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Bloomberg backs out of promise to pay campaign staff through general election, gives $18 million to DNC instead

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is backing out of his promise to form an independent super PAC to support the eventual Democratic nominee against President Trump, instead laying off all of his staff and transferring $18 million from his campaign to the DNC, The New York Times reports and NBC News report.

Bloomberg had hired his campaign's field staff with the assurance that they would have jobs through the November election, even if he dropped out of the race — which he did, on March 4, while throwing his support behind former Vice President Joe Biden. The DNC plans to use the money from Bloomberg to hire their own staff, although NBC News' Maura Barrett notes that "the campaign is encouraging everyone [not involved in the transition of a few battleground state offices] to apply to the DNC," despite them also being advised that the pay would not likely be the same.

"While we considered creating our own independent entity to support the nominee and hold the president accountable, this race is too important to have many competing groups with good intentions but that are not coordinated and united in strategy and execution," explained Bloomberg's campaign in a memo. "The dynamics of the race have also fundamentally changed, and it is critically important that we all do everything we can to support our eventual nominee and scale the Democratic Party's general election efforts."

Bloomberg's $18 million transfer to the DNC is far more than the legal limits for individuals, but campaigns are allowed to make unlimited transfers to political parties. As of March 5, the New York Post reports that the Bloomberg campaign had 2,400 paid staff members in 43 states.