Bloomberg's Film Crew
March 17th, 2010
If Mayor Michael Bloomberg decides to test the waters for a possible presidential bid in 2012 what will it cost the cash strapped city?
In an article in this week’s Village Voice, Tom Robbins looks at possible costs of the mayor’s last flirtation with the White House. Shortly after he re-election in 2005, Bloomberg began to travel widely and give speeches. “We later learned this was mostly about setting the stage for a potential run for president,” Robbins writes. “One of the interesting features of this publicity push was that — despite his own fabulous wealth — the mayor wasn’t shy about using city resources to promote his image.”
According to Robbins, “starting in February 2006, the Bloomberg administration began assigning a team of video camera operators from the city’s television station — NYC-TV — to follow and film the mayor” on trips to such places as Shanghai, Beijing, Bali, Paris, London, Mexico City, Belfast, Berlin, Jerusalem and cities across the United States. Even though, unlike their boss, the city workers flew commercial, a trip by a camera crew to say, Oklahoma, cost some $3,4000. An Asia jaunt was $16,400.
Robbins reports that he tried to get this information in a Freedom of Information request last May. The Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications did not respond until a few weeks ago — and then only after a lawyer intervened.
While the tech office has sought to portray the trip — and the filming — as business as usual, when contacted by Robbins, spokespeople for the previous three mayors seemed unfamiliar with such a practice.By Gail Robinson on March 17, 2010, 2:27 pm
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