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Beacon Extra 2/19/20

Bloomberg’s campaign spending is ‘obscene’ by his own definition

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THAT’S RICH … "Bloomberg Once Called Excessive Spending on Campaign Ads ‘Obscene’," by WFB’s Collin Anderson: [Michael] Bloomberg dismissed 2001 reports that he would spend upward of $30 million on his initial run for mayor in New York City. "At some point, you start to look obscene," Bloomberg told New York magazine. "There's a limited amount of ad time you can buy. It becomes dysfunctional; you annoy people with ads." …

The New York City business mogul spent a combined $261 million on his three mayoral campaigns, a figure he has now eclipsed in just the first three months of his presidential campaign.

SNEAKY PETE … "Buttigieg and super PAC improperly coordinated on Nevada ads, watchdog group says," via WAPO: In a complaint filed Tuesday with the Federal Election Commission, the Campaign Legal Center alleged [Pete] Buttigieg’s campaign improperly accepted more than $639,000 in contributions in violation of federal rules barring candidates from coordinating with independent groups that can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money.

WE DON’T KNOW HIM "Obama Allies Push Back on Michael Bloomberg Ads Framing Mayor as Obama Pal," by WFB’s David Rutz: "That is not how I remember it," former senior Obama adviser Dan Pfeiffer said on MSNBC. "I do remember that 2012 endorsement that came five days before the election and to say it was damning with faint praise would be generous…. I think these ads tell a story that is belied by the reality of that relationship."

ARROWS SHOT … "Warren: Bernie Is Responsible for His Bros," by WFB’s Josh Christenson: Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) on Monday faulted Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) for his supporters' attacks against a Nevada culinary workers union, saying they were building "a foundation of hate."

DON’T TELL ANTIFA … "Fascist Mussolini shirt pictured in Bernie Sanders campaign mailer," via EXAMINER: A man pictured in the Sanders campaign leaflet sent to Nevada voters by mail ahead of the state's Feb. 22 Democratic caucuses wears a black shirt with white lettering saying, "SI SI SI" (translating to "YES YES YES"), and a white face under his tan suit jacket. The image is a recreation of propaganda that pictured a large Mussolini stone face on the facade of the National Fascist Party headquarters in Rome, the Palazzo Braschi.

WFB ABROAD … "Pompeo Says Trump Travel Ban Will Not Impede U.S. Security, Trade Pacts With Africa," by WFB’s Adam Kredo: The Trump administration's newly implemented restrictions on travel to the United States from key African countries will not interfere with efforts by top U.S. officials to boost America's standing in the region, particularly on security and trade fronts, according to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

CHICOMS UNDER THE MICROSCOPE … "State Department Names Five Chinese Media Outlets as Foreign Diplomatic Missions in U.S.," via WSJ: The State Department said Tuesday that the U.S. operations of five Chinese news organizations—Xinhua News Agency, China Radio International, China Global Television Network and the distributors of China Daily and People’s Daily—will be considered foreign diplomatic missions.

RELATED … "China Violates Disclosure Law to Publish Propaganda in NY Times, WaPo," by WFB’s Yuichiro Kakutani.

SECRET AGENT MAN … "Chris Murphy Admits He Secretly Met With Iranian Foreign Minister," by WFB’s Alex Griswold: That stance contrasts with Murphy's rhetoric during the Obama administration when 47 Republican senators sent a letter to the Iranian regime warning that the Senate had the power to reject any nuclear deal. At the time, Murphy said the letter was "undermining the authority of the president" and called on Republicans to respect "the difference between what the executive branch and what the legislative branch is supposed to be doing surrounding delicate negotiations."

CNN FAINTS … "Fox Has Been "More Fair": Why Bernie Sanders’ Team Has Had It With MSNBC," via VANITY FAIR: The anti-Bernie highlight reel grew in recent weeks, with some moments verging on parody. Joy Reid hosted a body-language expert who said Sanders’s posture revealed that he was "lying" about a recent dispute with Elizabeth Warren …

"That’s saying something," [campaign manager Faiz Shakir] said. "Fox is often yelling about Bernie Sanders’s socialism, but they’re still giving our campaign the opportunity to make our case in a fair manner, unlike MSNBC, which has credibility with the left and is constantly undermining the Bernie Sanders campaign."

BEST PRESS STRATEGY LAWYERS CAN BUY … "Wife of ex-Bloomberg News reporter says Bloomberg tried to ‘ruin’ family after she spoke out against China," via EXAMINER: Leta Hong Fincher, whose husband, Michael Forsythe, now writes for the New York Times, accused the former New York City mayor of trying to ruin her family financially after she revealed that they had been threatened by Chinese authorities over negative coverage about Chinese Communist Party leader Xi Jinping …

In 2013, Forsythe had been working on a story similar to the story about Xi’s family raking in cash. Just before the story was set to publish, Bloomberg knifed the story over fears that they would be "kicked out of China."

KRUG-SPLAINED … "Paul Krugman Denies Bernie Sanders’s Right to Self-Identify," by WFB’s Andrew Stiles: For the entirety of his 49-year career in politics, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) has chosen to identify as a socialist. Now that Sanders is the frontrunner to win the Democratic nomination for president, smug New York Times columnist Paul Krugman wants to deny him the right to his own identity.

Krugman's recent column for the Times—"Bernie Sanders Isn't a Socialist"—is a typically condescending and incoherent diatribe that relies on factual inaccuracies to support an underwhelming argument.

WHAT2 WATCH4 IN TONIGHT’S DEBATE … "BLOOMBERG BOX WATCH: ‘Mini Mike’ Qualifies for Democratic Debate in Nevada," by WFB’s Andrew Stiles: Michael Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor trying to become the shortest individual elected president since the five-foot-seven William McKinley in 1896, will finally get the chance to stand up to his Democratic rivals on a debate stage. It remains to be seen what sort of contraption the multibillionaire will deploy in an attempt to conceal the truth about his diminutive stature at Wednesday's debate in Las Vegas …

The Democratic National Committee changed the debate's requirements specifically to ensure Bloomberg could participate.

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