New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg (R) is helping out friend Joe Lieberman by lending him staff to help prepare for a massive GOTV effort:
In his battle for re-election to the United States Senate without the backing of the Democratic Party, Joseph I. Lieberman is deploying a secret weapon in the race’s closing days: a sophisticated operation to identify and turn out voters, courtesy of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York City.
The Bloomberg group includes several top-level operatives who played key roles in the mayor’s decisive re-election last year or who are in the administration, and have taken leaves from their jobs to work on Mr. Lieberman’s campaign.
Since Mr. Lieberman lost the Democratic primary in Connecticut to Ned Lamont, they have helped open campaign offices, devised a strategy to reach voters and are corralling enough volunteers to cover 2,800 shifts at more than 700 polling sites on Election Day, Nov. 7.
Given that Mr. Lieberman does not have a party apparatus to help build his field operation, the efforts of the Bloomberg team could prove critical in one of the most closely watched races in the nation. (Cardwell)
That's putting it mildly. Bloomberg's efforts will probably win Joe Lieberman the election.
But to what end? Bloomberg is a Republican, at least on paper, who runs a city in another state. Why buy the loyalty of a Senate Democrat (or independent)? The article suggests that it may be a first step in creating a national network of support for moderate independent candidates--or possibly the groundwork for a national campaign by Bloomberg himself.
The idea of a national network to support independent candidates sounds strongly like an effort at a centrist third party. Republican and Democratic leaders should keep an eye on this developing situation, especially if Lieberman should win.
Cardwell, Diane. "Bloomberg Sends Troops to Help Lieberman." The New York Times 28 October, 2006.