Breaking News: Bloomberg leaves GOP

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HAT TIP: rikyrah, NY Times by Adam Nagourney

Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced tonight that he is quitting the Republican party and changing his affiliation to independent.

The announcement came after Mr. Bloomberg gave a speech denouncing partisan gridlock in Washington, stirring renewed speculation that he is preparing to run as an independent or third-party candidate in 2008.

“I have filed papers with the New York City Board of Elections to change my status as a voter and register as unaffiliated with any political party,” he said in a statement issued while he was in California delivering political speeches. “Although my plans for the future haven t changed, I believe this brings my affiliation into alignment with how I have led and will continue to lead our city.” The full text of his announcement is on the new City Room blog.

Mr. Bloomberg is a former Democrat who won the New York City mayoralty in 2001 running as Republican. The mayor, who cannot seek a third term, has said he had no plans to run for president, but has declined to shut the door completely on a White House bid.

“We have achieved real progress by overcoming the partisanship that too often puts narrow interests above the common good. As a political independent, I will continue to work with those in all political parties to find common ground, to put partisanship aside and to achieve real solutions to the challenges we face,” he said.

“Any successful elected executive knows that real results are more important than partisan battles and that good ideas should take precedence over rigid adherence to any particular political ideology. Working together, there s no limit to what we can do.’’

Mr. Bloomberg announced his decision after a campaign-style swing through California in which he gave a series of speeches that clearly previewed what aides have long said would be the thematic underpinnings of a Bloomberg presidential campaign, should he decide to run.

He presented himself as an antidote to partisan gridlock in Washington, suggesting that not withstanding his party affiliation, he had brought non-partisan government to New York.

“When you go to Washington these days, you can feel a sense of fear in the air, the fear to do anything or say anything that might affect the polls or give the other side the advantage or offend a special interest group,’’ Mr. Bloomberg said. “The federal government isn’t out front – it’s cowering in the back of the room.’’

Should Mr. Bloomberg end up not running for president or any other office, the announcement could become an interesting footnote to one of the more unusual mayoralties in a city that has produced a series of memorable mayors.

However, it was immediately viewed – by many of his prospective rivals – as presenting a major jolt to the presidential campaign. Mr. Bloomberg has a huge personal fortune and has never shown any reluctance to used it on advancing his career: He spent $150 million on his two bids for mayor. He would have no problem financing his own campaign.

What is more, Mr. Bloomberg has arguably at least as strong a claim on the prosperity that New York City has enjoyed as his predecessor, Rudolph W. Giuliani, who is seeking the Republican nomination. If Mr. Bloomberg decides to run as an independent or third-party candidate, he might find that he enjoys the benefits of New York City successes without the ideological burdens Mr. Giuliani has faced in trying to win the Republican nomination while being identified with such positions as supporting abortion, gay rights and gun control.

That said, several analysts have argued that a third-party candidacy by Mr. Bloomberg could be a problem for the Democratic Party. Until he ran for mayor, Mr. Bloomberg was a lifetime Democrat, and his success in New York reflected his ability to draw Democratic votes.

Should he enter the race, that would mean that there would be three major New York figures seeking the presidency this year.

Mr. Bloomberg’s trip to California came in a week when he was on the cover of Time Magazine and stood by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican who like Mr. Bloomberg has proven successful in appealing for Democratic support, told a crowd of reporters that he should run for president.

Mr. Bloomberg, while in California, told an audience of Google employees that the country is “really in trouble” and used caustic language in describing what he said was timidity in Washington, contrasting that with his own approach to running New York City.

In his speech, he laid out what he said were the cornerstones of nonpartisan leadership – independence, honesty, common sense, innovation, teamwork and accountability. Mr. Bloomberg promoted his approach as mayor to issues like education, crime prevention and health care in putting those principals into practice.

“None of the initiatives we’ve undertaken are owned by the Republican or Democratic Party,” Mr. Bloomberg said. “They were built on the values of nonpartisan leadership, and they paid off.”

