Bloomberg Spent $102M to Squeak Past Thompson

The mayor set a new record -- just not the one he was hoping for

By Michael Clancy
|  Friday, Nov 27, 2009  |  Updated 4:30 PM EDT
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Bloomberg Spent $102M to Squeak Past Thompson

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news local-beat Mayor Bloomberg Spent $64 Million and Counting on Reelection Updated 2:07 PM EDT, Fri, Oct 2, 2009 Print Email Share Buzz up! TWITTER FACEBOOK Mayor Michael Bloomberg has burned through $64.8 million of his own money in his bid for a third term.

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Mayor Bloomberg looked to set a record for margin of victory in his appeal for a third term earlier this month.  That didn't happen. But the mayor did succeed in setting a new record for spending in a municipal campaign, burning through $102 million of his own cash to barely eke out a win over Comptroller William Thompson.

The Bloomberg campaign spent about $20 million per percentage point in his 5-point margin of victory -- a far cry from 2005 when he spent $85 million to crush Democratic rival Freddie Ferrer by 20 points -- a record for a Republican in New York City.  According to The New York Times' number-crunching, Bloomberg spent about $183 per vote.

The mayor's camp released the campaign finance data at 3:30 pm on the Friday after Thanksgiving -- a time that should go a long way to ensuring that the big spending on paltry results gets buried in the news.

In his pursuit of a third term, the mayor also cemented himself as the single biggest spender in U.S. history in self-financed campaign for public office.  

The mayor has a fortune estimated by Forbes magazine to be $17.5 billion. He did not take donations and was allowed by law to spend whatever he wants as long as he files expense reports.Bloomberg broke his own records of $85.1 million in 2005 and $74 million in 2001.

And the mayor's final tally has not even been reached yet  as he is yet to hand out  six-figure bonuses to his campaign staff.  That additional spending will not be reported until after the mayor's inauguration.

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