There's No Sinking the Battleship Bloomberg

The latest figures on expenditures in this election are staggering

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Getty Images
    Mayor Michael Bloomberg (C) departs a City Hall news conference with City Comptroller William Thompson last year.

    I was in the Navy in World War II,  and I know an impending ‘’blowout’’ when I see one. Against the 16-inch guns of a battleship, a little patrol boat with a solitary 3-inch gun can hardly stand up. That’s what we're looking at in New York's mayoral election.

    The New York Times reports that Mayor Michael Bloomberg, “has now spent more of his own money than any other individual in United States history in the pursuit of public office.”

    Bloomberg is expected to spend as much as $140 million in this campaign against Bill Thomspon. If you add up the total for all three of his mayoral campaigns, he will have spent a quarter of a billion dollars.

    That isn’t hay. The director of the Quinnipiac Poll, Mickey Carroll, confirms that the mayor is blowing Thompson out of the water. It's a dismaying sight to any advocate of democratic principles. One Yale professor, Jennifer Steen, said: "I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s off the charts. He’s in a league of his own.”

    Gene Russianoff of the New York Public Interest Research Group laments that "the toxic combination of mega-spending and crass use of his office to bypass the voters on term limits will always be a stain on his mayoralty.’’  Russianoff adds that these ‘’twin assaults on municipal democracy will undermine his political clout in a third term.” 

    Comments about the mega-expenditures of the Bloomberg campaign rained in on the New York Times website.  As commenter "Mark Koch" wrote, "It makes no difference to me whether or not Bloomberg has been a good mayor. What he did in order to get elected was destroy the playing field and unfairly wipe out the chances of any other contender."

    “New Yorkers will get the Mayor that they deserve," a commenter named "Ed in Connecticut" wrote.

    Nor do the comments seem to be anomalies. If you talk to New Yorkers, you'll rarely detect any great enthusiasm for either candidate. Certainly, if Bloomberg wins the election, he will have to address the misgivings of many people who resent the sight of an unfair fight. He may be riding into office again on a wave of big bucks but not of overwhelming enthusiasm.