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Mayoral race: It doesn't cost millions to advertise on YouTube

By Ryan Chatelain

YouTube was an important tool in last year’s presidential campaign. Nationally televised debates fielded questions from voters asked via YouTube videos. Tech savvy candidates posted videos and messages. (OK, maybe they had their tech savvy people do it for them, but you get the point.)

This year’s mayoral election is arguably the first of the YouTube era. While technically YouTube was around when Michael Bloomberg won his second term in 2005, the video Web site was in its infancy then.

Today, YouTube is a full-fledged cultural phenomenon, and some candidates are taking full advantage of the low-cost way of reaching potential voters.

Here are some videos from this year’s hopefuls. (In case you’re wondering, there are no videos from U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner because he is still deciding whether he’ll run.)

Newark Mayor Cory Booker endorses Michael Bloomberg, the independent running on the Republican ticket. Then our mayor promptly thanks Booker by declaring, “We have the most wonderful city in the world!”

Throughout his term as city comptroller, Bill Thompson has been perhaps New York’s most You Tube-friendly pol. In this video, his campain stumps some New Yorkers by asking what positive things Bloomberg has done as mayor.

City Councilman Tony Avella is running for mayor because he’s “mad as hell.” But he hasn’t posted a new campaign video since this welcome message for his Web site in February 2008.

Green Party candidate/performance artist/community activist Reverend Billy Talen unveils his remake of “New York, New York,” in which he and supporters sing, “Start spreading the wealth. I’m hoping to stay.”

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