The mayor is still spending big.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg spent over $108 million on his campaign to win a third term, according to the latest campaign filing report released Friday afternoon. That is the most money spent on any U.S. political race.
The filing covers late November into January, when the Mayor spent just over $6 million, which includes six-figure bonuses given to top staffers -- including $400,000 bonuses to advisers like Howard Wolfson, the former director of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.
Bloomberg, who is estimated to be worth $17.5 billion dollars by Forbes Magazine, paid for his campaign without taking any outside donations. His opponent, former Comptroller Bill Thompson, spent less than one-tenth of Bloomberg's amount and came within 50,600 votes of defeating him.
When asked if Bloomberg "bought" the election by spending the record-breaking amount of money, Wolfson said, "New Yorkers can't be bought. They look at the facts."
Wolfson went on to cite New Jersey's recent governors' race, where wealthy incumbent governor Jon Corzine lost despite spending a considerable amount more than his challenger, Republican Chris Christie.
Meanwhile, the New York Public Interest Research Group put out a statement chastising the mayor for "garish" spending.
The Mayor is not violating any law or ethics code here. But these garish bonuses show a political tin ear on a day that hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers are cashing pay checks that barely cover their day-to-day needs – if they are lucky enough to have a job in the current Great Recession," the NYPIRG statement said.