husband or staff

Westlake Legal Group 0215-nat-web-PETEmap-335 Pete Buttigieg’s Dash for Cash: 10 Fund-Raisers in Two Weeks United States Politics and Government Steyer, Thomas F Sanders, Bernard Primaries and Caucuses Presidential Election of 2020 Democratic Party Campaign Finance Buttigieg, Pete (1982- ) Buttigieg, Chasten Bloomberg, Michael R Biden, Joseph R Jr Beyer, Donald S Jr

Seattle

Feb. 15

San Francisco

Feb. 14

Washington

Feb. 23

Salt Lake City

Feb. 17

Indianapolis

Feb. 13

Palo Alto

Los Angeles

Feb. 20

Palm

Beach

Wellington

Feb. 26

Miami

Attended by Mr. Buttigieg

Attended by his husband or staff


By The New York Times

In addition to Mr. Buttigieg himself, his national policy director, Sonal Shah, a veteran of the Obama administration and Goldman Sachs, is hitting the road to headline events in Virginia, Maryland and Ohio, where donors are asked for up to $2,800 to become a “champion” and join in a “policy conversation” (some tickets can be had for as little as $54). And Mr. Buttigieg’s husband, Chasten, is featured at another five events, with two stops in Wisconsin, two in Denver and one in Phoenix.

The frenetic fund-raising pace opens up Mr. Buttigieg to potential criticism from progressives that he is the preferred candidate of the wealthy. That is a line of attack that both Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont (“I don’t have 40 billionaires, Pete”) and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts (“The mayor just recently had a fund-raiser that was held in a wine cave full of crystals”) have relished in recent months.

A virtually unknown small-town mayor a year ago, Mr. Buttigieg built a sizable list of small online donors and a formidable big bundler operation in 2019.

The need for money is acute as the candidates enter one of the most intense phases of the primary with consequential contests on each of the next two Saturdays, in Nevada and South Carolina. The latter state will be followed almost immediately by 15 states and territories on the next Tuesday, including the big prizes of California and Texas, where the cost of advertising can be prohibitive.

With the most delegates after the first two contests, Mr. Buttigieg, who ended two terms as mayor of South Bend, Ind., last month, now faces one rival in Michael R. Bloomberg, the billionaire former New York City mayor, who has almost limitless money, and another in Mr. Sanders whose army of small contributors have been giving in accelerating amounts. Tom Steyer, a hedge fund billionaire from California, has been spending heavily, and rising in the polls, in Nevada and South Carolina.

Mr. Buttigieg had entered 2020 with $14.5 million in the bank. But his pace of spending since then burned through much of that sum and some of his money is earmarked for the general election and cannot be spent in the primary.

His monthly payroll had climbed to $2.7 million by December, federal filings showed. He spent $2.5 million on Facebook and Google ads since Jan. 1, company records show. And Mr. Buttigieg invested $6.5 million in television ads from Jan 1. through the New Hampshire primary this past Tuesday, according to Advertising Analytics, a media tracking firm. Plus, there are the other costs to run for president that are only growing — chartered planes, renting event space, polling, consulting fees and more. His campaign reported a single $761,039 credit card payment in December, for instance.

In the final quarter, Mr. Buttigieg raised $24.7 million, though he spent far more than that during the three-month period, about $34 million. Other candidates, including Mr. Sanders and Ms. Warren, similarly spent more than they raised as the primaries neared.

His advisers have previously told donors that they were investing almost everything in Iowa, where he earned the most state delegate equivalents, and New Hampshire, where he finished a strong second, in hopes that command performances in those two states would open up political and financial opportunities beyond.

“All the chips were on the table for Iowa,” said David Jacobson, a Buttigieg fund-raiser and former ambassador.

“It was money well spent,” said Robert Mandell, another former ambassador and Buttigieg fund-raiser.

But the impact of Mr. Buttigieg’s apparent win in Iowa was dampened by the delayed and muddled results that are still subject to a recanvass. His campaign announced he had raised $4 million in the four days afterward. That is a significant sum but still less than what rival strategists said might have otherwise been expected for winning the opening contest.

Mr. Sanders was raising money at a clip of well above $1 million per day online in early February, according to an estimate based on figures released by his campaign. And that was before he won the New Hampshire primary. Ms. Warren’s campaign told supporters this week she had raised $5 million in the nine days following the Iowa caucuses. Neither senator is accepting contributions from elite donors.

One of Mr. Buttigieg’s events will be on Feb. 23 at the home of Representative Don Beyer, a Virginia Democrat and the first member of Congress to endorse him, with five other congressional co-hosts. Three days later, he will hold three fund-raisers across Florida — which does not hold its primary until March 17 — including one in Palm Beach whose hosts include Cynthia Friedman, a longtime Democratic contributor.

The campaign had sent invitations to even more events, including in Atlanta and Charlotte, N.C., on Feb. 27 — the $500 level ticket is listed as sold out online for the Atlanta gathering — but Buttigieg aides said those events have been canceled.

