The new organization, founded jointly by Unity’08 deserters Republican Doug Bailey, a former GOP consultant and Hotline founder, and Democrat Gerald Rafshoon, a former White House communications director in the Jimmy Carter administration, will look to raise money to raise awareness about Bloomberg, explaining to America just why he’s the right person for the White House.
A large focus of Unity’08 was to deliver an independent candidate ballot access in all 50 states. Draft Bloomberg will not go down that road, providing instead an online petition users can sign to urge the mayor into the race.
A major appeal of Bloomberg’s past runs for office has been his ability to self finance, yet Bailey and Rafshoon are seeking to raise money for a candidate who would never raise money for himself. Bailey saw nothing odd in that fact, stating that his group’s money would be used to beg Bloomberg to spend his own on the presidential race.
“One of the reasons that everybody ought to want Mike Bloomberg to run for president is that if he is elected he won’t owe nothing to anybody. He won’t owe anything to us,” said Bailey, adding that none of the money raised by his group would ever touch Bloomberg’s hands.
Bloomberg has repeatedly denied that he will run for president, and Bailey insists that the mayor has nothing to do with his efforts. He and Rafshoon did speak with Bloomberg advisor Kevin Sheekey (who is also the biggest Bloomberg 2008 booster there is) about the new group, simply to let him know it was coming. This is no front group, said Bailey, but the seeds of the grassroots.
“There is no coordination, there is not back and forth discussion,” said Bailey. “Nothing like that.”