Absolute Power in New York City... Nothing to See Here
All incumbents dispense favors. But Mr. Bloomberg's personal wealth has made him a modern-day Medici - a role that, some critics say, can also stifle dissent from institutions that have quietly absorbed city budget cuts because they worry that what the mayor gives he can also stop giving.
"It's an unusual picture: a mayor whose generosity we sincerely appreciate as a person, countered by cuts," said Tom Finkelpearl, executive director of the Queens Museum of Art, which received $100,000 last year through Mr. Bloomberg's ostensibly anonymous gift to the Carnegie Corporation of New York. "There's no question there's a different dynamic."