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Obscene: Bloomberg on Track to Spend Over $100 million

Amsterdam News, News Report, Stephon Johnson and Nayaba Arinde Posted: Oct 13, 2009

Recent local and national reports predict horrendous increases in those living in poverty, homelessness, and unemployment rates. With this as a backdrop, and with the city bracing itself against the continued social fallout from the nations economic predicament, mayoral candidate Bill Thompson is slamming as obscene opponent Michael Bloomberg for already spending $65 million in his bid for reelection for a third term.

Thompson declares that the two-term mayor is on track to spend another $135 million in the tight run up to the November 3 election

He has already spent $65 million. I think in the current fiscal environment, with people losing jobs and homes, I think it is obscene, mayoral candidate and current City Comptroller William Thompson told the Amsterdam News. It is wrong. He is trying to bribe voters of New York City and trying to convince people that he is a different man than he has been for the last eight years. He is spending all this money trying to convince people that he is fighting for the middle class and people who are struggling.

According to numbers compiled by the New York State Board of Elections, Mayor Bloomberg has spent $64.8 million this year in his attempt to ensure a third term in office. It puts him on pace to spend over $118 million dollars for the entire campaign.

Thompson seems livid at the audacity of such mighty spending in a time when those with belts are tightening them.

The recent polls show that the people are not buying it, Thompson said with an air of relief. After eight years of Mayor Bloomberg, they are not confused. They know who he is, particularly after the term limits [situation]. Theyre not going to be deceived again.

Despite phone and e-mail requests, Bloombergs office did not respond to the AmNews regarding Thompsons comments.

Compared to candidate Thompsons $8 million spending budget (hes only spent over $4 million as of press time), the richest man in the city might be afraid that hes finally met his match politically. Thats what Councilman Charles Barron believes.

Fortunately for us, hes spent $64.8 million, but his ratings in the polls havent gone up so much, said Barron. He is ripe to be beaten and Billy Thompson is gaining momentum. Perhaps Thompsons momentum could be the reason for Bloombergs camp mailing New Yorkers anti-Thompson literature last week, citing a negative article about Thompson from the New York Times. Barron said this further emphasizes that Bloomberg is afraid of Thompson winning the hearts and minds of the citys citizens.

When you go that negative, its because hes desperate and scared and knows Bill can beat him, said Barron. Money doesnt vote, people vote. With the peoples help, Bloomberg can be history.

And as if the bottomless pockets in this prevailing sour economic climate wasnt enough, Thompson takes issue with a Bloomberg going negative and attacking me in his ads.

The ad about comparing apples to apples is deceptive itself and full of distortions and outright lies.

Referencing the commercial declaring that when Thompson was president of the Board of Education, school construction costs ran over budget, the comptroller told the Amsterdam News, The School Construction Authority [a state agency] controlled construction. It had nothing to do with the Board of Education.

Thompson proclaimed it unfortunate and sad that Bloomberg had to resort to such negative campaigning. I hoped he would run on his record, but instead in his ads, it talks about what he would do as mayor. Well, he is the mayor. People would like him to run on his record. But eight years into his tenure, it is obvious that he has failed. He is talking about what he would do with the MTA, education and jobs. Sure, its nice to talk about what you would dobut what have you done? He has four people on the MTA board and he has supported every fair increase and service reduction.

State Sen. Bill Perkins also weighed in on Bloomberg.

When you are spending that obscene amount of money, you are effectively undermining our democracy, said Perkins. You are determining the outcome of the electoral process not on merit but on cash. Youre buying the election, and in a democracy, thats sinful. But that sin couples with the sin of overturning term limits. To me, its a stickup. Hes sticking up our democracy, which are the people. Hes basically buying the town.

This has a resulted in a perversion of the democratic process, said Assemblyman Hakim Jeffries.

While one poll has Thompson closing in on Bloomberg with just eight points between them, the billionaires deep pockets does remain an issue. Yet, Thompson continues to find assistance from a plethora of individuals who want the current mayor out of City Hall.

On Monday, Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand endorsed Thompson for mayor during a news conference in Union Square Park. Gillibrand spoke of Thompson fighting for the workingman and the working family. His passion for public service will be an extraordinary asset as he moves forward, said Sen. Gillibrand.

He is both idealistic and pragmatic, said Sen. Schumer. Bill Thompson is the best mayor for the next four years for New York City."

But despite this backing and many others, in a heavily Democrat-leaning city, as of press time, a $56.8 million gap in campaign spending between Bloomberg and Thompson still existed. Barron didnt mince words when he expressed his dissatisfaction with the current mayors spending habits.

In the city that he increased the number of homeless under and has the nerve to charge them rent, said Barron. In a city where theres been an increase in foreclosures and he rejected a foreclosure bill in 2002 that the City Council passed. In a city with over 50 percent Black male unemployment, wasting money to spend on an election is disgusting. The people of New York City should show their disgust and make him history.

Now is the time for that change. Make him play for those dollars, Barron proclaimed.

Last Friday marked the one-year anniversary of Bloomberg announcing his run for a third term as mayor of New York City. Hes spent over a quarter of a billion dollars combined in 2001, 2005 and now 2009. The average median household income of New York State in 2007 (according to the US Census Bureau) is $53, 448. This means that Bloombergs spending in the 2009 campaign alone would equal the median income of over 1,200 New York State citizens.

Some people determine that it seems that Bloomberg will do anything to secure that term. Its possibly one of the worst investments that one could expect from someone who builds himself as a Wall Street tycoon, said Jeffries.

Oozing confidence as the November election date approaches, Thompson says that his campaign is working pedal-to-the-metal trying to get the message out.

People are discussing the issues and responding well to his campaign he said. One issue crossing all lines of race, culture, economic background and political philosophy is term limits.

Wherever we go, Thompson said, people are talking about term limits. They say that Bloomberg himself had said that changing term limits without going back to the people would be a disgrace. Well, the people realize he has disgraced himself.

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