Mayor Bloomberg, with all of his billions and propensity to spend many millions on his campaign, was quick to belittle those that dare question his take on campaign finance. In this year's race, his opponents will all be limited to how much they can spend because they are enrolled in the weak public finance program that we have now. Bloomberg on the other hand will be spending an estimated $80 million or more, akin to $100 per NYC voter. When reporters asked him to comment, he showed his more abrasive side to respond.
From The Gothamist:
When the issue was first posed to him at yesterday's press conference, he snapped back, "I think it’s one of the most ridiculous things I have ever heard. I can’t quite understand it, so we will come back to you later." When asked why he would need to spend what some are projecting to hover around $80 million to get his message across after seven years as mayor, he responded, "Sometimes—I know you will be shocked by this—sometimes some reporters don’t accurately describe what we have done, or what we will do, so we have to find another venue."
The mayor has a reputation for being generous when it comes to staff bonuses during election season. A policy adviser from the mayor's first successful bid tells the Times he was "shocked" when he discovered $25,000 in his bank account after Bloomberg's victory for what he saw as just a limited role on the campaign. And on top of all-expense paid stays at Four Seasons-level hotels while traveling overseas, the mayor's inner circle of aides have seen hundreds of thousands in bonus money after his victories. While Bloomberg insisted that "there is no campaign at the moment," he has already hired ten high-priced strategists—mostly Democrats, some with past ties to his potential rivals.
A campaign manager for one of those contenders looking to challenger Bloomberg, City Controller Bill Thompson, told Politicker NY, "It is the height of insensitivity to the economic challenges New Yorkers are facing for the mayor to be spending $100 million on a reelection while lecturing them on belt tightening and the need for austerity."
Austerity is one of the many things that Bloomberg lacks. Being in touch with the needs of the average resident is another. So the Mayor will spend tens of millions to tell us why the gentrification and denigration of what was New York City is so good for us. Meanwhile, as most of us suffer through this recession (and quite possibly soon to be depression), the city becomes more and more expensive, driving out the middle class from a metropolis that is desperately trying to retain its diversity and vibrancy in spite of the Mayor.