Being a Democrat in North Dakota is generally a depressing venture, given the rightward slide of the state and its love for all things Trump.

But things are looking up.

Not on the political front. North Dakota will remain as red as Rudolph's nose for the foreseeable future.

If you're a politico, though, and you're looking to make some cash, Michael Bloomberg has a deal for you.

The billionaire presidential candidate is plowing money into his campaign like snow onto Mount Fargo. Some of it will soon be coming to North Dakota.

WDAY logo
listen live
watch live

The former mayor of New York City, one of the wealthiest people on the planet, is trying to fill campaign staff positions in the state, just as he's trying to fill spots in other states. Bloomberg was in Minneapolis recently, announcing he'll open eight statewide offices.

The campaign has been more quietly trying to flesh out staff in North Dakota, but the salary figures it's been tossing around are anything but quiet.

Political sources say Bloomberg's campaign is looking for two high-profile campaign leaders in the state and will pay top dollar. It's seeking a senior advisor who will be paid $18,000 a month and a state director who will make $15,000 a month.

In annual salary, that is $216,000 for the senior director and $180,000 for the state director. The jobs are guaranteed until the end of December and include full benefits. Oh, and they'll get sweet perks like three catered meals a day, a new iPhone 11 and a MacBook Pro.

This is an extraordinary amount of money for those positions, particularly in North Dakota.

It's part of Bloomberg's nationwide strategy to pay big bucks to purloin top campaign staff from other Democratic campaigns, including those that might be close to folding and those that are not.

The New York Post reported last week that Bloomberg is paying press secretaries $10,000 a month, compared to the $4,500 paid by other campaigns.

Bloomberg is offering low-level campaign staffers $6,000 a month, twice what they are making from other campaigns. Plus the benefits and perks, of course.

The extravagant salaries are standard across the board in every state except California and New York, where they are higher. Bloomberg doesn't want in-fighting because a staffer in Pennsylvania might be making more than one Wisconsin.

Hey, the guy's worth $55 billion. It's not making a dent in his bottom line.

It's all part of Bloomberg's plan to spend his way to relevance in the Democratic primary field. He entered the race in late November, long after the rest of the Democrats, and believes he can make up the lost time with cash. Lots and lots and lots of cash.

The Wall Street Journal reported Bloomberg has already spent $217 million on television and digital advertising and hasn't ruled out spending $1 billion of his own money by November. The ads have focused on hammering President Donald Trump, staying away from Democratic front-runners like Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

Bloomberg, it's been reported, believes Trump is winning the race and sees his unlimited money as the best way to counter the president's massive financial advantage in battleground states.

He might not be wrong. Bloomberg is not beholden to a fundraising schedule, nor is he restricted by the time constraints of being a sitting U.S. Senator like some Dem candidates.

Could the presidency come down to two 70-something rich dudes from Manhattan swinging around their money clips?

Bloomberg's candidacy is still a longshot — he's polling at about 6% nationally compared to 27% for Biden — but all that money has to count for something. This is politics in America in 2020, after all. It's all about money and swagger and taking on the establishment.

And in North Dakota, as in the 49 other states, some lucky campaign staffers can take that to the bank.