HOUSTON - This week’s panel: Bob Price, Associate Editor of Breitbart Texas; Carmen Roe, Houston attorney; Bill King, former mayoral candidate, businessman and columnist, Charles Blain, Urban Reform; Tomaro Bell, super neighborhood leader; and Antonio Diaz-, writer, educator, and radio host and host Greg Groogan discuss the 2020 Democratic primary presidential campaign and candidate Michale Bloomberg's swing through Texas.
ATLANTA (AP) Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg is appearing privately at a voting rights summit hosted Friday by high-profile Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams.
The billionaire former mayor of New York City already has donated $5 million to the voting rights political action organization Abrams launched after her narrow defeat in the 2018 Georgia governor's race.
Abrams would have become the first black woman elected governor of a U.S. state. But even in defeat, she emerged as a national Democratic player, evidenced by her invitation to deliver the party's response to President Donald Trump's 2019 State of the Union and the subsequent parade of presidential candidates who have paid her visits.
Her name is among those commonly bandied about as a potential vice presidential candidate for Democrats once the party settles on a nominee. That speculation almost certainly would intensify if Democrats nominate a white male, such as former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Mayor Pete Buttigieg or Bloomberg.
The summit Friday, including Bloomberg's speech, isn't open to the public, but coincides with Bloomberg releasing policy proposals he says will ensure fair ballot access in U.S. elections. Abrams and Bloomberg are expected to meet one-on-one, as well. Bloomberg is running a strategy unique to presidential politics, bypassing the traditional four early voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina. He's concentrating instead on the states that follow in March. Georgia holds its primary on March 24, three weeks after Super Tuesday. After he appears at Abrams' event, Bloomberg is scheduled to address his supporters elsewhere in Atlanta to launch his 2020 Georgia campaign. Abrams' summit comes days after the Fair Fight political action committee disclosed that it raised almost $15 million in the first half of 2019, with Bloomberg's contribution making up a third of that.
Bloomberg's team bills the encounter as a continuation of the former mayor's advocacy on voting rights. Since leaving New York City Hall in 2013, Bloomberg has spent millions of his own money on various political causes, perhaps most conspicuously in favor of stricter gun laws.
Abrams launched the Fair Fight committee out of her gubernatorial campaign after alleging that voting irregularities helped prevent her from forcing a runoff against now-Gov. Brian Kemp, who'd been the Republican secretary of state who oversaw their election. Fair Fight has an ongoing federal legal battle challenging aspects of Georgia's election system.
Besides Bloomberg, attendees at the summit today are expected to hear from Abrams, representatives from the Democratic National Committee and leaders of organized labor.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- Michael Bloomberg is adding three experienced California Democrats to his presidential campaign in the state that awards the most primary delegates, including the former head of Sen. Kamala Harris' state campaign operation.
Courtni Pugh, who led Harris' strategy in the senator's home state, is joining Bloomberg's team as a senior adviser focused on paid media targeting constituency groups such as Latino and black voters, the campaign announced Friday. Bloomberg also has hired Crystal Strait, the former head of the state's Planned Parenthood chapter, as political director, and Alex Gallardo Rooker, a vice chair of the state Democratic party, as a senior adviser.
Strait, who also has worked for the state party and former California Sen. Barbara Boxer, said she's joining the campaign because she believes Bloomberg is the party's best chance of beating President Donald Trump.
"Winning is the only thing that we need to be focused on right now," she said.
Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor and billionaire businessman, launched his campaign in November and is counting on success in California to capture the nomination. He is skipping the first four early voting states to focus his energy on California and the other states that vote on Super Tuesday, held on March 3.
His latest hires join Chris Masami Myers, who heads his California operation and previously served as executive director of the state party.
Bloomberg's pattern of bringing on operatives with party experience could bring his campaign needed expertise on the party's rules for picking up delegates. California has more than 400 delegates, the most of any state.
But Bloomberg's rivals have also been flexing their muscles in the heavily Democratic state. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday, just days after appearing with Bloomberg. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, meanwhile, is aggressively campaigning in the state, holding rallies often and targeting California's 5 million independent voters, who can vote in the Democratic primary.
Harris ended her 2020 presidential campaign in November, saying her team didn't have the financial resources necessary to continue.