You Can Buy the Big Apple If You Have Enough Cabbage

From The New York Times:

Michael R. Bloomberg, the Wall Street mogul whose fortune catapulted him into New York’s City Hall, has set another staggering financial record: He has now spent more of his own money than any other individual in United States history in the pursuit of public office.

Newly released campaign records show the mayor, as of Friday, had spent $85 million on his latest re-election campaign, and is on pace to spend between $110 million and $140 million before the election on Nov. 3.

Original DVD cover

That means Mr. Bloomberg, in his three bids for mayor, will have easily burned through more than $250 million — the equivalent of what Warner Brothers spent on the latest Harry Potter movie.

The sum easily surpasses what other titans of business have spent to seek state or federal office. New Jersey’s Jon S. Corzine has plunked down a total of $130 million in two races for governor and one for United States Senate. Steve Forbes poured $114 million into his two bids for president. And Ross Perot spent $65 million in his quest for the White House in 1992 and $10 million four years later.


Mr. Bloomberg has used his wealth, estimated at $16 billion, to establish what appears to be insurmountable financial dominance in the race.

He has spent at least 14 times what his Democratic rival in the race, William C. Thompson Jr., has: $6 million.


Since late September, the pace of Mr. Bloomberg’s spending has drastically accelerated: He is now sending nearly $1 million a day into the city’s economy. The bulk of the money is devoted to advertising on television, radio and the Web, but much of it bankrolls a first-class approach to parties, snacks and travel.

The campaign has spent $322,521 on food, $293,953 on transportation, $176,066 on furniture and $39,858 on parking.


With more than 100 employees, his campaign now has a staff larger than 97 percent of all businesses in New York City. And his political operation has become a one-man economic stimulus program, buying $8,892 worth of pizza from Goodfellas Brick Oven Pizza on Staten Island and in the Bronx. The company had suffered a big drop in business since the start of the recession.


Squier Knapp Dunn, the media company responsible for the mayor’s television ads, has taken in $48,313,776. While most of that money pays for TV time, media companies typically receive fees of about 15 percent.


The spending has drawn howls of protest from good-government groups and advocates of campaign finance reform. In interviews, several said, angrily, that the mayor’s decisions to rewrite New York City’s term limits law and then spend wildly to secure re-election, have undermined democratic principles.

“Whether Bloomberg wins or loses, the toxic combination of mega-spending and crass use of his office to bypass the voters on term limits will always be a stain on his mayoralty,” said Gene Russianoff, staff attorney for the New York Public Interest Research Group.


A spokesman for Mr. Bloomberg’s campaign, Howard Wolfson, defended the spending, saying, “Voters in this race have a choice between one candidate who is independent and doesn’t take a dime from special interests and another who practices politics as usual.”

Mr. Thompson, a Democrat, has had the unenviable task of trying to raise money in the middle of a deep recession, when many voters already assume that Mr. Bloomberg will prevail.


The newly released records show that Mr. Bloomberg is handsomely rewarding top aides who take leaves from their City Hall posts to join the campaign. His first deputy mayor, Patricia E. Harris, is earning about $28,000 a month. It is a healthy raise: At City Hall, she made about $21,000 a month.

The mayor also typically showers the aides with additional bonuses after Election Day.

All that money shows how far Mr. Bloomberg has come, wealth-wise. His campaign spending this year will nearly equal what his boyhood hometown of Medford, Mass., population 55,000, devotes to its annual budget.


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16 responses to “You Can Buy the Big Apple If You Have Enough Cabbage

  1. Bloomie’s mayoral drive cost what it took the make Harry Potter huh ? I think the kids at Hogwarts are a bit easier to root for than this guy. BTW didn’t rotten Rudi also try to re-write those same term limit laws when he was King of NY ?

    • the citizens of new yawk city are probably being bombarded by bloomberg ads every moment. i bet they’d all rather watch harry potter movies 24/7. rudy thought he was going to get a third term after 9/11. he’s arrogant enough (like bloomberg) to think that the city can’t possibly survive without him.

  2. You know what kills me? This jackass is spending his fortune and his kids inheritance on becoming a friggin mayor!

    Not a governor, or state senator..a damn mayor of a city..given, its NYC..but it’s still one city in the state.

    Sick fuck. 😆

  3. At least he’s been more effective than Mitt Romney, who couldn’t even win a nomination with his dough.

  4. What a sick society/system we have, to blow that much $ on a campaign.

    He’s a muggle for sure!

  5. i will chime in as a resident of the City of New York.

    on Nov 3 I will cast my vote for anyone but Michael Bloomberg. I am not a big fan of Bill Thompson so I am not sure I will vote for him. I am considering writing-in Nonnie.

    I actually like Bloomberg and think he has done a pretty good job in a pretty ungovernable and corrupt city. Is he the best or perfect – no, does he favor the wealthy – probably. But I will say he has done more than most could or would. His arrogance – actually for all his arrogance (and he has plenty) he comes across much more human than his predecessor – the completely evil and vile Rudy. Ed Koch was also pretty arrogant. I hate to say it – but you need some arrogance to run this place

    Back to Mike. Changes the rules in the middle of the game without even asking the voters. We put in term limits (which I have a lot of mixed feelings about) – he decided to drop them. For that reason alone I won’t vote for him. He is going to win and win big. In a city that is 75% registered Democrats (90% in Manhattan) – for the Dem to perform so poorly is pathetic.

    I don’t think his completely overwhelming of Thompson has anything to do with it. He would win if he spent $8 million instead of $80 million. He just has an ego the size of Yankee Stadium. Even though I wont vote for him – at least I believe the city will be in good hands.

    as for the commercials – yes it is back to back to back ads lately – but more for Corzine and that slob Christie (whom I told you I grew up with) – they are flooding the airwaves

    one part of my job at that “place I work” is called local standards & practices – which basically means i screen ALL commercials before they go on the air (in other words I am the censor). I dont bother with most – but i have to watch every political ad and make sure they are following some very very explicit and structured rules. every commercial is also in the public file of the station — as is the price they pay. There are very strict pricing rules as well – and trust me, the politicians understand it very well and often will check the pricing.

    so not only do i watch 10-20 political ads a day – i have to talk to the agencies that created them. sometimes they are just so downright nasty (nasty is ok to air, not putting paid for by…. not ok) we have contests at work for who has the best bad commercial (Corzine is winning with his ad that says Christie – who is obese – “throws his weight around”).

    finally – between Bloomberg, Corzine, Christie, Thompson and now Daggett (the NJ ind candidate), we have ads for the 2010 Connecticut Senate race already.

    And who is running on the GOP – Linda MacMahon – wife of the WWF founder of Vince MacMahon. Her ads are on every 2 seconds as well and the election is over a year away. While her ads arent vile (they are actually well produced) – she is.

    the stories i wish i could tell about commercial clearance and audience mail (another part of my job)

    • i think in most cases it takes arrogance to run for public office, especially when it comes to a place like new york or chicago or the other big cities. what i find disturbing is that one guy can decide what the rules will be, especially when it comes to himself. that smacks of a dictatorship. bloomie’s been good for the city, but he’s not indispensable, just like rudy 9/11 wasn’t.

      i can’t wait until the fight starts with linda macmahon. she’s a purveyor of soft porn and violence, and she exploits women.

  6. Hey, if that’s how he wants to spend his money, more power to him. Now if only he’d toss a few greenbacks my way…