Bloomberg is biggest campaign spender ever


Michael Bloomberg has spent more of his own money in pursuit of public office than any other individual in U.S. history, with his latest re-election bid already running at $85 million.

Citing newly released campaign records, the New York Times and MSNBC said Bloomberg was on pace to spend between $110 million and $140 million before the 11/3 mayoral election. That means the mayor will have spent more than $250 million in his three bids for mayor of the Big Apple.

In contrast, New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine, a former chairman of the banking firm Goldman Sachs, spent about $130 million in two races for governor and one for the U.S. Senate, the Times reported. Forbes Publisher Steve Forbes poured $114 million into two bids for president, it said.

Bloomberg’s wealth, much of it from the Bloomberg LP media and information empire, is estimated at $16 billion. He has used it to establish what the Times called an “insurmountable financial dominance” in the race.

A finance report filed by his campaign for a Friday deadline covers Bloomberg’s expenses since 9/29. He spent $20.4 million in that period, helping him break his $85 million record from 2005. He spent $74 million on his first run in 2001.

His opponent, William Thompson, a Democrat, has spent just $6 million in the race. A Thompson campaign spokeswoman on Friday told the Times the mayor’s spending was “obscene.” Bloomberg is no longer a member of any party but is running on the Republican and Independent Party lines.

Bloomberg was 16 points ahead of Thompson in a recent poll and has been spending at a rate of more than $850,000 a day.

The bulk of Bloomberg’s spending has gone into television, radio and Web advertising, the Times said.

But some of the money has trickled down to recession-hit small businesses, including Goodfellas Brick Over Pizza on Staten Island and in the Bronx. The Bloomberg campaign has so far forked over $8,892 for pizza at Goodfellas alone.