Mike Bloomberg’s presidential campaign plagiarized portions of its plans for maternal health, LGBTQ equality, the economy, tax policy, infrastructure, and mental health from research publications, media outlets, and a number of nonprofit, educational, and policy groups.

The Intercept found that exact passages from at least eight Bloomberg plans or accompanying fact sheets were direct copies of material from media outlets including CNN, Time, and CBS, a research center at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, the American Medical Association, Everytown for Gun Safety, Building America’s Future Educational Fund, and other organizations. Bloomberg co-founded Everytown for Gun Safety, a political organization focused on gun control, and Building America’s Future Educational Fund, a nonprofit working on infrastructure investment and reform, and has chaired them in the past, and he was listed as a co-author on the educational fund’s reports. He is not clearly affiliated with the other sources.  The plagiarized sections ranged in length from entire paragraphs to individual sentences and fragments in documents that were between five and 174 pages long.

On Wednesday afternoon, The Intercept sent a detailed query to the Bloomberg campaign. By Thursday morning, one of the plans was completely taken down, while others were changed. The campaign reposted the plan that had been removed on Thursday evening, after this story was published.

The Bloomberg campaign did not deny the plagiarism. In a statement, the campaign said, “Much of what you flagged were fact sheets that went out via MailChimp” — an online newsletter service — “which doesn’t support footnote formatting. When we announce policy platforms, we put together detailed fact sheets with context and supporting background, so that reporters understand the problem we’re trying to solve with our policy. For sourcing, we often look to the organizations that Mike has led or worked with in the past, like the City of New York and Building America’s Future. We have since added citations and links to these documents.”

Bloomberg’s own media entity, Bloomberg News, takes a hard line against plagiarism in its style guide, “The Bloomberg Way.” “Plagiarism—the unattributed copying of others’ work—is inexcusable,” the style guide, which was updated in 2017, reads. “Plagiarism is theft. Be prepared to lose your job if you plagiarize. Always credit original reporting to those who did the legwork, and never reproduce quotes made to others if we heard them ourselves. Press summaries must cite the publication that did the reporting and explain the attribution used in the original story.”

Bloomberg, an American oligarch who jumped into the presidential race in late November and has spent more than $300 million of his own money on campaign ads so far, is expected to qualify for his first presidential debate this month, following a late January rule change from the Democratic National Committee. The DNC doubled the polling threshold and eliminated a requirement that a candidate had to hit 225,000 individual donors to make the debate stage, drawing criticisms that the rules were changed for Bloomberg’s benefit (Bloomberg is completely self-funding his campaign). Asked during Monday’s Iowa caucus about backlash to the rule change in relation to Bloomberg, DNC communications director Xochitl Hinojosa said, “He has not qualified for the debate.”

Accusations of plagiarism have tanked past political campaigns. In 1987, during his first presidential campaign, former Vice President Joe Biden was caught plagiarizing campaign speeches, and was also exposed for an incident during law school where he plagiarized a law review journal in a paper. At the time, Biden apologized, saying, “I did not intentionally move to mislead anybody.” But days of negative press effectively pushed him out of the race.

Below are excerpts from Bloomberg’s platforms compared alongside identical or substantially similar other online sources, broken up by issue area. The identical portions of the text have been highlighted.

Bloomberg’s “Smarter Faster Safer Greener: A Plan To Bring America’s Infrastructure Into the 21st Century

The Bloomberg campaign’s plan for green infrastructure was taken down in its entirety following The Intercept’s request for comment. It was reposted following publication of our piece.

Campaign Literature Original Source
Our towns and cities were designed around cars. People once gathered in the streets and town squares; now they crawl through traffic on highways and multi-lane roads. Too much of the time we used to spend with each other is now wasted in congestion and traffic. Yet, over time, as our towns and cities were designed around the automobile, roads overtook the community centers. Where people once gathered in the streets and town squares, there are now highways and multi-lane roads. Perhaps worst of all, time we used to spend with each other is now often wasted in congestion and traffic.
–“Ford CEO: Together, Let’s Take Back the Streets for Living,” Recode, Jan. 9, 2018
In the early days after President Trump’s inauguration, Steve Bannon predicted that infrastructure was an issue that could give the president the key to “an entirely new political movement, as exciting as the 1930s,” even “greater than the Reagan revolution.” It was such a good idea, the White House believed, that the president’s team boosted the target of his infrastructure plan to $1.5 trillion.Everyone, especially this president, seems to love the idea of investment in infrastructure, but no one has figured out how to pay for it. In the early days after Trump’s inauguration, Republican strategist Steve Bannon predicted that infrastructure would give the president an added bonus, the key to “an entirely new political movement, as exciting as the 1930s,” even “greater than the Reagan revolution.” It was such a good idea, the White House believed, that Trump’s team boosted the target to $1.5 trillion. But nearly two years after the election, the plan is by all reports dead. Everyone seems to love the idea of investment in infrastructure, but no one has figured out how to pay for it.
–“Trump’s Failed Infrastructure Plan Is a Wasted Opportunity,” Governing, October 2018
When we invest in infrastructure, we should strive to ensure that all people benefit from these public investments, everyone—including and especially residents of low-income communities and communities of color, and people with disabilities. To ensure all people benefit from these public investments, everyone—including and especially residents of low-income communities and communities of color—must have a seat at the negotiating table.
–“Infrastructure Equity,” PolicyLink
During that time, the city experienced a remarkable renaissance, one that may have seemed unthinkable in the wake of the September 11th attacks and the 2008 recession. It’s true that during Bloomberg’s three terms as mayor, the city experienced a remarkable renaissance, one that may have seemed unthinkable in the wake of the September 11th attacks and the 2008 recession.
–“Bloomberg’s Track Record on NYC Housing Policy Is Only So-So,” Curbed New York, Nov. 25, 2019
Although Queens comprised just 19.7% of the population in 1950, this number is projected to climb to over 28% by 2030, when 2.57 million of the city’s anticipated 9.12 million residents will reside in Queens. The consistent growth in Queens will result in a new peak population for the borough by 2030. This growth is fueled by a mix of immigrants from more than 100 countries. Although Queens comprised just 19.7% of the population in 1950, this number is projected to climb to over 28% by 2030, when 2.57 million of the city’s 9.12 million residents will reside in Queens. The consistent growth in Queens will result in a new peak population for the borough by 2030. This growth is fueled by a mix of immigrants from more than 100 countries.
–“PLANYC: A Greener, Greater New York,” The City of New York, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, 2007
Done right, infrastructure helps us open new markets to goods and services, cuts the costs of transportation, speeds deliveries and lowers prices for consumers. Capital and jobs flow to the most efficient markets, and the most efficient markets are dependent on modern, reliable, high-tech infrastructure. Done right, infrastructure helps us open new markets to goods and services, drops the costs of transportation, speeds deliveries, and lowers prices for consumers. Capital and jobs flow to the most efficient markets, and the most efficient markets are dependent on modern, reliable, high-tech infrastructure.
–“Transportation Infrastructure Report 2012,” Building America’s Future Educational Fund (co-founded by Bloomberg)

Bloomberg’s “All-in Economy” Agenda Fact Sheet

Campaign Literature Original Source
In the four years prior to the passage of the GOP tax law, the economy added an average of 213,000 jobs each month, according to data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. In the nearly two years since the law passed, average job creation has actually declined by an average of 11,000 per month. The White House promised that the tax cuts would result in an annual wage increase of $4,000 per household. It didn’t happen. In the two years since the law passed, wage growth, after accounting for inflation, rose only slightly, from 1% to just under 1.4% per year for nonsupervisory workers, according to data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. That difference — even if it were fully attributable to the tax cuts — amounts to less than $400 for a full-time worker. So much for your $4,000 raise. In the four years prior to the passage of the GOP tax law, the economy added an average of 213,000 jobs each month, according to data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. In the nearly two years since the law passed, average job creation has actually declined by an average of 11,000 per month. The White House promised that the tax cuts would result in an annual wage increase of $4,000 per household. Again, not even close. In the two years since the law passed, wage growth, after accounting for inflation, rose only slightly, from 1% to just under 1.4% per year for nonsupervisory workers, according to data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. That difference — even if it were fully attributable to the tax cuts — amounts to less than $400 for a full-time worker. So much for your $4,000 raise.
–“Opinion: After Two Years, Trump’s Tax Cuts Have Failed Americans,” CNN, Dec. 20, 2019

Bloomberg’s “LGBTQ+ Equality Policy” Fact Sheet

The Bloomberg campaign edited this fact sheet following The Intercept’s request for comment.

