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Opinion

Opinion: Michael Bloomberg is finally having his moment with readers. Is that a blessing or a curse?

Michael Bloomberg debates
Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg speaks during the Feb. 19 debate in Las Vegas.
(Getty Images)

Consider this an update to a previous piece: Last November, about a week after media mogul Michael Bloomberg entered the Democratic primary, I noted that what set apart the reader reaction to the ex-Republican and former New York mayor’s campaign kickoff was that there wasn’t much of it. Did this suggest an expedited filing of the Bloomberg candidacy under “also-rans”?

Perhaps not. Since then, Bloomberg’s billions have bought the candidate’s way first into our Facebook feeds, then into our political consciousness and finally onto the Democratic debate stage. Consequently, his presence on the L.A. Times’ letters page has increased, to the point that he was the most-mentioned Democratic candidate — which certainly does not mean most favored -- by our writers.

Who knows if this means Bloomberg’s campaign will continue to ascend? Other Democrats who were for a time the greatest focus of our letter writers’ attention have dropped out (Sen. Kamala Harris), fallen far in the polls (Joe Biden) or are not even running (Rep. Adam Schiff), so there’s no way to tell. But what they all received was their moment on the L.A. Times’ letters page, and now Bloomberg is having his.

Arthur G. Saginian of Santa Clarita said Bloomberg can’t beat Trump:

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What surprises me is that the Democrats who support Bloomberg think he can beat Trump simply by outspending the president, and that’s not even what this is about.

They don’t understand what Trump symbolizes and why people voted for him. Trump didn’t “buy” the election in 2016. He proposed a radical departure from the rules, and the people who voted for him wanted that. The Democrats simply cannot comprehend that.

All the money in the world can’t beat an idea, and that’s why Bloomberg’s billions won’t beat Trump.

Mission Viejo resident June Maguire echoed the concerns of readers concerned by Bloomberg’s wealth:

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Oracle’s billionaire chief executive recently held a fundraiser for Trump at $250,000, Amazon’s founder paid $165 million for another mansion, and Bloomberg has already spent more than $300 million on his campaign.

Meanwhile, seemingly every day we read another terribly disturbing story, one after the other, of a homeless encampment being torn down.

Every day, Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s wealth tax proposal sounds more sensible.

Al Nault of Irvine was one of several other readers who were fine with nominating a billionaire:

Warren attacked Bloomberg by saying, “I’d like to talk about ... a billionaire who calls women ‘fat broads’ and ‘horse-faced lesbians.’”

I’m sure I’m not alone in noticing that while Christian Republicans pay homage to the immoral Trump, progressive Democrats are demanding that their candidate be a saint.

Why is it that running for president while also being rich is a bad thing? Franklin D. Roosevelt was a one-percenter, and he did very well for the citizens of this country. And let’s remember that those who created this country were far from poor.

We all know of rich people who have shown great empathy for their fellow citizens. Also, being poor or of modest means does not preclude having a heart of stone.

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It may be that Bloomberg will not win the nomination, but the Democrats should not set unrealistic standards and once again shoot themselves in the foot.

Marilyn Perenchio of North Hollywood penned a rare letter defending “stop and frisk”:

Why do robbers rob banks? That’s where the money is. Why did New York cops practice stop-and-frisk in certain neighborhoods? That’s where the guns were.

I am appalled at the cheap shots the other Democratic candidates have made at Bloomberg over this policy. No one seems to have heard him say that deaths went down from about 650 when he took office to 300 by the time he left.

Whose deaths are we talking about? Probably those of African Americans and Latinos. If I were in the same situation and I saw my city become a lot safer because of this practice, I’d be very reluctant to stop it.


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