Skip to main content

Why are the billionaires always laughing?

Because they know the corporate media will never call bullshit on their bullshit.

Why are the billionaires laughing?

It’s easy to laugh when the corporate press treats you as a glorious success instead of the epitome of a broken social order. Billionaires laugh because they know the corporate media prefers to fawn over them rather than hold them to account.

Today, we ask you to support our nonprofit, independent journalism because we are not impressed by billionaires flying into space, their corporations despoiling our health and planet, or their vast fortunes safely concealed in tax havens across the globe. We are not laughing.

We are hard at work producing journalism for the common good. With our Fall Campaign underway, please support this mission today. We cannot do it without you.

Support Our Work -- Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Every donation—large or small—helps us bring you the news that matters.

Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg speaks during the kickoff of his "Get it Done Express" bus tour as a protester holds up a sign reading "Billionaires Should Not Buy Elections" at the Dollarhide Community Center in Compton, California on February 3, 2020. (Photo: Frederic J. Bown / AFP/Getty Images)

Progressive Groups Launch #NeverBloomberg Campaign, Demanding Top Democrats Oppose Former New York Mayor's Run

The Working Families Party and the Center for Popular Democracy are among the groups intending to march on Bloomberg's New York townhouse on Saturday.

Julia Conley

Taking aim at former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's long record of attacks on vulnerable communities, progressive groups including the Working Families Party and the Center for Popular Democracy are launching a campaign to demand that Democratic leaders and voters reject the billionaire businessman's presidential run.

The groups plan to march to Bloomberg's Upper East Side home on Saturday evening as they begin their #NeverBloomberg campaign, where they expect to call out the most damaging aspects of the former mayor's legacy.

"He designed the city we're living in today. He designed the homelessness crisis that we're living with today."
—Paulette Soltani, Vocal New York Action Fund

Organizers say prominent Democrats should take into account the former mayor's policing and surveillance policies and the widening wealth gap he oversaw while leading New York for 11 years, as they consider endorsing him.

"They took away resources from the most vulnerable people in the city, and punished them, terrorized them," said Paulette Soltani of the Vocal New York Action Fund, which is also joining the campaign.

Bloomberg, who was a registered Republican until 2018, only recently apologized for his expansion of the NYPD's "stop-and-frisk" policy, under which Latino and black young men were disproportionately harassed by police, and which he defended in 2015 by falsely claiming the program helped cut down on crime. The program was ruled unconstitutional in 2013. 

The former mayor also oversaw surveillance programs in mosques throughout the city, which he defended just this week by saying mosques were "a natural place to go" to root out terrorism threats after the September 11 attacks.

The former mayor's affordable housing program for the city, instituted in 2005, "fundamentally failed," according to the Association for Neighborhood & Housing Development, with most so-called "affordable" units he developed costing more than median incomes. Homelessness also increased in the city as the mayor ended priority access to public housing for homeless people and pushed other "self-reliance" initiatives.

"He designed the city we're living in today," Soltani said in a statement. "He designed the homelessness crisis that we're living with today."

Progressives in New York expressed alarm over Bloomberg endorsements from some top Democratic leaders in the state, including Queens Democratic Party chair Rep. Gregory Meeks, state Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes, and Rep. Nita Lowey.

"They should really be ashamed. I'm embarrassed for them," New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams said during a recent press conference of African-American leaders who have endorsed Bloomberg considering his history of overseeing attacks on black New Yorkers' civil rights.

Williams was among nearly 100 people of color in New York who signed a letter this week urging voters to support candidates other than Bloomberg in the Democratic presidential primary—and arguing that the former mayor exemplifies anti-democratic values.

"New Yorkers of color want voters everywhere to see the Bloomberg THEY know before heading to the polls," tweeted the Working Families Party about the letter.

"Since his mayoralty, Bloomberg has continued to use his wealth to attack working and middle-class people," the letter reads. "He has made clear that he does not support a minimum wage; used transphobic language to describe trans people; and he continues to be plagued by allegations of sexist remarks and sexual misconduct at Bloomberg LP, a company that he ran and currently owns. Bloomberg has spent millions of his own money to influence elections around the country inorder to promote school privatization, high stakes testing, and teacher bashing."

Bloomberg, whose net worth is more than $60 billion, is spending an unprecedented amount of his own money on his presidential campaign, buying more than $450 million in advertisements so far.  

In New York, the former mayor is currently polling four points behind Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) according to Siena College's latest survey. New Yorkers will vote in the Democratic primary on April 28.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

New York Taxi Workers Stage Hunger Strike to Demand Medallion Debt Relief

"They are an essential industry here in New York City," said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, "and we need to make sure we're doing right by them."

Julia Conley ·


'It's Not Coming Out': Bernie Sanders Stands Firm on Medicare Expansion

"It's what the American people want and, after waiting over 50 years, what they are going to get."

Julia Conley ·


'When We Organize, We Win': Ocasio-Cortez Joins India Walton at Rally in Buffalo

The two progressives joined striking hospital workers on the picket line at Mercy Hospital after the early voting rally.

Julia Conley ·


Fatal Film Set Shooting Followed Outcry by Union Crew Members Over Safety Protocols

"When union members walk off a set about safety concerns, maybe 'hiring scabs' isn’t the solution you think it is."

Julia Conley ·


New Whistleblower Sparks Calls to 'Crack Down on Facebook and All Big Tech Companies'

Hours after another ex-employee filed a formal complaint, reporting broke on internal documents that show the tech giant's failure to address concerns about content related to the 2020 U.S. election.

Jessica Corbett ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo