Asked whether he’s given money to Americans Elect, Bloomberg says he likes the group’s founder

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Bloomberg and Obama in command. (Spencer Tucker and Pete Souza, via flickr)
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Mayor Michael Bloomberg, or at the very least his staff, has in the past toyed with the notion of mounting a third-party bid for president, logistical obstacles notwithstanding.

Investment banker Peter Ackerman's Americans Elect has had some success overcoming those logistical obstacles, and would seem a natural vehicle for Bloomberg, given the mayor's often-repeated distaste for the two-party system. Bloomberg's very involvement in national issues is often premised on the idea that "Washington" is broken, with blame more or less equally apportioned to Republicans and Democrats.

But if Bloomberg is actually backing the Americans Elect, which has been criticized for its lack of financial transparency, he's not saying.

When I asked him this morning whether he had provided or had been asked to provide any support to Americans Elect, financial, logistical or otherwise, the mayor didn't answer the question.

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"Well, I’ve always been a big supporter of Peter Ackerman and I’ve known him forever, and I put his wife on the board of Johns Hopkins, which she may still be on, as a matter of fact," he said during the question-and-answer portion of a press conference this morning at the Brooklyn Public Library's central branch at Grand Army Plaza. "I haven’t talked to her in a long time. And I think it’s a great organization. I'm not gonna run, but I’ve always thought the more people that can get on the ballots everyplace, the better off we all are. And I’ll try to help not just him but other people who can help people get on the ballots. I think the restrictions, and the difficulties of getting on the ballot and for running for office are not good. The public should have the widest choice that they possibly have of candidates."

I followed up with an email to the mayor's press office asking whether the mayor has ever contributed to Americans Elect. So far, no answer.

UPDATE: Bloomberg spokesman Stu Loeser emailed to say that the mayor hasn't contributed.