The final tallies are in on the most-costly-local-election-ever. The new campaign records show that Mike Bloomberg — the four percent winner — doled out Christmas Eve bonuses of $400,000 apiece to campaign manager Bradley Tusk, press wrangler Howard Wolfson, and all-around cheer leader Patti Harris. Field director Maura Keaney picked up a mere $150,000.
The grand total for the cost of Bloomberg 2009? $108,371,000. This averages out to $185 per vote, as per Elizabeth Benjamin’s calculator.
Gene Russianoff, the New York Public Interest attorney who helped craft a dramatic new city campaign law 20 years ago with the goal of keeping big money from dominating politics had this to say:
“The Mayor is not violating any law or ethics code here. But these garish bonuses show a political tin ear on a day that hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers are cashing pay checks that barely cover their day-to-day needs – if they are lucky enough to have a job in the current Great Recession. ”