Bloomberg’s super PAC backs candidates in both parties

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's new super PAC, Independence USA PAC, is throwing last-minute millions behind centrist Congressional candidates.

A super PAC founded by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg reported spending $4.9 million on both Republicans and Democrats in Florida, Illinois and California, according to Federal Election Commission records filed Wednesday. Independence USA PAC was formed Oct. 18, and voters won't know who its donors are until after the election. The group has spent $6 million so far this election. The super PAC spent $2.5 million supporting the U.S. House run of California state Sen. Gloria Negrete McLeod, a Democrat; $1.8 million supporting the House run of former Orlando Chief of Police Val Demings, a Democrat; and $909,000 supporting Rep. Bob Dold, R-Ill., among other candidates. The billionaire media mogul, now an independent, was a lifelong Democrat who switched to the GOP when he first ran for mayor. He has pledged his super PAC will spend between $10 million and $15 million supporting state, local and congressional candidates who value bipartisanship and Bloomberg’s agenda, which includes supporting same-sex marriage, an overhaul of public schools, and his signature cause, gun control. While Independence USA hasn't reported its donors, records show that a politically active nonprofit, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, is primarily supported by the mayor. While Bloomberg has become increasingly involved in national politics this election, he has repeatedly declined to discuss the presidential election. He has expressed disappointment with both candidates. The super PAC is run by Howard Wolfson, Bloomberg’s deputy mayor, who is taking a leave of absence from City Hall until the election. In other outside spending news:


  • Restore Our Future, the super PAC supporting GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, reported spending $12.1 million opposing President Barack Obama.  

  • Priorities USA, the super PAC supporting Obama, reported spending $10.6 million opposing Romney. It released “Connect the Dots,” which opposes Romney and Gov. Rick Scott of Florida.  

  • American Crossroads, a conservative super PAC, reported spending $7.6 million opposing Obama and the Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate in Indiana and Nebraska. It released “Four Years,” which opposes Rep. Joe Donnelly, the Democratic candidate in Indiana, and “Consequences,” which opposes former Sen. Bob Kerrey, running for his former seat in Nebraska.  

  • Its sister nonprofit Crossroads GPS released “No Clue” opposing Rep. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., who is running for U.S. Senate in the state.  

  • House Majority PAC, a super PAC backing House Democrats, reported spending $4.2 million opposing Republican candidates for U.S. House in numerous races. It released “Little Bit” opposing Saratoga Springs, Utah, Mayor Mia Love, the Republican candidate for House in the state’s 4th District.  

  • Majority PAC, a super PAC backing Senate Democrats, reported spending $3.3 million. It released “Made Of” opposing Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in the state, and “The Difference,” opposing Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., who is running for U.S. Senate.  

  • American Future Fund, a conservative nonprofit that reported spending $2.4 million on Wednesday, released “Listening” in support of Jonathan Paton, the Republican candidate for U.S. House in Arizona’s 1st District. A half-million dollars of that expenditure paid for the Paton ad; the rest supported Romney.  

  • Americans for Tax Reform, a nonprofit run by conservative activist Grover Norquist, released six ads opposing Democrats running for U.S. House:

  • Never Ending Spending” opposes Rep. Mark Critz in Pennsylvania’s 12 District;

  • Tax Raising Politicians” opposes Rep. Charlie Wilson in Ohio’s 6th District;

  • Typical Selfish Politician” opposes Port of San Diego Commissioner Scott Peters, running in California’s 52nd District;

  • Safe” opposes Rep. John Barrow in Georgia’s 12th District;

  • Skyrocket” opposes Rep. Ben Chandler in Kentucky’s 6th District;

  • Wrong Prescription” opposes former Illinois National Guard Commander Bill Enyart in Illinois’ 12th District.
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About the author

Rachael Marcus is a reporter with the Center for Public Integrity, a non-profit, non-partisan independent investigative news outlet, which contributes campaign finance coverage to Marketplace. For more of their reporting on money and politics go to publicintegrity.org.

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