In the latest example of the Bloomberg campaign’s post-Rose Garden strategy, they’ve unveiled new policies to crack down on pay-to-play in the city, piggybacking off the A1 Times story about Bill Thompson’s handling of the pension funds.
Bloomberg’s plan includes barring matching funds for contributions bundled by lobbyists and also from people doing business with the city. Bloomberg’s proposal also calls for candidates to report within two business days contributions they receive from people doing business with the city.
Bloomberg has beaten this drum before, but the mayor's advocacy on this issue is not without a certain unmissable irony. Bloomberg is threatening to make the matching funds program irrelevant in this year’s mayor’s race by spending unprecedented sums of money.
Also, the implication that every contribution made comes with an implied hope of getting something in return does open Bloomberg up to criticism, since he has donated to people that have turned around and supported him politically. (Republican organizations that endorsed him; non-profits that lined up with him on term-limits).
In a public statement, Bloomberg’s campaign spokesman, Howard Wolfson said, “When it comes to championing reform, Mike Bloomberg has been one of the strongest advocates for good government in office today, refusing contributions from both special interests and lobbyists.”
I emailed Wolfson to ask if there was anyone Bloomberg would accept a campaign contribution from.
“No,” he said.