The country is going through tough foreclosure days. Public ire is directed against high flying corporate jets and whopping bonuses for Wall Street executives. At such a time of recession when the economy has brought down the nation to its knees, the billionaire Mayor of New York will splurge dollars on another extravagant campaign in the current year.
In 2005 Bloomberg broke records and spent $85 million for his re-election. But at that time the economic climate was quite different from what it is today. Nobody had heard about billions in bank bailouts and stimulus packages or even foreclosure tidal waves. New York was not then facing layoffs and budget snipping running into billions. Rather at that time Bloomberg was debating what to do with a surplus budge of $3.5 billion.
Bloomberg, formerly of Wall Street, is now gearing up for a third campaign spending of jumbo proportions while telling the citizens of New York to be ready to face tough days and “do more with less.” Under his clipping scissors those that will be affected are centres for senior, dental clinics, fire fighting staff and city workers.
The wealth of this former CEO has been calculated to be about $20 billion. He has staked his claim to the highest office in New York because of his belief that he has a matchless ability of being a financial wizard and is the only person who can save the city from this financial debacle.
His opponents, the Democrats, are already making a lot of noise about his huge spending during these cloudy days. It is too early to anticipate what impact this will have on the electorate. The Mayor himself admitted while talking on the budget recently that the residents of New York are extremely worried about their finances. He said, “The public is afraid, and they’re not willing to go out and buy a new car, invest in a business, spend money.”
The criticism leveled against Bloomberg for his splash in campaign spending is not something new. But this time the background is ugly – foreclosures, increase of REO homes, unemployment and recession. During the primary run the Democrats who are competing are relying on raising funds from the public.
Eduardo Castell campaign manager of William Thompson Jr. (Comptroller of the city) said, “On the one hand he’s telling everyone to tighten their belts and then spending an obscene amount of money – that speaks to a lack of connectedness with working people and what they’re going through in this economic downturn.”