Friday, July 08, 2005

Mike Bloomberg Skins a Cat With a $20 Million Knife

There's more than one way to skin a cat. And when it comes to using his wealth to buy influence over the outcome of NYC elections, New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg is the man of a thousand knives. Apparently not content with spending $73 million of his own money to buy his way into City Hall, Bloomberg has expanded his repertoire of campaign spending moves.

As Sam Roberts reports in The New York Times, Bloomberg has contributed $20 million to 400 city groups in the Big Apple through an "anonymous" contribution. Could the mayor's generosity have anything to do with his rising popularity? As recently as March, Hizzonor the Mayor trailed his presumed opponent by as much as 14%. Since then, Bloomberg has failed to get funding for a West Side stadium and failed to get the 2012 Olympic bid. Yet, he is doing better in the polls. Hmmm . . .

The $20 million in goodwill money is on top of the $1 million/week Bloomberg has been pouring into campaign ads.

While there is nothing illegal about Bloomberg's $20 million gift, it sure does call into question how willing he is to make the 2005 NYC mayor's race a campaign about who has the best ideas for the city instead of who has the most money to spend. If the past is any guide, New Yorkers can expect to see the purchasing power of Mike's millions on ostentatious, undemocratic display.

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