In a real sense, Bloomberg has united New Yorkers of all races and ethnicities. Skyrocketing water bills, ticket blitzes and steep hikes in the water bills, tax assessments and parking penalties have alienated millions of New Yorkers. When you add in the nanny state taxes on cigarettes and the absurd transfat ban, you have an element of elitism and condescension that rankles many.
Wall Street, the fashion industry and other pillars of Gotham's prosperity are certainly important. But there are thousands of small businesses in the four boroughs beyond Manhattan that pay millions in taxes and get very little recognition. I see way too many vacant storefronts. If Mayor Bloomberg could stay on the subway for longer than his usual ceremonial photo op subway ride, he might learn some things about the other side of the Brooklyn Bridge.
In eight years, Bloomberg has paid very little attention to the concerns of the outer boroughs. His one accomplishment has been to create a sense of unity among new Yorkers who don't concur with Bloomberg's rosy assessment of life in the Big Apple. I know a lot of orthodox jews who are eagerly awaiting the opportunity in November to make Bill Thompson New York city's second African American mayor. It may be an uphill battle. The three newspapers of New York City, the New York Post, the Daily News and the Times seem eager to treat a Bloomberg third term as something inevitable.
Bill Thompson, despite being a Democrat, is nowhere near as well funded as Mike Bloomberg. But New Yorkers can see for themselves the reality behind Mike Bloomberg's glossy mailings. Mike Bloomberg is not just running against Bill Thompson. He is running against Mike Bloomberg. Eight years of aloofness, smugness and condescension has reached critical mass. Whether the papers report on it or not, millions of New Yorkers are waiting to vote in November. Bloomberg has spent $200 million dollars on this election. That is twenty five dollars for each man, woman and child in New York City, trying to convince us that his victory is inevitable. Most of the people I have spoken to are just not impressed. For a guy who's smart enough to be a billionaire, it doesn't seem to be such a great investment.