A newly-formed independent party super PAC funded by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has spent nearly half a million dollars in only three days last week in a highly unusual bipartisan fashion.
They include $200,000 in ads supporting Democrat Gloria McLeod on California’s 35th District, $105,000’s worth supporting Republican Rep. Robert Dold in Illinois’s 10th District, and $61,000 opposing Republican Rep. Daniel Webster, who in 2010 defeated liberal firebrand Alan Grayson, in Florida’s 10th District.
The positive-tone advertisements are rare for super PACs, which usually do the dirty work, freeing the candidates themselves to stay positive. But rare, too, is a nonpartisan PAC in a hyperpartisan world.
Mr. Bloomberg is an independent in the twilight of his political career, and has suddenly been putting substantial portions of his vast personal wealth into politics.
He recently put half a million dollars behind a fellow independent who is battling a Republican for a U.S. Senate seat in Maine by giving to the Americans Elect party.
His new super PAC, Independence USA, appears focused on House races, where outside money can easily tip the balance of resources.
All of the expenditures took place between Monday and Thursday. The super PAC is so new that is has never disclosed its donors or cash on hand, highlighting the potential for last-minute super PACs to influence elections without disclosure.
In this case, the PAC’s source of funds is no mystery. But with such levels of spending in only three days, the question is how much money Mr. Bloomberg stands ready to pour into politics before Nov. 6.