New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has already spent $18.7 million in his bid for a third term, outpacing his own 2005 campaign by 55%, the New York Daily News reports. The billionaire's three main competitors have spent a combined total of about $2.5 million, with controller William Thompson leading the way at $1.4 million. The election is 6 months away.
Bloomberg spokesman Howard Wolfson denied that the money was buying votes. “Absolutely not," he said. "We're engaging in a dialogue with voters. That's what any campaign does.” In 2005, Wolfson—then a vocal Bloomberg critic—said the mayor’s money was distorting “the terms of the debate.”