According to the New York Times story below, Mayor Bloomberg during his re-election campaign gave $1.2 million to the Independence Party, which was supposed to be spent on “poll watching”. Most of this money was intended for a Bloomberg operative, John Haggerty and his firm, Special Election Operations LLC.
We are learning about this now because a court has found that Haggerty siphoned off much of the money to buy a house for himself. The $1.2 million in question was part of the $110 million that Mr Bloomberg spent on his re-election after wining a repeal of a term limit statute.
So why was Mayor Bloomberg giving money to the Independence Party in the first place? Why was much but not all of this money to be funneled to a Bloomberg operative? Was this all legal? No doubt. Was it corrupt? It certainly doesn’t look good.
Mr. Bloomberg appears to be using an age old political technique: buy your friends and buy off your enemies. His money permeates New York, both his political money and his charitable money. It does appear that New York City is not too big to be bought if you have as many billions as Mayor Bloomberg and are willing to spend them in this way. In 18th century England, they called this the “rotten borough” system. That name would seem to fit today’s New York City as well.