|108th Mayor of New York City|
From: January 1, 2002-Present
|Successor||Incumbent (no successor)|
|Party||Democrat (until 2001)|
|Spouse(s)||Susan Brown (div.)|
Michael Rubens Bloomberg (born February 14, 1942, in Boston, Massachusetts) is the liberal Mayor of New York City and the owner of Bloomberg, L.P., which licenses computer systems for real-time stock quotes to Wall Street and has news-related businesses. Even though he was a life-long registered Democrat, Michael Bloomberg successfully ran for mayor as a Republican in 2001 due in large part to the support of popular outgoing mayor Rudy Giuliani, and was reelected in 2005. He then switched to be an Independent and spent record-breaking sums to be reelected in 2009, paying the equivalent of $174.53 per vote (more than ten times his competitor). Michael Bloomberg is also one of the richest people in the world according to Forbes magazine, with an estimated net worth of $17 billion. Michael Bloomberg is currently divorced and has 2 children.
Bloomberg dropped his Republican Party affiliation on June 19, 2007, stating "I believe this brings my affiliation into alignment with how I have led and will continue to lead our city." Bloomberg is traditionally known as a fiscal conservative with social liberal tendencies. He was frequently mentioned as a possible independent candidate for the 2008 Presidential Election.
Michael Bloomberg holds a Bachelor of Arts & Science from Johns Hopkins University and a Master of Business Administration from Harvard University. In 2001, Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism established the Bloomberg Chair in Journalism with a gift of $1.5 million from Bloomberg L.P.
Political views and Mayoralty
Bloomberg has enforced a strengthened cell-phone ban in city schools. Under Mayor Bloomberg, the high school graduation rate in New York City has gone up 18% since he took office. He supports abortion and gay marriage. Bloomberg was also the most prominent Republican to oppose President George W. Bush's nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court of Chief Justice John Roberts.
Bloomberg is a supporter of illegal immigration, saying that New York City would "collapse" if they didn't have illegal aliens.
His crime-fighting tactics have been criticized by the NRA and other Second Amendment advocates for his position on handguns, having founded the organization, "Mayors Against Illegal Guns." His gun policies have continued those implemented by his predecessor, Giuliani, and crime statistics for 2007 are the lowest ever recorded for the city. As of December 2007, compared to 2001 figures (the year before Bloomberg took office), shootings are down 11%, murder is down 25%, auto theft is down 55% and major crime overall is down 26%.
Bloomberg took office as mayor in January 2002, just four months after the September 11th terrorist attacks. Upon taking office, he inherited the largest fiscal crisis in recent New York history. Giuliani spent lavishly during his final year in office, increasing capital spending by 60%. Not anticipating the dot-com bubble burst and the unforeseen attacks of September 11th, Giuliani left office passing on a $4 billion city budget gap, where city law mandates a balanced budget. A large portion of New York City's budget are fixed costs. This created a predicament for the fiscally conservative new mayor. Bloomberg made some very unpopular budget cuts in the portions of the budget under his control, even closing many redundant fire-houses, a subject of severe public outcry so soon after September 11th. These cuts however, had only marginal effect on the city's budget gap, which was ultimately addressed with the largest property tax increase in the city's history. Later in his second term, Bloomberg lowered property taxes, but not enough to completely remove the increases of his first term. On the subject of taxes, Bloomberg has effectively used tax breaks as an incentive to lure companies to the city. When Bloomberg first took office, the city's budget crisis brought threats from Albany that the state may step in and take over the city's finances. By June 2007 S&P (Standard and Poor's) raised New York City's bond rating to AA, the highest bond rating in the city's history.
Bloomberg has also been criticized by libertarians for pushing for New York City's unprecedented ban on trans fats on restaurants.
Although he has remained mostly silent on foreign policy, Bloomberg is a supporter of the War in Iraq. In March, 2007, during a news conference in Staten Island, he said about legislation proposed in Congress calling for a clear timetable for troop withdrawal, "we ask our young men and women to go over and to fight, and if you have a deadline knowing they're pulling out, how can you expect them to defend this country? How can you expect them to go out and put their lives at risk? I just think that's untenable and that this is not a responsible piece of legislation. It is totally separate of how we're conducting the war. It's totally separate of whether we should have been there. The issue that you asked about is plain and simple: Should the Congress pass a law forcing the president to withdraw troops at a given point in time? I think that is not something that is in the country's interest or in the military's interest."
2008 Presidential Election
Though Bloomberg suggested that he might run for President in 2008, he never did.
The 400 Richest Americans, Forbes magazine, September 21, 2006.