This is the biggest bombshell of the day and represents a significant milestone for the 2008 race.  A Bloomberg candidacy changes everything for Hillary and seriously imperils her candidacy. 

Bloomberg has serious appeal to independent voters and could tip the scales to the eventual GOP nominee.

57 thoughts on “Breaking News: Bloomberg leaves GOP

  1. NMP

    Republican to Democrat to Independent to 2008 spoiler. The only question remaining is who is he going to siphon more votes from in New York? I hate to give life to Edwards’ recent appeal to grit country, but I think this will breathe more life into his campaign because they’ll need Ohio and a southern state, e.g. North Carolina, to win w/o New York.

  2. I’ll answer: Bloomberg.

    UNLESS, HRC chooses Obama as a running mate…but, since that’s never going to happen, I don’t have to worry about that…LOL 😉

  3. NMP

    Hillary IF–and only IF–she picks Obama as VP. As much as I would hate voting for her, I would view it as a long-term investment for Obama. Otherwise, I would be tempted to boycott the election, but of course I have to vote to honor the struggle of the elders, so I guess Bloomberg (and Hagel). He would be the lesser of the three evils.

  4. Bloomberg/Obama?

    OH HELL YES!!

    Bwa ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

    on a serious tip, if Bloomberg chooses either Hagel or Gore, I’m going with him.

  5. Ok,

    Tinfoil hat time…..

    HRC doesn’t pick Obama.

    Bloomberg offers it to Obama….does he take it?

    GOP candidate is Romney or Thompson.

  6. dblhelix

    Bloomberg offers it to Obama….does he take it?

    No, he remains a Dem. Here’s why:

    Scenario: Bloomberg/Obama win.

    He has no third party structure backing him. DC/Congress is very clubbish — the Bloomberg presidency ultimately is viewed as an aberration with one limited 4-yr term. Obama goes down in flames with him as VP.

    When it is clear that the Bloomberg presidency isn’t quite working out, Obama has the frontrunner status for ’12 (provided he isn’t part of the freak show).

    Scenario: Bloomberg/Obama lose

    Obama is finished politically. He knows this. Too risky.

  7. dblhelix: You are so right… Thanks for the insight.

    Are we counting AG completely out of this? Is it too late for him to jump in?

  8. Don’t assume Bloomberg is running for President. This just isn’t enough evidence. Even if he does, he takes 5% at best, and he takes that 5% from a Republican. I doubt most people could name the NYC mayor prior to today, and I suppose his name recognition went up about 20%, which puts his rating at 21% nationwide.😉

    If Gore gets in in the fall, he would fuck things up royally. To me, he’s never looked more at ease in public than he is now, and he’s 200% more effective as a private citizen in talking about the important issues. I think he should stay out for everyone’s sake, but for his most of all.

  9. Rick

    Mark-

    LOL

    most americans know the name of the U.S. President and that’s about it. Most struggle to name the Vice President, much less their Senate reps and local elected officials. This is sad but also true.

    Bloomberg’s move yesterday was telegraphed months ago. He’s running. And he is going to make things quite interesting for all of the major candidates in this election, which is exactly what we needed.

  10. If Gore gets in in the fall, he would fuck things up royally. To me, he’s never looked more at ease in public than he is now, and he’s 200% more effective as a private citizen in talking about the important issues. I think he should stay out for everyone’s sake, but for his most of all. Mark

    For some reason this made me laugh… I don’t know why… It just did.

  11. If Gore gets in in the fall, he would fuck things up royally. To me, he’s never looked more at ease in public than he is now, and he’s 200% more effective as a private citizen in talking about the important issues. I think he should stay out for everyone’s sake, but for his most of all.

    Yes, he would muck things up. I don’t know how well he would do.

  12. Skep? You think a Hillary-Obama Dem ticket will never happen? I can’t imagine why not. In fact, I got $20 and a home made peach cobbler (never made one before, but how hard can that be?) or maybe $20 and a bushel of peaches (it’ll be late summer when the nomination is decided) says it WILL shake out that way.

