The New Pack of PACs

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Michael Bloomberg

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg leaves the Blue Room of New York's City Hall after proposing his final budget plan. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, Pool)

Bloomberg’s Independence USA PAC

Michael Bloomberg, the independent, billionaire mayor of New York City, founded Independence USA PAC in Oct. 2012 to elect candidates from both parties who he thought would encourage bipartisan problem-solving. The PAC, Bloomberg said, would use his money to support candidates who, like Bloomberg, champion school reform, legalizing gay marriage and enforcing stricter gun laws, and to oppose those who don’t. Bloomberg’s advisers speculated that the PAC would continue after Bloomberg’s tenure as mayor finishes in Jan. 2014.

Independence USA PAC files frequently with the FEC about its spending, and recent records from the first weeks of February show the PAC has spent over a million dollars on ads opposing a former one-term congresswoman, Debbie Halvorson, who is one of 17 Democrats running in a crowded primary to replace Jesse Jackson, Jr., who stepped down two weeks after Election Day.

Halvorsen has an A+ rating from the NRA, and ads from Bloomberg’s PAC argue that Chicago, a city with one of the highest murder rates in the country, needs a pro-gun control candidate for Jackson’s seat.

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