Campaign Literature Original Source
25% of transgender people say they’ve experienced a problem with their insurance over 12 months related to being transgender, such as being denied coverage for care related to gender transition. 25 percent of respondents experienced a problem with their insurance in the past year related to being transgender, such as being denied coverage for care related to gender transition.
–“Health Insurance Coverage For Gender-Affirming Care of Transgender Patients,” American Medical Association, March 2019
Half of transgender people report they are uncomfortable seeking police assistance. Half of transgender people report they are uncomfortable seeking police assistance.
–“Blueprint for Equality: A Transgender Federal Agenda for the Next Presidential Administration and Congress,” National Center for Transgender Equality, October 2016
Nearly half of all Black transgender Americans have been incarcerated. While the overall prevalence of TGNC individuals in the U.S. may be low, this community is disproportionately represented in America’s correctional system: almost one in six transgender people in the U.S. has been locked up in a state or federal prison, and nearly half of all black transgender Americans have been incarcerated.
–“Now You See Me: Problems and Strategies for Introducing Gender Self-Determination into the Eighth Amendment for Gender Nonconforming Prisoners,” Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, January 2018
Crimes targeting the LGBTQ+ community increased by about 6% from 2017 and the FBI has reported a significant increase in hate crimes motivated by gender identity bias. Crimes targeting the LQBTQ community increased about 6% from 2017, and the FBI reports a significant increase in hate crimes motivated by gender identity bias.
–“FBI: Hate Crime Murders Hit Record in 2018; Crimes Targeting Transgender People Soar,” CBS News, Nov. 12, 2019
Today, nearly a quarter of LGBTQ+ people say they have avoided doctors or health care out of concern they would be discriminated against and 31% say they have no regular doctor or form of health care. Nearly a quarter of transgender individuals avoid doctors or health care out of concern they will be discriminated against, and 31% say they don’t have a regular doctor, according to a 2017 poll by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Harvard.
–“Donald Trump Campaigned as a President for LGBTQ Americans. But He Keeps Rolling Back Protections for Them,” Time, May 26, 2019
Transgender people are about six times more likely to have had a mood or anxiety disorder health-care visit, or have been hospitalized after a suicide attempt. The study also found that compared with the general population, transgender individuals with a gender incongruence were about six times as likely to have had a mood or anxiety disorder health care visit … and more than six times as likely to have been hospitalized after a suicide attempt.
–“Study Finds Long-Term Mental Health Benefits of Gender-Affirming Surgery for Transgender Individuals,” American Psychiatric Association, Oct. 4, 2019

“Plan to Address the Nation’s Maternal Health Crisis and Improve Access to Women’s Health Services” Fact Sheet

The Bloomberg campaign edited this fact sheet following The Intercept’s request for comment.

Campaign Literature Original Source
Black mothers died most often from heart conditions and blood pressure complications like preeclampsia. And black women who earn higher incomes still die at higher rates than white women of the same economic background.Nearly two-thirds of Alabama moms reported having some kind of medical problem during pregnancy, according to Alabama’s Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System, a CDC-based survey of pregnancy-related experiences in the United States.The state ranks 46th in the nation in women’s and children’s health, according to the United Health Foundation And nearly two-thirds of Alabama mothers reported having some kind of medical problem during pregnancy, according to Alabama’s Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System, a CDC-based survey of pregnancy-related experiences in the United States.The state ranks 46th in the nation in women’s and children’s health, according to the United Health Foundation.Black mothers died most often from heart conditions and blood pressure complications like preeclampsia and eclampsia.And black women who earn higher incomes still die at higher rates than white women of the same economic background.
–“Deaths From Pregnancy and Child Birth Are Often Preventable; Alabama Finally Starts to Take Notice,” AL.com, June 9, 2019, updated Jan. 14, 2020
Trump’s efforts to take away the ACA’s mandatory health benefits — including maternity coverage and well-woman exams … President Trump has worked to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) — which could roll back significant gains in the proportion of people of color with access to health care. Trump has worked to: … Attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) — which could roll back significant gains in the proportion of people of color with access to health care.Attempt to take away the ACA’s mandatory health benefits — including maternity coverage and well-woman exams.
–“Twenty-Five Terrible Ways Trump Has Undermined Reproductive Health,” Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Aug. 15, 2019