    Of course Barack is running for prez, but that’s HOW you run for VICE nowadays — to show you bring something to the ticket. As to his worth, that is another matter. But that is the way it WILL happen. Bet on it.

  13. Oh, and Bloomberg? He doesn’t need a third party structure at all if he is willing to drop a personal billion or two into TV and a slick campaign staff. On a smaller scale, that’s exactly how he won in NYC. He bought it, spending something in excess of $20 per NYC voter. The presidency can be his for say, an expenditure of $12 to $15 per voter — something like two billion.

  14. NMP

    “We know that Hillary won’t choose Obama-what happens if Bloomberg makes the ask and Obama defects-what would that do for him and to Hillary?”

    So she’s going to pull a Walter Mondale? I know you’re right, but it doesn’t seem wise. That being the likely reality, Obama is too much of a Party loyalist, and there’s no chance Bloomberg could win, so what would be the benefit for Obama to join his ticket? His best bet would be to lay back and hope Hillary looses, which would give him a wide opening in 2012. I think many Obama supporters are so passionate that they would boycott the election or cross Party lines and couple that with the Italian vote in Blue states like PA, OH, NJ and NY (and Bloomberg siphoning NY Jewish votes from Clinton), a Giuliani win is even more probable. Folks, Italians and Jews ain’t like Black folks…Ethnic identity trumps Party identity.

  15. Rick

    (and Bloomberg siphoning NY Jewish votes from Clinton), a Giuliani win is even more probable. Folks, Italians and Jews ain’t like Black folks…Ethnic identity trumps Party identity. — NMP

    Hmmm…I think this also depends on who Bloomberg picks as his running mate. If he picks Hagel, he also siphons Republican votes in the Midwestern Red States. This would make a Guiliani win less probable, not more so.

    Finally, many brothers in Brooklyn barber shops (who tend to like Obama) have been speculating about a Bloomberg run for many months now. I don’t know anyone so blindly loyal to ANY candidate — I don’t care who that person is — that they would not explore the feasibility of a Bloomberg presidential run. In fact, many black men have a quite favorable opinion of “Mayor Mike” so I can speak with much assurance that Bloomberg will be doing significantly much more damage than pilfering a handful of Jewish votes. That’s just not what people are saying around here…

    Rick

  16. Rick

    the following sentence should have read…

    I don’t know anyone (IN NYC) so blindly loyal to ANY candidate — I don’t care who that person is — that they would not explore the feasibility of a Bloomberg presidential run.

  17. Oh, and Bloomberg? He doesn’t need a third party structure at all if he is willing to drop a personal billion or two into TV and a slick campaign staff. On a smaller scale, that’s exactly how he won in NYC. He bought it, spending something in excess of $20 per NYC voter. The presidency can be his for say, an expenditure of $12 to $15 per voter — something like two billion.

    I was watching MSNBC last night, and Hardball dedicated almost its entire second hour to Bloomberg. Someone, I can’t remember who, made this exact observation. That what made Bloomberg a serious candidate is:
    1. his money
    2. his background – business & politics. That he’s been seen as a ‘Maverick’ in both.
    3. that he is quite smart and would know how to SPEND his money smartly. That it wouldn’t be just throwing around his money – the person said, and I’m paraphrasing – ” he’d be the most media saavy person in the race bar none. “

  18. Skep? You think a Hillary-Obama Dem ticket will never happen? I can’t imagine why not. In fact, I got $20 and a home made peach cobbler (never made one before, but how hard can that be?) or maybe $20 and a bushel of peaches (it’ll be late summer when the nomination is decided) says it WILL shake out that way.

    Bruce, I’ll take you up on that, because you can count me in the NevahGonnaHappen category.

    Bait and switch, my friend.
    Bait and switch.

    There’ll be a ‘minority’ in the VP slot, but it won’t be one of the shade that has held this party together when everyone else deserted them.