Mr. Buttigieg is not alone on the fund-raising circuit. Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. organized a conference call with his national finance committee after his fifth place New Hampshire finish to reassure skittish donors. He has upcoming fund-raisers in Colorado, Nevada and South Carolina, the latter two in states that vote later this month.

On Thursday, Mr. Biden held two events in New York that drew a notable group of Wall Street contributors. Organizers said the events raised almost $800,000, a large haul for a candidate who had sagged to fourth and fifth place in the first two contests. Mr. Biden also said on “The View” this week that he was raising about $400,000 per day in online donations.

That same evening, Michael Halle, a top strategist for Mr. Buttigieg, was in Washington meeting with donors, with contribution levels up to $1,000 (other Buttigieg advisers, including Lis Smith and Michael Schmuhl have previously headlined fund-raisers).

Both Mr. Biden and Mr. Buttigieg have been assisted by super PACs, which are legally barred from coordinating strategy with the campaigns. Mr. Halle drew some criticism for a post on Twitter two days after the Iowa caucuses all-but-directing where such support could best be used.

The Buttigieg campaign announced expanding its Super Tuesday operations on Thursday, saying it would have “boots on the ground” in each of the states as of next Monday. That is far later than Ms. Warren and Mr. Sanders, who ramped up operations in 2019.

Not all of Mr. Buttigieg’s staff in Iowa and New Hampshire are keeping their jobs. The campaign said it was following the terms of the union contract.

“When positions in Iowa ended after the caucuses, we’ve been offering new positions as they become available as directed by the collective bargaining agreement,” said Chris Meagher, Mr. Buttigieg’s spokesman. “We’re glad to have already offered the vast majority of them new positions on our team.”

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Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Pete Buttigieg’s Dash for Cash: 10 Fund-Raisers in Two Weeks

In the compressed and crucial weeks between the New Hampshire primary and Super Tuesday, Pete Buttigieg is moving aggressively to replenish his campaign coffers with an ambitious schedule of 10 fund-raisers held across six states in a 14-day period.

The money chase for Mr. Buttigieg began in Indianapolis on Thursday at the 16,000-square foot home of a supporter as donors noshed on egg salad and cucumber sandwiches — “What a thrill to be back home again in Indiana,” Mr. Buttigieg said — and continued on Friday in California, as he traveled from San Francisco to Silicon Valley to the state capital of Sacramento for a photo line with contributors.

He will soon visit Seattle, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, the Washington D.C. area, Miami and Palm Beach — with most of the events built around states that will vote in early March.

Pete Buttigieg’s Fund-Raisers

Westlake Legal Group 0215-nat-web-PETEmap-600 Pete Buttigieg’s Dash for Cash: 10 Fund-Raisers in Two Weeks United States Politics and Government Steyer, Thomas F Sanders, Bernard Primaries and Caucuses Presidential Election of 2020 Democratic Party Campaign Finance Buttigieg, Pete (1982- ) Buttigieg, Chasten Bloomberg, Michael R Biden, Joseph R Jr Beyer, Donald S Jr

Seattle

Feb. 15

San Francisco

Feb. 14

Salt Lake City

Feb. 17

Washington

Feb. 23

Washington

Indianapolis

Feb. 13

Palo Alto

Feb. 14

Charlottesville

Los Angeles

Feb. 20

Palm Beach

Feb. 26

Wellington

Feb. 26

Miami

Feb. 26

Attended by Mr. Buttigieg

Attended by his husband or staff

Westlake Legal Group 0215-nat-web-PETEmap-335 Pete Buttigieg’s Dash for Cash: 10 Fund-Raisers in Two Weeks United States Politics and Government Steyer, Thomas F Sanders, Bernard Primaries and Caucuses Presidential Election of 2020 Democratic Party Campaign Finance Buttigieg, Pete (1982- ) Buttigieg, Chasten Bloomberg, Michael R Biden, Joseph R Jr Beyer, Donald S Jr

Seattle

Feb. 15

San Francisco

Feb. 14

Washington

Feb. 23

Salt Lake City

Feb. 17

Indianapolis

Feb. 13

Los Angeles

Feb. 20

Palm

Beach

Wellington

Feb. 26

Attended by Mr. Buttigieg

Attended by his husband or staff

By The New York Times

In addition to Mr. Buttigieg himself, his national policy director, Sonal Shah, a veteran of the Obama administration and Goldman Sachs, is hitting the road to headline events in Virginia, Maryland and Ohio, where donors are asked for up to $2,800 to become a “champion” and join in a “policy conversation” (some tickets can be had for as little as $54). And Mr. Buttigieg’s husband, Chasten, is featured at another five events, with two stops in Wisconsin, two in Denver and one in Phoenix.

The frenetic fund-raising pace opens up Mr. Buttigieg to potential criticism from progressives that he is the preferred candidate of the wealthy. That is a line of attack that both Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont (“I don’t have 40 billionaires, Pete”) and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts (“The mayor just recently had a fund-raiser that was held in a wine cave full of crystals”) have relished in recent months.

