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2001-11-08

Republican Multibillionaire Media Mogul Michael Bloomberg Takes New York Mayoral Race

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Republican multibillionaire media mogul Michael Bloomberg parlayed his bankroll and Mayor Rudolf Giuliani’s backingto narrowly defeat Democrat Mark Green last night to be New York’s 108th mayor. A political novice once given littlechance to win in a Democratic town, Bloomberg spent more than $50 million of his fortune to win the right to govern acity facing the worst fiscal crisis since the 1970s. Bloomberg’s spending in his successful bid to defeat publicadvocate and consumer activist Mark Green, is a mayoral election record. Since May, Bloomberg has spent $23.5 millionon TV, radio and print ads, in contrast to Green’s $12 million. A recent Village Voice article alleges that Bloomberghas been charged with three sexual harassment and gender discrimination cases.

In a city where Democrats outnumber Republicans by five to one, Green was the expected win, until the events ofSeptember 11th changed the tide. After serving two terms as New York’s mayor, Rudy Giuliani soared to the top of theopinion polls for his role in pulling New York back together. Three weeks ago, with Bloomberg still trailing in thepolls, Giuliani came out in support of the Republican candidate and began campaigning on his behalf.

Green faced lingering resentment among Hispanics and blacks upset by what they considered racially divisive tacticsagainst Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer in the Democratic primary runoff. Ferrer, and the Reverand AlSharpton refused to speak out for Green this past week, likely costing Green crucial votes in minority neighborhoodsthat are Democratic strongholds.

Bloomberg had long campaigned on the theme of carrying on the policies of the Giuliani administration, and manyvoters chose over him over Mark Green for that very reason. But in answer to repeated questions yesterday about whichpeople Mr. Bloomberg would keep from Giuliani’s team, the mayor- elect said that although he expected short-term helpfrom the current administration, he would be reviewing his options.

This apparently also applies to the outgoing mayor, whom Bloomberg said he would consult when making appointments tothe new commission to redevelop downtown. But he would not promise to name Giuliani to the panel. Bloomberg oweslittle to traditional political allies. He is expected to appoint people from the private sector as well asgovernment and politics.

Guests:

  • Les Paine, Editor Of Newsday.
  • Rachel Leon, Executive Director Of Common Cause New York.
  • Randy Scott McLaughlin, Professor of Law at Pace University and voting rights expert.

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