  19. NMP

    Rick,

    Sistahs going with Hillary and now the brothers at the barber shop considering voting for Bloomberg? You just ruined my day!

  20. NMP

    “Hmmm…I think this also depends on who Bloomberg picks as his running mate. If he picks Hagel, he also siphons Republican votes in the Midwestern Red States. This would make a Guiliani win less probable, not more so.”

    Second only to the south, the strongest war advocates are in mid-western Red states. Hagel’s ONLY constituency is moderate and anti-war Republicans, and they are concentrated primarily in Blue states that tend to have large Italian populations like NY, NJ and PA.

  21. Rick

    As of last month, “Mayor Mike” has a near record 74% approval rating for his performance.

    It would ruin my day if I learned anyone (regardless of race/gender) AUTOMATICALLY decided to qualify a potential candidate who performed so well — in a very very tough city I might add — simply because of that person’s race, or because they were not a member of a particular party.

    In fact, I believe the establishment of a viable 3rd party in the United States would do more for black people than anything else. The Democrats continue to take blacks for granted election after election. Republicans know blacks aren’t going to vote for them so they have unabashed hatred. What’s wrong with the Democrats — including Hillary, yes including Obama — potentially losing a few black votes if that means they have to work a bit harder to woo us for our votes (instead of taking them for granted). And to the extent that I believe this 3rd party is actually about something, then you know what…all the better.

    For these reasons, I could not be happier that Mike is potentially running for office. I know others may disagree. And disagree very strongly. But this is how I feel…

  22. Rick

    “It would ruin my day if I learned anyone (regardless of race/gender) AUTOMATICALLY decided to qualify a potential candidate who performed so well — in a very very tough city I might add — simply because of that person’s race, or because they were not a member of a particular party.”

    whoops: above should have read “…decided to (dis)qualify…”

  23. Wait a minute,wait a minute… I am hearing from you all that Bloomberg is performing well? Just because he isn’t an open race baiter like Guliani, who as a DA used to show up at police rallies supporting cops who filled black folks full of holes? Is that all one has to do to be a good guy, is NOT be Guliani?

    What about the fact that the five boroughs — especially Manhattan — are being ethnically cleansed of black people?

    What about the building boom going on of mostly housing for the very, very wealthy, and the shrinking stock of housing for our folks?

    What about Bloomberg’s feigned surprise when he was told in the NY Daily News recently that there were 30,000 undocumented workers in the NYC construction labor force, that they are being savagely exploited, underpaid exposed to toxics and hazardous conditions that killed 31 of them (on the books) last year.

    What about the unemployment rate of NYC black males that runs around 50%?

    And what about the transit strike 18 months ago, when Bloomberg tried to break the biggest black led union of public sector employees, permanently two-tier their workforce, steal their health care, while leading campaign of lies in the media that characterized them as “thugs” and such?

    To those of you who think you like Mayor Mike, if Bloomberg is a good guy, what does one have to do to get on your bad side?

    NYC is a model for neoliberal economics, grinding down the

    And what about the 50% unemployment rate of black males in NYC?

  24. Rick

    “Second only to the south, the strongest war advocates are in mid-western Red states. Hagel’s ONLY constituency is moderate and anti-war Republicans…” NMP

    I’m assuming the number of anti-war Republicans will rise in coming months.

    (Obama is counting on the same thing. I’m speaking of course of his strategy to solicit enough Republican votes to override Bush’s veto of Iraqi War funding)

  25. Rick

    Q1. What about the fact that the five boroughs — especially Manhattan — are being ethnically cleansed of black people?

    A1. This is a NATIONAL trend taking place in many cities — not just in Manhattan.

    —————————————————————————
    Q2 And what about the 50% unemployment rate of black males in NYC?

