Opinion: NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg would kinda like a 3rd term, thank you


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At the rate New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is spending his own money in the current re-election campaign, he’s likely to end up with only about $16,410,400,000 left to his name.

But that just shows to go you the kind of sacrifice that some public servants are willing to make in order to serve the people who elect them.


In the latest 60-day campaign finance reports, multi-billionaire Bloomberg reveals that he’s spending a little more than a quarter-million dollars per day to purchase a third term in Gotham’s City Hall.

That’s about twice the rate he’d spent at this point four years ago in his previous mayoral campaign, which cost him $85 million by the end and produced a landslide victory.

But it’s not all easy. Remember last winter Bloomberg did get bitten at a photo op by a grumpy groundhog.

The municipal approval rating for the ex-Democrat, ex-Republican, current independent has only hovered in the 60s.

Bloomberg is in such a tight municipal race that he’s heading down to the University of Pennsylvania tonight to give tomorrow’s commencement address. That’s how worried he is.

As long as he reports it, Bloomberg can spend as much of his personal fortune as he likes. Scores of millions. A hundred million. Or more. Completely up to him.


And the little guy doesn’t even have an actual opponent yet.

Other than that he’s in deep silt.

But before anyone jumps to the conclusion that the world’s 17th richest man, according to Forbes, can get re-elected to try to run the nation’s largest city just because he has a bargeload of $10,000 bills, consider this:

Once Bloomberg decided he very much enjoyed the high-profile job and would really like to have a third term, he had to convince the City Council to change the law banning a third consecutive mayoral term.

Once that happened, most of the potential candidates who thought the mayor’s throne would be vacated this year began whistling and walking away.

Any possible opponents now seem in disarray. They have to raise money the old-fashioned way -- begging.

Bloomberg’s stash simplifies everything. He does none of that. Easier just to write his own checks. Day after day. Week after week. A quarter-million here. A quarter-million there.

Sure, New York City taxes have gone up during his reign. Yes, critics note, unemployment’s up too. And, OK, homelessness as well. Schools are crowded. But since when is any of that a rich mayor’s fault? There’s no real mention of those troubles in Bloomberg’s massive advertising campaign.


So why should anyone else be bothered?

Anyway, anyone who’s ever under-tipped a New Yorker knows those folks don’t really care about money there.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photos credits: Ronan Robert / Flickr (top); city of New York