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.