Tuesday, May 25, 2004
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is filthy stinkin' rich, even for New York City. How rich is he? Well, in 2001, he spent over $70 million of his own money to get himself elected mayor.
Now, you might be saying to yourself: is that even legal? Can he do that?
You better believe it. But it gets worse.
New York City is one of many places around the country that have partial public financing of candidates. In NYC's system, qualified candidates receive matching public funds of $4 for every dollar they receive in return for agreeing to certain spending limits and debate requirements. The match goes to five-to-one for a candidate whose opponent opts out of the system.
Bloomberg's opponent in 2001, Mark Green, spent around $16 million dollars, about $4.5 million of which he received from public funds according to the executive director of the New York City Campaign Finance Board in an interview in The Political Standard. And he still got blown out of the water spending-wise by Bloomberg's big bucks.
So now there is a proposal to increase the matching funds for candidates who are running against an opponent with never-ending pockets. Guess who's against it?
First he bought an election. Then, last year, he spent another $2 million in trying to sell his own scheme to end the primary system in NYC elections. And now, as reported by Dan Janison in Newsday, he wants to short-circuit a reasonable solution to a problem for which he is the poster-child.