Who was behind Doug Bailey and Gerald Rafshoon’s Draft Bloomberg Committee, the organization that sought to bring Michael Bloomberg as a partyless candidate into the 2008 presidential race? The answer is at once more complicated and more simple than you might think.
The process to ferret out just who gave to Bailey and Rafshoon’s Draft Bloomberg Committee is labyrinthine.
You might think that you could characterize the actions of the Draft Bloomberg Committee by simply looking up the disclosure made by the Draft Bloomberg Committee on the IRS disclosure website for the 1st Quarter of 2008. But that report is incomplete. You see, $313,502 of the $319,792 contributed to the Draft Bloomberg Committee — a full 98.2% of all money donated to the Draft Bloomberg Committee in the 1st Quarter of 2008 — came from just one source: the Draft Bloomberg Joint Fundraising Committee. Only 1.8% of the money coming to the Draft Bloomberg Committee is disclosed by this document. And guess who is the organizer of the Draft Bloomberg Joint Fundraising Committee? Why, the very same individual who organized the Draft Bloomberg Committee itself — Douglas Bailey.
DBJFC disclosures for the 1st Quarter of 2008 are available not from the IRS, but from the FEC, and only on its Image Query Page. And then, finally, there’s also the Draft Bloomberg PAC, another group also founded by Doug Bailey with disclosures from the FEC. Take the three together and you’ve finally got a basis from which to characterize Bailey and Rafshoon’s Draft Bloomberg “Movement.”
While the process to ferret out contributions to Bailey and Rafshoon’s Draft Bloomberg outfit is complicated, the results are simple.
1. The total amount of contributions given by people to the three Draft Bloomberg Committee organizations is $359,452.59. (This does not count the $1,288 given to the Draft Bloomberg Committee by “gosh no, we don’t support any particular candidate” Unity08)
2. The total amount of contributions given to the Draft Bloomberg organizations by the following two people is $353,095.80:
Russell L. Carson of Park Avenue, New York NY, Founder and Senior Partner of Welsh Carson Anderson & Stowe, a private equity firm. Has an endowed professorship of economics named after him at Columbia University.
Stanley F. Druckenmiller of W. 57th St, New York NY, Billionaire, Founder and Senior Partner of Duquesne Capital Management, a hedge fund.
3. That means that the Draft Bloomberg Committee organizations were 98.2% funded by two ultrawealthy New York financier megacontributors. If you take out the $1,493 contributed by three paid staffers for the Draft Bloomberg Committee, the scheme was 98.6% funded by these two megacontributors.
This was an effort to elect someone President of the United States of America, an effort that received widespread television, newspaper and magazine coverage. And yet the whole operation — pardon me, more than 98% of the whole operation — was funded by two ultrarich financial speculators. The buying of the presidency doesn’t get much more bald than that.
Of course, not one of the news outlets that breathlessly churned the Bailey and Rafshoon hedge-funded hype into news copy has written a story to tell you about this. If you want people to know about the nature of this episode, please spread the word.