(Christopher Robbins) Our billionaire mayor is close to piloting his helicopter into the sunset, taking with him the aura of financial independence that he wielded like an invisible arm of the City budget, rewarding and punishing allies and foes to more effectively push his agenda. But money abhors a vacuum, and shady special interests and independent groups have already stepped in to pump $12.7 million into this year's citywide races.

That figure comes from Matt Sollars, a spokesman for the Campaign Finance Board, who told the Times, "It's pretty clear that this is unprecedented. We have never seen groups spending like that."

Those groups include the real estate lobby, which spent $6 to $7 million on candidates like Bill de Blasio to ensure their concerns aren't forgotten after the election.

A group of irony-challenged, independent entities named New York City Is Not For Sale spent $879,000 to run ads against City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, but the Times notes that she could have stopped the bleeding had she just supported an issue crucial to the anti-carriage horse contingency: electric cars to replace the horses.

Read More: Gothamist

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