A virtually unknown small-town mayor a year ago, Mr. Buttigieg built a sizable list of small online donors and a formidable big bundler operation in 2019.

The need for money is acute as the candidates enter one of the most intense phases of the primary with consequential contests on each of the next two Saturdays, in Nevada and South Carolina. The latter state will be followed almost immediately by 15 states and territories on the next Tuesday, including the big prizes of California and Texas, where the cost of advertising can be prohibitive.

With the most delegates after the first two contests, Mr. Buttigieg, who ended two terms as mayor of South Bend, Ind., last month, now faces one rival in Michael R. Bloomberg, the billionaire former New York City mayor, who has almost limitless money, and another in Mr. Sanders whose army of small contributors have been giving in accelerating amounts. Tom Steyer, a hedge fund billionaire from California, has been spending heavily, and rising in the polls, in Nevada and South Carolina.

Mr. Buttigieg had entered 2020 with $14.5 million in the bank. But his pace of spending since then burned through much of that sum and some of his money is earmarked for the general election and cannot be spent in the primary.

His monthly payroll had climbed to $2.7 million by December, federal filings showed. He spent $2.5 million on Facebook and Google ads since Jan. 1, company records show. And Mr. Buttigieg invested $6.5 million in television ads from Jan 1. through the New Hampshire primary this past Tuesday, according to Advertising Analytics, a media tracking firm. Plus, there are the other costs to run for president that are only growing — chartered planes, renting event space, polling, consulting fees and more. His campaign reported a single $761,039 credit card payment in December, for instance.

In the final quarter, Mr. Buttigieg raised $24.7 million, though he spent far more than that during the three-month period, about $34 million. Other candidates, including Mr. Sanders and Ms. Warren, similarly spent more than they raised as the primaries neared.

His advisers have previously told donors that they were investing almost everything in Iowa, where he earned the most state delegate equivalents, and New Hampshire, where he finished a strong second, in hopes that command performances in those two states would open up political and financial opportunities beyond.

“All the chips were on the table for Iowa,” said David Jacobson, a Buttigieg fund-raiser and former ambassador.

“It was money well spent,” said Robert Mandell, another former ambassador and Buttigieg fund-raiser.

But the impact of Mr. Buttigieg’s apparent win in Iowa was dampened by the delayed and muddled results that are still subject to a recanvass. His campaign announced he had raised $4 million in the four days afterward. That is a significant sum but still less than what rival strategists said might have otherwise been expected for winning the opening contest.

Mr. Sanders was raising money at a clip of well above $1 million per day online in early February, according to an estimate based on figures released by his campaign. And that was before he won the New Hampshire primary. Ms. Warren’s campaign told supporters this week she had raised $5 million in the nine days following the Iowa caucuses. Neither senator is accepting contributions from elite donors.

One of Mr. Buttigieg’s events will be on Feb. 23 at the home of Representative Don Beyer, a Virginia Democrat and the first member of Congress to endorse him, with five other congressional co-hosts. Three days later, he will hold three fund-raisers across Florida — which does not hold its primary until March 17 — including one in Palm Beach whose hosts include Cynthia Friedman, a longtime Democratic contributor.

The campaign had sent invitations to even more events, including in Atlanta and Charlotte, N.C., on Feb. 27 — the $500 level ticket is listed as sold out online for the Atlanta gathering — but Buttigieg aides said those events have been canceled.

Mr. Buttigieg is not alone on the fund-raising circuit. Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. organized a conference call with his national finance committee after his fifth place New Hampshire finish to reassure skittish donors. He has upcoming fund-raisers in Colorado, Nevada and South Carolina, the latter two in states that vote later this month.

On Thursday, Mr. Biden held two events in New York that drew a notable group of Wall Street contributors. Organizers said the events raised almost $800,000, a large haul for a candidate who had sagged to fourth and fifth place in the first two contests. Mr. Biden also said on “The View” this week that he was raising about $400,000 per day in online donations.

That same evening, Michael Halle, a top strategist for Mr. Buttigieg, was in Washington meeting with donors, with contribution levels up to $1,000 (other Buttigieg advisers, including Lis Smith and Michael Schmuhl have previously headlined fund-raisers).

Both Mr. Biden and Mr. Buttigieg have been assisted by super PACs, which are legally barred from coordinating strategy with the campaigns. Mr. Halle drew some criticism for a post on Twitter two days after the Iowa caucuses all-but-directing where such support could best be used.

The Buttigieg campaign announced expanding its Super Tuesday operations on Thursday, saying it would have “boots on the ground” in each of the states as of next Monday. That is far later than Ms. Warren and Mr. Sanders, who ramped up operations in 2019.

Not all of Mr. Buttigieg’s staff in Iowa and New Hampshire are keeping their jobs. The campaign said it was following the terms of the union contract.

“When positions in Iowa ended after the caucuses, we’ve been offering new positions as they become available as directed by the collective bargaining agreement,” said Chris Meagher, Mr. Buttigieg’s spokesman. “We’re glad to have already offered the vast majority of them new positions on our team.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com