The political world took notice this week as it watched Michael Bloomberg’s less-than-stellar debate performance. The former New York City mayor was skewered by the other candidates, and we wonder if the New Mexico politicians who have championed Bloomberg, and his money, are feeling a little awkward today.
Many New Mexicans are surprised to learn how the former mayor and the ninth-richest person in the United States spreads millions across the Land of Enchantment. After the surprise, they become angry because they see how Bloomberg is using that money to impose his radical agenda on New Mexico.
It all raises an important question: Will those who are on receiving end of his money come clean about how his influence is being used?
Within New Mexico’s Office of Attorney General, Bloomberg has funded two full-time lawyers charged with pursuing his environmental agenda. In the sweetheart arrangement, Bloomberg pays for the salaries of the lawyers, and the attorney general gives them the power of the office.
In states like Virginia and Minnesota, hardly known for being on the political right, they have either restricted the hiring of Bloomberg-financed lawyers or faced intense public criticism and lawsuits for participating in the program.
Yet in New Mexico, Bloomberg paying for inside access is defended because they say it “isn’t unusual.” Unfortunately, Bloomberg’s influence doesn’t stop at Santa Fe.
Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller continues to be a loyal soldier in Bloomberg’s climate agenda, as the mayor takes in millions. The city of Albuquerque was proud to join the “American Cities Climate Challenge,” which offers “a suite of more than $200 million in investments to strengthen city halls.” However, that was just the start.
Keller also proudly joined Bloomberg’s “Beyond Carbon” campaign. This is the campaign where Bloomberg has devoted half a billion dollars to putting nearly 100,000 New Mexicans out of work. You won’t find a news release about the city of Albuquerque joining up on its website — it’s almost as if they know taking money from a billionaire to kill jobs is a bad thing.
And that’s where the New Mexicans I speak with get angry.
They’re not as mad at Bloomberg as they are about local leaders selling out our state to his agenda. It’s almost as if they give Bloomberg credit for being upfront about his disastrous ideas. What they really get upset about is seeing local leaders take Bloomberg’s money with one hand and swear to help New Mexico’s economy with the other. We know our leaders can’t do both.
New Mexicans are angry at of out-of-state operators who see our home as a place where leaders can be bought. Now, as Bloomberg presses forward with a presidential campaign, those same leaders should distance themselves from his money.
And perhaps now that everyone can see Bloomberg has his own radical agenda, perhaps Keller and Attorney General Hector Balderas should ask themselves if they were simply being used all along.