    A2. This and many many other issues — crime, poverty, health care, violence, education, hip hop etc. — affecting NYC black males were discussed at a Three Day Conference this past weekend. I was there. Kevin Powell was there. Mike Bloomberg’s people were there — presenting on a panel about economic empowerment strategies, no less. (Only black males were invited for this particular session)

    Check the agenda:
    http://www.blackandmaleinamerica.org/

    It is time for us to move beyond rhetoric and towards real and meaningful strategies and effective solutions.
    —————————————————————————

    Q3. And what about the transit strike 18 months ago, when Bloomberg tried to break the biggest black led union of public sector employees, permanently two-tier their workforce, steal their health care, while leading campaign of lies in the media that characterized them as “thugs” and such?

    A3. Dude, it was pure bullshit for that strike to occur right around Christmas Eve. You get no sympathy for me on this one. I have a car. But what about all the poor folks who couldn’t ride the train to purchase toys/gifts for loved ones. When the union leader was threatened with arrest, there were a large number of black voices saying “throw away the key!!!”
    —————————————————————————

    Q4. what about the building boom going on of mostly housing for the very, very wealthy, and the shrinking stock of housing for our folks?

    A4. Again, this is going on nationally. Even still, I know too many independent sisters (and brothers) in NY, DC and Atlanta pimping the benefits of home ownership are acruing only to the very, very wealthy. That’s just not true.

    Yes, there is a problem of affordable housing…but needed are solutions that address the real root of the problem.
    —————————————————————————

    Q5. What about Bloomberg’s feigned surprise when he was told in the NY Daily News recently that there were 30,000 undocumented workers…

    A6. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I can not speak on this issue at this time because I am not familiar with it.
    —————————————————————————

    Is this all that you got? Let me ask you this. How does a mayor go from a 29% approval rating in 2003 (record low) to a near record 74% rating in 2007. I will tell you.

    You inherit an economy after 9/11 in recession and then years later have cash flowing out of the coffers because the city accounts are in surplus. I can tell you some of the homeowing brothers and sisters, jews and gentiles are smiling a bit more these days because the state refund checks (if you own property) are in the mail.

    Results talk. Not that other stuff…

  26. Rick

    oh…you had one last question:

    “To those of you who think you like Mayor Mike, if Bloomberg is a good guy, what does one have to do to get on your bad side?”

    NOT having the courage to stand up for what you believe in, especially if you were elected to get a job done. That’s enough to get on my bad side…and I am not alone. The approval rating of the Democratically controlled Congress and President Bush is rather low these days – ironically both hovering around 29% last time I checked.

  27. I see you, Rick, getting gangsta with it. See, that’s the kind of fire I need Obama to get. He’s start to light a fire. But I need to see more flames.

  28. I do know that the strike was deliberately fomented by the MTA and the mayor, who refused talk to union leaders, and presented them a take it or leave it package that would have radically altered their working conditions, savagely curtailed their medical and retirement benefits and two-tiered the work force. The mayor sought the strike, not the union. That’s a fact.

    I ain’t in NYC. I’m in Atlanta nowadays, so I can’t speak to the particular careers of those anti-union “black leaders” with any precision. But I can tell you that so-called “black leaders” who argue that wages of tens of thousands of black families ought to be reduced, and that their workforce ought to be two-tiered– meaning that all new and future (mostly black) employees step onto a lower pay and benefit scale — are leading backwards. The claim that you want to advance the fortunes of our people and you want to impoverish (mostly black) working families like those of transit workers is ridiculous on its face.

    Roger Toussaint (the MTA union leader), in defending the livelihoods of that five figure number of middle class black families he represents, arguably did more for a greater number of black families than all five of black America’s billionaires and near-billionaires (Oprah, Cosby, Bob Johnson, Russell Simmons & Cathy Hughes).

    Who were these “black leaders” anyway?

  29. Oh.. and the excuse that gentrification “is going on everywhere” so we shouldn’t hold it against Big Mile is trash on its face too. He’s the mayor. And he may want to be president. They call these guys “leaders” right?

    You wear the big hat and sit in the big chair so you can lead — so you can steer the course of the economy and government to some desired result. Mayors are not helpless prisoners, and neither Mike nor any other candidate runs claiming to be a helpless pawn. Don’t make excuses for him. So he should be held responsible for the present state of affairs, and for not recommending anything that would change it, period.

