Bloomberg Starts Super PAC With Eye on Marriage Initiatives

By Julie Bolcer

Originally published on Advocate.com October 18 2012 12:10 PM ET

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is launching a super PAC with plans to spend between $10 million and $15 million this election cycle to advance causes including marriage equality and candidates who show a commitment to solving problems over partisanship.

Independence USA PAC will direct spending toward highly competitive local, state, and congressional races, and will “likely” invest in the campaigns to win marriage equality in Maine and Washington, according to The New York Times. The mayor, a registered independent and billionaire, recently donated $250,000 to the marriage referendum campaign in Maryland, and he contributed to the Republican state senators who backed the legislation in New York last year.

“Among those whom Mr. Bloomberg will support are former Gov. Angus King, an independent running for the United States Senate in Maine; State Senator Gloria Negrete McLeod, who is challenging a fellow Democrat, Representative Joe Baca of California, who the mayor believes has been weak on gun-control; and Representative Bob Dold, a Republican from Illinois who has backed gun-control measures,” reports the Times.

The spending will take the form of TV and radio advertisements and direct mail, according to The Wall Street Journal, which reports that the mayor is also supporting Democratic congressional candidate Dan Maffei of New York, Democratic U.S. senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri, and Republican U.S. senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts.

“It’s critically important that we have elected officials in Washington, Albany, and around the nation who are willing to work across party lines to achieve real results,” Bloomberg said in a statement reported by the Journal. “I’ve always believed in the need for more independent leadership."

Howard Wolfson, a deputy mayor and veteran of campaigns including Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid, will oversee the PAC’s activities, according to the Times. The organization will invest in as many as a dozen House and Senate races, with expenditures of as much as a $1 million in a race, or more than half what some candidates spend on their contests.