How badly does Michael Bloomberg want a third term as mayor of New York? The billionaire is spending $35,000 an hour out of his own pocket.
He could burn through more than $100 million on what is already the most expensive self-financed campaign in American history.
For the 67-year-old media tycoon with an estimated worth of $17.5 billion, his biggest challenge has been in overcoming the negative publicity of reversing his longtime support for term limits and persuading the City Council to change the law last year so he could run again.
His Democratic challenger, comptroller William Thompson Jr., has run ads hammering Bloomberg over the reversal, but his message has been drowned out by Bloomberg's barrage of advertising. Bloomberg has said he plans to stay the course if re-elected, promising to continue efforts to improve schools, promote technology jobs and to make New York a greener city.
Polls show Bloomberg leading by 15 to 18 points.
With just days to go before the vote, Thompson, who has been criticized for not unveiling enough of his policy initiatives, on sketched out a liberal policy agenda aimed at renters rights and straphangers.
He promised to appoint pro-tenant members to the Rent Guidelines Board to oppose higher rents and pro-rider members to the board of the MTA to oppose raising fares. He said he would keep subway station agents on the job, and try to place all rent-regulated middle-class apartments that are part of the Mitchell-Lama program since 1973 under rent stabilization laws, The New York Times reported.
He also said he would give the homeless priority for Section 8 rental vouchers and allow homeless families who now are required to pay for shelter to instead put that money into escrow to be used for a permanent apartment, the Times said.