Is Phil Bredesen running for U.S. Senate to represent Memphis or Manhattan? Rocky Top or Rockefeller Center? Appalachia or the Big Apple? Tennessee voters might wonder after billionaire gun control financier and former-New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg invited political allies to a high-priced fundraiser for the senate candidate in his swanky Manhattan digs.
According to a report from CNBC, the fundraiser was scheduled for October 9. A notice obtained by CNBC urged invitees to donate $1,000 to be a “Friend” of the campaign, while $2,700 would gain you “Champion” status. Another version of the invite obtained by the Tennessean put the price of “Champion” level at $5,000. It’s unclear if dinner is included in the price tag.
Bloomberg’s hospitality could stem from an affinity for his fellow New Yorker. Bredesen was born in New Jersey and spent much of his youth in Shortsville, N.Y. After that, Bredesen lived for a time in Massachusetts, where he felt at home enough to run for state senate.
Underwriting Bredesen’s campaign is part of a larger effort by Bloomberg to leverage his massive wealth to flip control of Congress in the 2018 midterm election. In June, Bloomberg announced his plans to spend $80 million to install an anti-gun majority in the U.S. House of Representatives. That figure was later increased to $100 million. In October, the aspiring oligarch announced that he would spend another $20 million in an attempt to buy U.S. Senate races – looks like buying Tennessee is high on the list.
Tennesseans will have to decide if their state is for sale, and whether Bloomberg, his NYC cohort, and their preferred candidate have the Volunteer State’s best interests in mind.