Bloomberg’s “Housing Affordability and Homelessness Strategy” Fact Sheet

Campaign Literature Original Source
HUD’s inspector general concluded that HUD failed to ensure that public housing authorities properly identified and eliminated lead hazards. Meanwhile, a 2018 report by the HUD Inspector General’s office, the agency’s internal watchdog, found that HUD failed to ensure that the nation’s 3,300 public housing authorities properly identified and eliminated lead hazards, “thus increasing the potential of exposing children to lead poisoning due to unsafe living conditions.”
–“HUD Spends Millions on Lead Abatement. Why Are Public Housing Authorities Still Struggling?” Stateline/Pew Charitable Trusts, Dec. 17, 2019

Bloomberg’s Tax Policy

Campaign Literature Original Source
By cutting the corporate rate to 21 percent from a high of 35 percent, the law has reduced the effective tax rate that many companies pay. That has fueled after-tax corporate profits. The tax law was clearly a driver of that increase — because profits before taxes rose at a much slower rate. By cutting the corporate rate to 21 percent from a high of 35 percent, the law has reduced the effective tax rate that many companies pay. That has fueled after-tax corporate profits, which rose nearly 20 percent in the third quarter from the previous year. The tax law was clearly a driver of that increase — because profits before taxes rose at a much slower rate.
–“One Year Into Trump’s Tax Cuts, Few Major Benefits,” SFGate, Dec. 28, 2018

Bloomberg’s “21st Century Infrastructure Plan” Fact Sheet

The Bloomberg campaign edited this fact sheet following The Intercept’s request for comment.

Campaign Literature Original Source
The U.S. rail network has been neglected and underfinanced for decades, and thanks to choke points and outdated grade crossings and bridges, trains in the U.S. run at slower speeds today than they did in the mid-20th century. We must also address the chronic neglect and under-funding of America’s passenger rail network. Because our rail network is riddled with choke points, passenger trains in the U.S. run at slower speeds today than they did in the mid-20th century.
–“Building America’s Future 2020 Vision,” Building America’s Future Educational Fund (co-founded by Bloomberg)
American households now spend an average of 17.6% of their budgets on transportation, the second-largest expense after housing and one-third more than what they spend on food. These costs are particularly acute for lower-income Americans: The country’s poorest households spend more than 40% of their take-home pay on transportation.Done right, infrastructure helps us open new markets to goods and services, cuts the costs of transportation, speeds deliveries and lowers prices for consumers. Capital and jobs flow to the most efficient markets, and the most efficient markets are dependent on modern, reliable, high-tech infrastructure. Done right, infrastructure helps us open new markets to goods and services, drops the costs of transportation, speeds deliveries, and lowers prices for consumers. Capital and jobs flow to the most efficient markets, and the most efficient markets are dependent on modern, reliable, high-tech infrastructure.American households now spend an average of 17.6% of their budgets on transportation, the second largest expense after housing and one-third more than what they spend on food. These costs are particularly acute for lower-income Americans: the country’s poorest households spend more than 40% of their take-home pay on transportation.
–“Building America’s Future: Falling Apart and Falling Behind: Transportation Infrastructure Report 2012,” Building America’s Future Educational Fund (co-founded by Bloomberg)

Bloomberg’s Gun Safety Policy Plan

Campaign Literature Original Source
Eight states generally allow permit holders to carry guns in K-12 schools (DE, HI, KS, MS, NH, OR, RI, UT), while an additional nine states have laws explicitly aimed at allowing K-12 teachers or school personnel to be armed (FL, GA, MO, ND, OK, SD, TN, TX, WY). Eight states generally allow permit holders to carry guns in public schools: Delaware, Hawaii, Kansas, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah.
–“Keeping Our Schools Safe: A Plan to Stop Mass Shootings and End Gun Violence in American Schools,” Everytown for Gun Safety (co-founded by Bloomberg), Feb. 11, 2019
In the South Bronx, one Cure Violence program was associated with a 37 percent decline in gun injuries and a 63 percent reduction in the number of shooting victims. The area of the South Bronx served by Cure Violence experienced strong and significant declines in both measures of gun violence: a 37 percent decline in gun injuries and a 63 percent reduction in shooting victimizations, compared with 29 and 17 percent reductions in the comparison area (East Harlem).
–“The Effects of Cure Violence in the South Bronx and East New York, Brooklyn,” John Jay College of Criminal Justice Research and Evaluation Center, Oct. 2, 2017

Update: February 7, 2020
This article has been updated to state that the Bloomberg campaign reposted its green infrastructure plan after this story was published. The article was also updated with information about the Bloomberg News style guide.