The Pros of a Billionaire-as-Mayor: Bloomberg to Donate $500k to Same-Sex Marriage Campaigns

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After twelve years of Bloomberg, we all have more or less assimilated and/or recognized the personal wealth of the citizen-in-chief. His announcement on Day One to accept a dollar-a-year salary and opt out of living in Gracie Mansion was the beginning of a long-term acceptance that, yes, our Mayor has much more money than most of us. But that doesn't mean we are not in awe when he flexes his financial strength (in a great way) every once in a while.

Like last April, when the Hozziner announced he would pull $30 million out of his wallet to fund educational programs to solve the achievement gap for disadvantaged African-American and Latino kids in New York. Or the following week, when he went to Baltimore and was like, "Yeah, I'll give you $5 million for your education programs, too." Or the $220,000 he donated to efforts to kick smokers to the curb abroad. You get the picture: Bloomberg Philanthrophies is legit.

And, yesterday, we witnessed another pro of having a billionaire-as-Mayor: Bloomberg announced that, in the time leading up to Election Day, he will donate a total of $500,000 to gay marriage campaigns in states where the issue is on the ballot come November 6th. This comes on top of a $250,000 donation he gave to a Maryland gay marriage intiative earlier this month, which means that this Mayor has pledged $750,000 to help homosexuals achieve the same civil rights as the rest of the citizenry.

Hey, gay marriage supporters in Maine, Minnesota and Washington! Meet Michael R. Bloomberg -- your new best friend.

Yesterday, we reported on the SuperPAC that Bloomberg created last week to funnel funds into the pockets of centrist candidates that share his stances on gay marriage and gun control. This $500,000 donation is part of the larger total of $10 million that the Mayor promised before Election Day. Here's how it plays out, by state:

- $325,000 to efforts for a same-sex marriage amendment to Maine's constitution and a ballot proposal to uphold the existing provision in Washington.

- $125,000 to combat a provision that would strengthen the existing anti-sam-sex marriage law in Minnesota.

See! Guys, sometimes having a guy that is a gazillion times richer than you as your Mayor can be a damn good thing.

If there's still another $8 million left in Bloomberg's ballot initiative treasure chest, be sure to expect more announcements from the Mayor's office. We here at the Voice will definitely let you know.

[jsurico15@gmail.com/@JSuricz]

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