After years of false starts, former New York City mayor and billionaire anti-gun activist Michael Bloomberg has finally announced his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Bloomberg is running on his record as the mayor of NYC as well as his financial backing of the gun-control group Everytown for Gun Safety and its volunteer wing, Moms Demand Action.
“When [Bloomberg] witnessed the terrible toll of gun violence, he put his money where his heart is, helping to create a movement to take on the NRA and the politicians they own, to protect families across the country and help turn the tide,” reads his campaign launch ad.
Most recently, the Bloomberg-backed Everytown spent $2.5 million to turn the Virginia legislature from red the blue. The contribution from Bloomberg’s group represented the largest donation from an outside organization and paves the way for Virginia Democrats to enact a slate of sweeping anti-gun legislation.
NYC’s former mayor is apparently hoping he can purchase the White House in similar fashion. Bloomberg is spending at least $37 million to purchase ads in multiple states across the country, including California, New York, Florida, Texas and Illinois, ABC News reported.
For context, Democratic front-runners Sen. Bernie Sanders and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg have aired about $2.8 million and $2.4 million worth of television ads.
Bloomberg is also banking on support from the activist organizations he’s helped launch in states across the country. Mother Jones reported this week that the Bloomberg campaign is temporarily “renting” Everytown’s email list in order to “communicate [Bloomberg’s] plans for achieving our shared goal of a nation free from gun violence.”
The newly-minted candidate is also getting help from another organization he bankrolls, Bloomberg News. The news agency announced this week that it will bar reporters from investigating Bloomberg, his family, or his foundation. It also committed to prohibiting all investigations into the other 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, but will continue to cover the Trump impeachment investigation.
Hilariously, some high-profile members of Bloomberg’s anti-gun groups have voiced their public opposition to their boss. Jessica Craven, the legislative lead for a Moms Demand Action group in Northeast Los Angeles, told BuzzFeed News that the 77-year-old won’t be getting her vote in 2020.
“I’m not super psyched about it, but I respect him enormously,” Craven said. “I don’t think we need more candidates — more white male candidates.”
SEE ALSO: Hypocrite Alert! Bloomberg Says It’s ‘Ridiculous’ Johns Hopkins Doesn’t Have an Armed Police Force
Bloomberg and Everytown have supported some of the nation’s most extreme gun control policies, including universal background checks, an “assault rifle” ban, national red flag laws, magazine bans, and “smart gun” requirements.
Gun owners can expect the race’s newest candidate to push many of those proposals if he succeeds in purchasing the White House.