News Round-Up: January 22, 2020

Matthew Camp (via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

InstaHunks: I’m still in a Matthew Camp kinda mood since I met the woofy hunk (above) at the GayVN Awards Monday night. #EvenBetterInPerson

Instinct: After being canceled by Netflix earlier this year, PopTV has picked up Season 4 of One Day At A Time, with a premiere date of March 24th at 9:30 pm ET/PT. The LGBTQ-inclusive reboot of the 70’s classic follows the Cuban-American Alvarez clan, an immigrant family living and loving in California. The luminous Rita Moreno co-stars as sassy grandmother ‘Lydia.’

NY Times: The impeachment trial of Donald Trump is now underway. Use this link to check for the latest developments in the trial. Today, Trump set a new Twitter record as he lashed out at House managers seeking his removal from office.

NBC News: Missouri lawmaker proposes bill criminalizing public libraries’ drag queen story hours. Under the proposed law, librarians would be subject to fines or jail time for holding such events.

Yahoo Finance: Michael Bloomberg has spent more than a quarter-billion dollars on political advertising since joining the Democratic presidential race, far outpacing all other candidates. Bloomberg’s presidential campaign has spent $209.3 million on broadcast television time, $13.7 million on cable, $1.1 million on radio and $27.2 million on digital.

WXII-12: A Wilkes County pastor was arrested Thursday on more than 100 counts of felony sex offenses that span 15 years, detectives said. Rodney Dean Luffman, 58, of Pleasant Ridge Road, was charged with 115 felony sex charges — 80 counts of indecent liberties and 35 counts of sexual offenses. One of the victims was as young as 4 years old, and the other was as old as 16 when the offenses occurred.

Bloomberg Officially Enters Dem Race, Bernie Officially Not Happy About It

Billionaire Michael Bloomberg announces official entry into 2020 presidential race

Billionaire Michael Bloomberg officially declared his entry into the Democratic presidential race on Sunday with an announcement video that highlights his self-made success contrasting his personal story with that of Donald Trump.

Bloomberg has said he will spend what it takes to win, and considering he’s worth $54 billion, he’s definitely got the resources.

According to CNN, Bloomberg has already bought TV ad space to the tune of $37 million over the next two weeks.

As a late entry, Bloomberg’s team says they won’t even try to compete in early states like Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina. Instead, he’ll focus on Super Tuesday locations hoping to pick up the necessary delegates.

But Bloomberg has a complicated past as a politician.

He’s switched political parties from Democrat to Republican to Independent depending on which best suited his chances for winning elections; he recently apologized for a “stop-and-frisk” police policy during his tenure as NYC mayor; and his connections to Wall Street are unavoidable.

Top tier contender Sen. Bernie Sanders made it clear he’s not happy about the news.

“We do not believe that billionaires have the right to buy elections, and that is why we are going to overturn Citizens United, that is why multi-billionaires like Mr. Bloomberg are not going to get very far in this election, that is why we are going to end voter suppression in America,” Sanders told supporters at a town hall event on Sunday.

News Round-Up: November 22, 2019

Some news items you might have missed:

• InstaHunk: Paleontologist Dr. Francesc Gascó (above) is also a bit CrossFit fan. This totally says TGIF to me.

KIT212: Kenneth has the low-down on what’s what in gay rags across the country.

Agence France-Presse: Several government ministries in Indonesia are banning LGBT job hunters in favor of what one called “normal” applicants, the Ombudsman said Friday. Indonesia, a Southeast Asian archipelago of some 260 million, has seen a jump in discrimination against gay and transgender people in recent years.

ABC News: Florida officers encounter a strange scene – a car circling in reverse with the owner’s dog Max inside. The dog’s owner had made a wrong turn, pulled over and got out of the car leaving the dog inside, who somehow hit the gear shift putting the car in reverse.

Politico: Billionaire Michael Bloomberg has begun booking a huge quantity of TV ad time in media markets across the country, to the tune of possibly $10 million for only one week. As of 10:30 a.m. Friday, Advertising Analytics tracked buys in 100 local markets across the country.

Instinct: A 21-year-old man was attacked early Friday morning on a NYC subway platform. An assailant hit the man with a hammer, yelled homophobic slurs and threw him onto the subway tracks in the path of an oncoming train.

NY Times: A report by the Justice Department’s inspector general is expected to absolve those at the top of the FBI in regard to abusing their authority out of bias against President Trump, according to people briefed on a draft.

CUT: A gay man’s parents are asking to decipher the people he has slept with from a lineup of 8 potential partners (including one woman).

Trump: ‘Little Michael’ Bloomberg Will Fail

Donald Trump told reporters today he’d be “happy” if former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg were to jump in the 2020 presidential election.

“There’s nobody I’d rather run against than Little Michael. I‘ve known Michael Bloomberg for a long time. He said a lot of great things about Trump. But I know Michael. He became just a nothing. He’s not going to do well, but I think he’s going to hurt Biden, actually. But he doesn’t have the magic to do well.

“He’ll spend a lot of money. He has some really big issues, some personal problems, and he’s got a lot of other problems. But I know Michael Bloomberg fairly well. Not too well, but fairly well. Well enough. He will not do well. And if he did run, I’d be happy.”

