With a month yet to go in the campaign, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg has spent $65M on his bid for a third term. That’s sixteen times what his opponent Bill Thompson has spent so far. Bloomberg’s outlay is expected to reach $100M by election day. The New York Times puts it in context:
To market Bounty paper towels last year, Procter & Gamble spent about $63 million. To advertise Yoplait Light yogurt, General Mills spent about $62 million. William C. Thompson Jr., Mr. Bloomberg’s Democratic rival who is still scrambling to raise money from donors. But these corporate giants have nothing on Michael. R. Bloomberg. To hold on to his job as mayor this year, he has spent $65 million of his own money, according to his latest financial disclosure report, released on Friday. Even for a man whose vast financial advantages have redefined New York City elections — and smothered his lesser-financed opponents — the amount of spending is, by any measure, staggering. Mr. Bloomberg has spent about 40 percent more than he had at the same point in his 2005 campaign, and twice what he had spent by this point in his first run for office in 2001. Each of those races was, at the time, the most expensive municipal campaign in United States history. The mayor has spent 16 times as much as his Democratic rival, William C. Thompson Jr., who is still scrambling to raise money from donors. And at his current pace, Mr. Bloomberg is on track to easily spend more than $100 million by Election Day on Nov. 3.
As I’ve mentioned here many times, other than a few very notable missteps, I’ve been generally satisfied with Bloomberg. For the last few years he’s been a terrific advocate of same-sex marriage and LGBT rights. But the way he conspired with the City Council to make an end run around term limits was really disappointing. It’s telling that even with his astronomical spending on this campaign, he’s only ten points ahead of Bill Thompson. He’s gonna win, of course, but as the NYT notes, he’s having to spend $100M to do it.