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Politics, baseball and money

November 2, 2009 1:26:34 PM PST
This will be a week of campaigns coming to an end - political campaigns and baseball campaigns.

Success in politics and baseball often is dependent on money. That's certainly something of a truism in the greater New York metro area. The two candidates who have spent more of their own money than any other candidates in U.S. political history happen to reside in the Tri-State.

Michael Bloomberg and Jon Corzine are among the wealthiest Americans, although the New York Mayor makes the New Jersey Governor seem like a pauper when you consider one is worth more than $16 billion and the other $150 million. That's a difference of more than 100 fold. Staggering.

Anyway, money doesn't apparently guarantee success, at least if you use the New Jersey race as the example. Corzine is in the race of his political life against Republican challenger - and former U.S. Attorney - Chris Christie. Polls show the two are extremely close - two points one way or the other. And the wild card - independent Chris Daggett - could very well determine who wins tomorrow.

Corzine is spending tens of millions of his own money, again. You have to wonder how far behind he'd be if he hadn't.

Also spending his own money is Mayor Bloomberg - perhaps more than $100 million. There are many who suggest it's unnecessary - a two-term mayor shouldn't have to spend the most money in political history to make his case.

But Bloomberg is nothing if not aggressive, and he clearly wants to swamp his challenger, City Comptroller Bill Thompson.

Much of Thompson's support is anti-Bloomberg voters, and many experts say that Bloomberg's biggest worry tomorrow is that people who are likely to vote for him might just stay home, figuring he's going to coast. That's why Democrats are getting robo calls at home from Bloomberg's supporters, and it's why the Mayor has unleashed an unprecedented number of campaign ads and literature, blasting Thompson and touting his own 8 years at City Hall.

There's another race that's worth following - in upstate New York, in the Watertown area, where arch-conservatives helped drive the Republican candidate for Congress out of the race. Instead they're endorsing conservative independent Doug Hoffman in his bid against Democrat Bill Owens.

Vice President Biden spoke at an Owens rally today, while Sarah Palin busily tweeted about Biden and about Hoffman. We'll see who helps whom and how much.

Tonight at 11, we'll preview the important elections tomorrow.

Also at 11, and speaking of spending money, the Yankees tonight have a chance to win their 27th World Championship. The richest, freest spending team in sports proving once again that money can buy victory.

If you like good baseball games, this has been your Series. If you're a Yankees fan, triple that emotion.

We have Eyewitness News reporters in Philly and throughout New York in the event the Yanks win tonight. If they don't, we stand down and get ready to do it all again on Wednesday night. Scott Clark leads our coverage.

We'll also have the latest on the economy, after Pres. Obama today suggested that the nation will continue to see an erosion of jobs, and the jobless rate will continue to rise for a while. Meanwhile, a study out today suggests that nearly half of all American children - including 90% of African American youngsters - will be on food stamps at some point during their childhood. The study - released today in the November issue of Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine - says that fallout from the recession could mean those numbers increase.

And our investigative reporter Sarah Wallace tonight has the disturbing story of how a small business owner was ripped off for about half a million dollars. The rip off is disturbing, but exacerbating the situation is that his bank should have red-flagged the situation. The thief had this guy's account number - and that's apparently all he needed.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast. I hope you can join Liz Cho and me, tonight at 11.

BILL RITTER


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