Or maybe that should be, "spend, baby, spend!" Michael Bloomberg's desperate attempt to become mayor-for-life has his staff on the defensive, defending his record-breaking campaign spending. He's burned through nearly $37 million to date this year, breaking all records for a city campaign and unprecedented even for Bloomberg. This is the guy who told us recently that an election can't be bought. He would do well to remember this in the race against Tony Avella and William Thompson.
Aides to Bloomberg are said to be worried that the sour economy could turn voters against him. A New York Times story on Bloomberg's campaign spending quotes Bloomberg aide Jill Hazelbaker as saying polls consistently have shown that voters are not concerned about his campaign spending, which already is four times more than he had spent at this point in 2001. Another Times story characterized as "a chink in the armor" Bloomberg's failure to win a recent sought-after endorsement. (We hear the mayor is stressed-out about this, but doesn't he know that money can't buy you love?) Ms. Hazelbaker also noted that Thompson had taken more than $100,000 in what she called “special interest money.”
Good news is that candidate Tony Avella is beholden to no special interest groups. This is a tenet of his campaign, and it is the way he has always served in his role as a City Councilman. He's a fighter for the people, our schools, our neighborhoods, and small businesses. It's about people, not money.
The AP's Sara Kugler reminds us of Bloomberg's own recent remark that "you can't buy an election" because the public is "much too smart for that." And word is that behind the scenes in the Bloomberg campaign, there is some hand-wringing about the way things are going (although the damage control experts spin things a little differently.) Not only is Bloomberg's spending obscene, but his advertising is exposed by blogger JD2718 as shameful--don't miss this one!
Bottom line on Bloomberg: the obscene spending is offensive. Even the Times now reports weekly that garish excess is out, thrift is in.