The New York Times is reporting that New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg shelled out $12 million on a national advertising campaign that names senators he believes might be persuaded to support federal gun regulations.
The move sparks numerous questions about how politicians can use advertising to get messages across to the American people. Bloomberg himself is no stranger either to investing heavily in ads — the three-term mayor has already spent millions of his own money on mayoral campaigns over the years. He has inspired many debates for these actions. But he is still standing.
He is also accustomed to attracting controversy for his various ideas. Bloomberg was among the leaders of the now-national movement to ban cigarette smoke from restaurants and other public places. Lately, he has tried to curb the sales of large-gulp sodas to children, as a way to promote anti-childhood obesity.
To his supporters, Bloomberg is an enthusiastic activist who is willing to take the heat to promote what he regards as pro-society initiatives. But to his detractors, Bloomberg is the Nanny Mayor, who lords over his electorate and butts into their day to day lives to satisfy his ego.
Now, we’ll see whether rich politicians — and Bloomberg is a billionaire many times over — can employ funds to promote their own agendas.
This is also a possible window into Bloomberg’s post-City Hall plans. He founded the Bloomberg L.P. news and financial information company three decades ago and launched a news division in 1990, which has become the envy of the industry for its stability and high quality.
Bloomberg’s next move has been the talk of the city and the media for months. In November, New York will elect a new mayor and Bloomberg will begin to ease out of view, for now. If he intends to continue to have a place in public — and I an sure willing to bet on it — this decision gives us an idea of what he might try to pursue: namely, more social programs that he thinks will improve the quality of life in the United States.