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NY Mayor Bloomberg now biggest US political spender

NEW York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has spent more of his own money in pursuit of public office than any other individual in US history, spending US$85 million as of yesterday on his latest reelection campaign, the New York Times reported today.

Citing newly released campaign records, the Times said Bloomberg was on pace to spend between US$110 and US$140 million before the Nov. 3 mayoral election. That means the self-made billionaire will have spent more than US$250 million in his three bids for mayor of America's most fabled city.

In contrast, New Jersey Governor and former Goldman Sachs chairman Jon Corzine spent about US$130 million in two races for governor and one for the US Senate, the Times reported.

And publisher Steve Forces poured US$114 million into two bids for president, it said.

Bloomberg's wealth, much of it from the Bloomberg LP media and information empire, is estimated at US$16 billion. He has used it to establish what the Times called an "insurmountable financial dominance" in the race.

His opponent, William C Thompson, a Democrat, has spent just US$6 million in the race. A Thompson campaign spokeswoman yesterday told the Times the mayor's spending was "obscene."

The bulk of Bloomberg's spending has gone into television, radio and Web advertising, it said.

But some of the money has trickled down to recession-hit small businesses, including Goodfellas Brick Over Pizza on Staten Island and in the Bronx. The Bloomberg campaign has so far forked over US$8,892 for pizza at Goodfellas alone.

Thomson Reuters competes globally with Bloomberg in the delivery of multimedia news, data and enhanced information.


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