  30. Mr. Bruce,

    I would have to forcefully agree wlith you on all of your New York based points regarding Toussaint and the MTA. I felt they had no other choice and woulda been disappointed if he had backed down.

    As for Hillary choosin’ Barack, the Clinton’s don’t play well with others-especially those who challenge their divine right to rule. I got my mouth all fixed for some peach cobbler-you can bring it to my Daddy’s house in Roswell. 🙂

  31. Rick

    “Roger Toussaint (the MTA union leader), in defending the livelihoods of that five figure number of middle class black families he represents, arguably did more for a greater number of black families than all five of black America’s billionaires and near-billionaires.”

    And what of the hundreds of thousands of blacks who couldn’t get to work? What of THEIR lost wages?

    Gentrification: Our community owned many of those brownstones in Bed Stuy and in Harlem and we sold them — in many cases not anticipating the value to which the homes would appreciate…Whose “fault” is this?

    Also, how would you remedy the situation? (keeping in mind that before one proposes a rememdy, they need to understand the “problem” first).

    Having a pissy attitude at white people walking down 125th Street in Harlem won’t change the fact that Blacks need to better understand the principle of COOPERATIVE ECONOMICS that would have kept many of those properties in the black community. Is that Mike’s fault? What stopped US from pooling our resources to buy those same properties when they hit the market?

  32. Rick

    “I see you, Rick, getting gangsta with it. See, that’s the kind of fire I need Obama to get. He’s start to light a fire. But I need to see more flames.” – Angie

    Angie, ask Michelle to put some hot sauce in his food LOL (i agree with ya!)

  33. OT: Rick, I was glad to see you went to the conference last week. MY girl in LA was wishing she could get up in there with all you brothas.

    So, was it just a bunch of talk? Or do you think that some progress was made?

  34. Rick

    “What stopped US from pooling our resources to buy those same properties when they hit the market?”

    NOTHING is stopping the black community from investing in our own communities. NOTHING.

    —————————————————————————

    The Greater Allen Cathedral establishes itself as the cornerstone for its community

    http://www.allencathedral.org/allen/home.aspx?nid=1249&idv=

    The church and it’s affiliated corporations operate a day care center, a 550-pupil elementary school, 630 units of senior citizen housing, a charter bus operation, a resource center for women, a health clinic (The South Jamaica Multi-Service Center), and an on- site credit union at the $25 million, 2,500- seat sanctuary.

    Allen also has built 150 two-family homes. The church has 260 employees. Its income from contributions in 2003 was $12.5 million, according to the church’s annual report. THE MONEY PUT TOWARD DEVELOPMENT WAS AUGMENTED WITH CITY, STATE AND FEDERAL FUNDS. (emphasis mine).

    “The dollars have always been here [to support economic development in southeast Queens],” said the Rev. Edwin Reed, Allen’s chief financial officer, who has an MBA from Harvard. “But we didn’t have a marketing plan to get the quality of retail establishments that we want.”

    In October across the street from the cathedral, Allen will break ground on a 54-unit apartment building with eight retail storefronts and underground parking for 40 to 45 cars. The project, located between 110th and 111th avenues — [note: In HARLEM], will cost between $16 million and $17.5 million. Church leaders hope to attract tenants including a financial institution, professional offices, chain retailers and a family-style, sit-down restaurant.
    —————————————————————————

    This above is an example of what happens when black people work together to pool internal and external resources to acquire residential/commercial real estate property throughout NYC.

    I didn’t read anything about blaming “the mayor man” for our problems.

  35. Rick

    “So, was it just a bunch of talk? Or do you think that some progress was made?”- Angie

    I think progress was made. A central theme of the conference was the need for black men to understand how we got where we are now, but also to take personal responsibility to empower ourselves for our communities. Lots of networking and information sharing (financial resources, health resources etc) was done; mentoring to our youth in attendance, and a series of discussions about the negative images in our music.