As much as the Donald loves to talk about how rich he is, Bloomberg – worth more than $52 billion – is really, really rich.

Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg To Endorse Hillary Clinton In Prime-Time Convention Speech

The New York Times is reporting that billionaire and former mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, will speak in prime-time at the Democratic National Convention and endorse Hillary Clinton for president.

The news is an unexpected move from Mr. Bloomberg, who has not been a member of the Democratic Party since 2000; was elected the mayor of New York City as a Republican; and later became an independent.

But it reflects Mr. Bloomberg’s increasing dismay about the rise of Donald J. Trump and a determination to see that the Republican nominee is defeated.

Mrs. Clinton is seeking to reach out to middle-of-the-road swing voters and even moderate Republicans uneasy about Mr. Trump. Polls show that significant numbers of Republicans remain wary of Mr. Trump, and question his fitness for the presidency.

Mr. Bloomberg will vouch for Mrs. Clinton “from the perspective of a business leader and an independent,” said Howard Wolfson, a senior adviser to Mr. Bloomberg.

Mr. Bloomberg, who has been sharply critical of Mr. Trump’s views on immigration and the economy, may fortify Mrs. Clinton’s appeal to the political center.

This will the first time Bloomberg will speak at any political party’s national convention in a political role.  In 2004, the 3-term mayor appeared at the Republican National Convention in his role as mayor of the host city.

Bloomberg considered an independent run for president this election cycle, but chose otherwise out of concern splitting voters might help elect Donald Trump.

Michael Bloomberg Gets Low Double-Digits In Hypothetical Independent Presidential Run

Sen. Bernie Sanders, former Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Donald Trump

Last week, the New York Times reported that former 3-term mayor of New York City and uber-billionaire Michael Bloomberg is considering a possible independent run for the White House.

(Donald Trump likes to say he’s really rich. Donald, compared to you, Bloomberg is REALLY, REALLY rich).

Having been a Democrat turned Republican turned Independent, Bloomberg believes he could pull voters from both major political parties. Plus, being worth more than $30 Billion, he could easily drop $1 Billion of his own money without blinking.

But a Morning Consult poll shows the former mayor would not fare well in a three-way race:

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has a ways to go if he wants to win as a third-party candidate for president. According to a new Morning Consult poll, Bloomberg, an independent, gets just 12 percent of voters when competing in a three-way race with the Democratic underdog candidate Bernie Sanders and Republican front-runner Donald Trump.

Sanders, a democratic socialist who has recently tightened the race with front-runner Hillary Clinton, gets 35 percent of voters. Trump gets a nearly identical 34 percent.

Bloomberg is considering entering the race as an independent, third-party candidate if Trump and Sanders are the eventual nominees, the New York Times reported on Saturday, because he could compete with two candidates on the fringes of their parties.

But Bloomberg’s poll numbers barely change when he is competing against Sanders instead of Clinton. In a Morning Consult poll released last week, Bloomberg got 13 percent of voters, Clinton got 36 percent and Trump got 37 percent.

Bolding is mine.

The point being: why spend a billion dollars to come in a distant third?

NYC Mayor Bloomberg to create new Independence PAC

New York City Mayor
Mike Bloomberg today announced the formation of a new super PAC,
Independence PAC. He will
support candidates from any party with the caveat that they support three issues: marriage equality, stricter
gun laws and education reform.  Word is he’s prepared to spend up to $15 million
between now and election day.

An anonymous Bloomberg official
said, “This spending sends a clear message that the mayor intends to
keep his wallet open after he leaves office to influence national policy
around issues like guns, education and marriage equality.” And
according to the New York Times, Bloomberg’s already supporting a number of candidates.

Among those whom Mr. Bloomberg will support are former Gov. Angus
King, an independent running for the United States Senate in Maine;
State Senator Gloria Negrete McLeod, who is challenging a fellow
Democrat, Representative Joe Baca of California, who the mayor believes
has been weak on gun-control; and Representative Bob Dold, a Republican
from Illinois who has backed gun-control measures.

Bloomberg is “likely” to support the Washington and Maine gay marriage ballot
battles, according to the paper.

NYC Mayor Bloomberg donates $250,000 to Maryland marriage equality fight

NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg has made the largest individual contribution received by proponents of same-sex marriage in Maryland, the NYT reports:

Mr. Bloomberg, a billionaire who attended college in Maryland at Johns Hopkins, dipped into his personal fortune to help persuade New York lawmakers to approve same-sex marriage in 2011, and he has supported a similar effort in New Hampshire. His contribution came after discussions with Maryland’s governor, Martin O’Malley, a Democrat who has spearheaded the effort to pass the referendum, known as Question 6.

“The fact that someone of Mayor Bloomberg’s national stature and recognition would care about our referendum campaign for civil marriage equality, I think, tells people all over our country that this is a serious and real campaign,” Mr. O’Malley said in an interview on Thursday evening from Kentucky, where he was attending the vice-presidential debate.

In related news, HRC added an additional $1 million to the state marriage battles:

This brings HRC’s total contributions to the four ballot measures to $4.4 million and $7.3 million overall during this election cycle.