Bloomberg's Billions

New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg says that one day he's going to give away all his money, which will amount to something like $16 billion according to some valuations of his Bloomberg Media empire. Maybe that explains how he can go around spending some $65 million so far with projections taking it as high as $100 million by the time election day rolls around. And this is for an election no one in their right mind thinks he has any chance of losing. Just think of how much he'd be spending if he didn't already have the huge advantage of incumbency and a hapless opponent to swat. Democratic candidate Fernando Ferrer's message is solely about helping the disadvantaged with subsidies with no vision of a better future with more opportunity, the kind that will allow these families to rise above dependency. Bloomberg's decision to opt out of accepting matching funds allows him to spend way more than Ferrer who has to abide by the limits. This loophole in the law surely needs to repaired so that someone like Ferrer can be allowed to compete freely with a wealthier opponent. Though Freakonomics author Steven D. Levitt claims that excessive spending by candidates has no effect on  the eventual winner, it's certainly a huge psychological hurdle for the poorer candidate, not to mention on potential supporters who may back off throwing their cash behind a candidate with such an economic disadvantage. In the photo the Mayor hangs with the boys from Beige, including nightlife icon Eric Conrad (left of Bloomberg).


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