    I believe everyone who attended left with a greater level of consciousness about the issues we face. So that all this doesn’t end with the conference, there will be follow-up monthly sessions beginning in the fall on topics of special interest. I thought that was a great idea!

  36. dblhelix

    Rick: This above is an example of what happens when black people work together to pool internal and external resources to acquire residential/commercial real estate property throughout NYC

    But you have to admit it is an exceptional example in that Allen AME started buying up properties in the 70s.

  37. “I see you, Rick, getting gangsta with it. See, that’s the kind of fire I need Obama to get. He’s start to light a fire. But I need to see more flames.” – Angie

    Angie, ask Michelle to put some hot sauce in his food LOL (i agree with ya!)

    You all are too funny for words. 🙂

    Still, no comments on Bloomberg/Gore?

  38. Rick

    “But you have to admit it is an exceptional example in that Allen AME started buying up properties in the 70s.” – dblhelix

    I believe we can still do it dblhelix! Keep in mind, our ancestors started out with much less…

    “From the first, I made my learning, what little it was, useful every way I could.” — Mary McLeod Bethune

  39. Rick

    “Still, no comments on Bloomberg/Gore?” – rikyrah

    sorry, rikyrah…i started to answer last night but my eyes started getting heavy! lol

    i like both of them but I think this pairing would hurt democrats since Gore would definitely attract alot of democratic votes in my opinion (not necessarily republican crossovers).

  40. Rick

    just for fun, i went to the investor relations website for “Coach” and downloaded their latest Annual Report (“10K”). http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=122587&p=irol-sec

    The company reported $2.1 billion in worldwide Sales, and of that total, 75% came from sales in North America ($1.6 BN).

    I believe it is a conservative assumption to say that the black community contributes to at least 10% — likely even higher based on what I see in my day-to-day travels– to Coach’s top line revenues. That’s $160 MM annually. 10% too high? 5% of sales equates to $80 MM leaving our community every single year. And that’s just one company. Don’t get me started with Nike…

    How do we harness this spending power to keep at least a little bit more of it in our own community? To me, THAT is the question! Not whether or not we have the spending power. We are making other people rich!

  41. I would not be surprised with a Clinton/Obama ticket. Hilary would almost be forced to pick Obama…if not she risks losing a lot of black votes…and she simply cannot afford to do that. Where else will her support come from?? On the other hand, Obama does NOT have to pick her for a running mate to woo any voting bloc, he is pretty much free to choose.

  42. “I believe everyone who attended left with a greater level of consciousness about the issues we face. So that all this doesn’t end with the conference, there will be follow-up monthly sessions beginning in the fall on topics of special interest. I thought that was a great idea!” Rick

    Yes, it is a great idea. I also hope they keep up the mentoring. Our boys need to be mentored by strong, informed men.

    The hypothesis you presented regarding Coach sales in the African American community really disturbed me. I really do wish we would understand the power of our dollar and use it to invest into our own.

    Rick, you stopped me dead in my tracks. This weekend, I was going to Dillard’s to buy me a Coach. I hadn’t bought one in about 4 years. And since I was getting my first check, I was going to celebrate with one.

    Now, I won’t. I’m going to put into savings until I find a better option to invest it in. Thanks for convicting me before I made a bad decision.

  43. Rick

    “I’m going to put into savings until I find a better option to invest it in.”

    Angie: my goal is to share information helping others make more informed choices…and so that ultimately, they can decide for themselves what is most appropriate. thanks for sharing what you did!

    (and whenever, if ever, you do decide to get that handbag, remember you can save money by buying at the outlets — same designer brands, just 40-60% cheaper than at the retailers.)

    If you are interested in learning more about where $680 BILLION in black spending power went in 2004, check out this website:

    http://www.targetmarketnews.com/BuyingPower05.htm

  44. Rick

    Angie,

    OT: by the way, congrats again on your new job assignment. Hope that continues to work out well!

    Rick

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