Mayor Michael Bloomberg is greeted by supporters as he speaks at his newly-opened Queens Campaign office on March 28.
The billionaire mayor has spent $7.5 million on his re-election campaign – more than seven times what his Democratic opponent Bill Thompson Jr. has – and the election is still six months away.
Bloomberg has already trampled records for campaign spending in New York City more than once, according to The New York Times. In the process, he's dominated media attention and made the $1.3 million Thompson has spent seem like a pittance by comparison.
Bloomberg's campaign appears to be covering all the proper bases like an efficient re-election machine.
Bloomberg, who has opened campaign offices in all five boroughs, has bombarded the airwaves and the Internet with an ad blitz catered to voters' concerns about their jobs and the economy.
He made several efforts to cozy up to Republicans, Independents and even the Rev. Al Sharpton in his bid to build inroads within all communities. And let's not forget he changed term limit rules so he could run again in the first place.
Thompson doesn't have a fighting chance to catch up to Bloomberg in the spending war. The city comptroller accepts public financing, and New York City campaign finance laws prohibit him from shelling out any more bucks until the September primaries, according to the Times. Financing is not a problem for Bloomberg, whose net worth sings to the tune of nearly $20 billion. Bloomberg is paying out of his own pocket; his campaign spending is as limitless as his bank account.
The mayoral fight seems as fair as the ancient Roman battles between the Christians and the lions.
“It’s not anything approaching a fair race that allows each candidate to present their case on equal footing,” Chris McNickle, author of “To Be Mayor of New York: Ethnic Politics in the City,” told The Times. McNickle called the situation “absolutely without precedent.”
Indeed it is. But Bloomberg's campaign advisers said the mayor earned his money, so it's perfectly fair for him to use it to help him win the race. And recent polls indicate he's got Thompson beat by the double digits.
The latest spending figures are due May 15. Thus far, Bloomberg has spent $4.4 million on TV ads and $121,000 on radio advertising, according to the Times. He's shelled out nearly $160 million in his last two elections combined, the paper reported.