From CBS 2:
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has spent $64.8 million of his own money in his bid for a third term and, since midsummer, has been spending campaign cash at a rate of $15,000 per hour.
From Neighborhood Retail Alliance:
There is really no question in our mind that Mike Bloomberg is a master politician-and the reason lies with his ability to convince enough folks that his actions and policy decisions owe little or nothing to the behind the scenes political machinations that determines these manifest moves. Of course, it helps when you have millions of your own money to spend to encourage others to parade around pantomiming your party line as you remain aloof and seemingly uninvolved with the play.
The Village Voice's Tom Robbins underscores this theme with his discussion of Bloomberg's term limit scheme-and the subsequent quest for the third title: "As it heads into the home stretch, the Bloomberg campaign has adopted a new slogan to sum things up and help focus voters on the big picture. The new motto was rolled out at the big Bloomberg rally held primary night on a West Side pier, a gala celebration aimed at snatching attention away from Democrats and on to Mayor Mike. The slogan was emblazoned on Bloomberg's podium, and tattooed over and over on a TV backdrop. Which made it hard to miss. It read: "Progress. Not Politics." The first word is a debate worth having. The next two are simply lies."
And it is only in New York, where one candidate has unlimited funds, and the other's tapped out, that any one could seriously advance the idea that Mike Bloomberg was somehow above the nastiness of normal politics. And his quest for ballot lines dramatizes the fraud: "Not politics? Whatever you think of Bill Thompson's erratic campaign, at least he was being nominated that very night by his own party in an open primary. Mike Bloomberg? His GOP endorsement came courtesy of a classic, old-school political deal in which five Republican county leaders sat down in a room and agreed to give the mayor their ballot line. He cut the same insiders' pact with the cultish local chapter of the Independence Party. The party's nominating convention this spring featured all the democracy of a Chinese Politburo meeting, including a ruling clique that fawned over the visiting mayor. A few weeks later, Bloomberg sealed the deal with a $250,000 down-payment to the party's coffers, with presumably a great deal more to come."