In his race for a third term, the richest man in New York City spent an astounding $102 million of his $17 billion fortune. New filings reveal that Mayor Bloomberg shelled out about $174.53 per vote in his narrower-than-expected victory over Democratic challenger Bill Thompson, far exceeding his expenditures of $85 million in 2005 and $74 million in 2001, according to the Times.
Much of the money was spent on the mayor's ubiquitous TV ads, but the Post takes a look at a few less obvious expenditures, including $1,000 per day for snacks and beverages and $1.90 at a 99-cent store. Thompson's official numbers will be released on Monday, but a source told the Daily News that he shelled out about $8.3 million, or about $15.51 per vote. That would mean that Bloomberg — who used his own cash — outspent Thompson — who relied on donations and matching funds — by a ratio of about 12 to 1. According to the Times, Bloomberg's expenditures might continue to rise because he hasn't yet paid out his post-election bonuses, which in past campaigns have exceeded $300,000. But considering how tight the race turned out to be, some campaign staffers worry they won't receive any bonuses at all.
Good government folks were appalled by the Mayor's decision to avoid the campaign finance system by using his own funds. "It's beyond embarrassing," declared Susan Lerner, executive director of Common Cause New York. "These are astronomical figures. They're higher than the budgets of a lot of cities." But campaign spokesman Howard Wolfson said the massive amount of money was necessary. "Losing is embarrassing. We recognized the strong national anti-incumbent mood early and ensured that we overcame it."