Bloomberg’s fortune shielded from voters, even as he spends billions on 2020 campaign

Bloomberg has until March 20 to release details about his assets and income

Michael Bloomberg has poured hundreds of millions of dollars into the 2020 presidential race — enough to secure him a solid third-place nationally and a spot on the Nevada debate stage — but he will not be required to provide additional details about his vast personal fortune until more than half of the Democratic primary is over.

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Unlike his rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination, Bloomberg has not released any financial information since he launched his nascent campaign at the end of 2019.

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In mid-January, the former New York City mayor received a 45-day extension for filing a personal financial disclosure report with the Federal Election Committee, meaning that voters in the 14 states that cast their ballots on Super Tuesday will not have access to details about his assets and income.

Although the disclosure was originally due on Dec. 21, Bloomberg received a previous extension until Feb. 4. He now has until March 20.

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In postponing the personal financial disclosure, Bloomberg’s campaign cited the “complexity of his holdings and the need to obtain certain information from third parties.” Bloomberg’s rivals, including Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, have released a decade’s worth of their tax returns. Former Vice President Joe Biden, the frontrunner, has also released his tax returns.

Bloomberg, whose campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment, said in November he intends to release his tax returns but did not specify when or how many years.

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Already, Bloomberg has used his estimated $60 billion fortune to near $400 million in spending on 2020 ads, a large swath of which are being aired in delegate-rich Super Tuesday states like California. In a recent New York Times report, Bloomberg did not rule out the possibility that he’ll spend $1 billion on the election.

Bloomberg entered the race too late to participate in the early-voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina, instead concentrating on states that vote on March 3, when a whopping 1,357 Democratic delegates will be awarded. Already, Bloomberg has spent an unprecedented $124 million in advertising across those states, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Candidates need 1,991 delegates to become the Democratic nominee; a combined 1,344, or about one-third of the total, will be allotted on Super Tuesday alone.

Early Tuesday, Bloomberg secured a spot on the debate stage in Las Vegas after a fourth qualifying national poll showed him with at least 10 percent support. It will be his first national showing this election season.

He will likely be a target of other contenders in Nevada after several unflattering audio clips of past comments he’s made resurfaced this week. In one, he defended “stop and frisk,” the controversial policing strategy he embraced as mayor that disproportionately targets men of color, and in a separate one, he blamed the end of redlining, a discriminatory housing policy that cut off largely minority neighborhoods from mortgage lending opportunities, for triggering the financial crisis.

According to an aggregate of polls by RealClearPolitics, Bloomberg is in third nationally, behind former Vice President Joe Biden and frontrunner Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

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