Reporters are starting to give Mayor Bloomberg a hard time about his spending. Press folk quizzed Bloomberg at what he probably expected would be a fun syrup-smell press conference about his campaign spending plans, and he got testy. Today the Associated Press says, “At a time when corporate jets, executive bonuses and Wall Street excess inspire anger and resentment in a nation struggling against a recession, billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg will likely spend tens of millions of dollars on another lavish campaign this year.”
“On the one hand he’s telling everyone to tighten their belts and then spending an obscene amount of money,” fumes comptroller and mayoral contender Bill Thompson to AP. “That speaks to a lack of connectedness with working people and what they’re going through in this economic downturn.”
The Times today details some of the benefits enjoyed by Bloomberg’s aides: they “hopscotch around the world on two Falcon 900 private jets, where wine and sushi are served.” Jonathan Capehart recalls his shock at receiving a $25,000 for his work on Bloomberg’s first mayoral camapign. “I was just a policy advisor,” he says. The Times also mentions Bloomberg’s six houses and love of “extravagant parties and fine art.”
Even his friends at Fox News climb on, noting that when the Mayor “$85 million on his re-election in 2005… the city wasn’t facing thousands of layoffs and budget cuts in the billions.” Class war for everybody! Soon reporters will start coming to City Hall press conferences in red berets.