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New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg To Put His Money Where His Mouth Is In U.S. Election Campaign
October 19, 2012
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One thing about New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg - he's rich; worth an estimated $25 billion.

He's also a guy who has a reputation for putting party politics aside, to do what he thinks is right - whether he wins popularity points or not.

Case in point: with the U.S. election now just 18 days away, Bloomberg is set to potentially make a significant impact on the campaign.

He plans to spend up to $15 million of his own money, and create his own "superPAC" to help elect moderate candidates - whether they're Democrats, Republicans, or Independents.

A "superPAC" is a super-political action committee. Under American law, "superPACS" can spend unlimited amounts of money to support of a candidate or issue. But they're not allowed to work directly with candidates.

Bloomberg - who was once a Democrat, then a Republican - is now registered as an Independent. He has grown frustrated with partisan politics in Washington. So, he wants to help elect people to Congress who he believes will compromise and get things done to help America.

"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.

He's also made it clear the $15 million will be spent on advertising for candidates who support three of his biggest policy initiatives: legalizing same-sex marriage, tougher gun laws, and revamping America's schools.

"This spending sends a clear message that the mayor intends to keep his wallet open after he leaves office to influence national policy around issues like guns, education and marriage equality," one top Bloomberg adviser anonymously told the New York Times. "If anything, leaving office will free him to do even more."

New-York-Mayor-Michael-Bloomberg-To-Put-His-Money-Where-His-Mouth-Is-In-US-Election-Campaign-feature3.jpg Bloomberg's group will be called 'Independence USA PAC'. It will be overseen by Howard Wolfson, a New York deputy mayor who's taking a leave of absence from City Hall until election day on November 6.

Wolfson - who has a lot of experience with Presidential and Congressional campaigns - will decide where to spend money and how to best use TV, radio and Internet ads.

Bloomberg was elected mayor of New York in 2002 and is due to step down at the end of next year. During his time in office, he has routinely taken unpopular positions, such as restricting guns, banning super-sized soft drinks, and supporting the building of a mosque near ground zero.

New-York-Mayor-Michael-Bloomberg-To-Put-His-Money-Where-His-Mouth-Is-In-US-Election-Campaign-feature2.jpg The New York Times points out Bloomberg has seemed more and more irritated by the rhetoric of the presidential campaign. For instance, in this week's debate Barack Obama and Mitt Romney were asked about a ban on assault weapons.

Bloomberg described both of their answers as "gibberish."

In all, Bloomberg plans to put money into as many as a dozen Congressional races, but he and his advisors are still deciding on which ones. Ultimately, they want to spend money on close races and potentially make a difference in the outcome.

Apparently, Bloomberg is set to spend up to $1 million in any given race. That's a lot, when you consider some Congressional candidates spend less than $2 million on their campaigns.

Bloomberg is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP.

In 2006, he helped start the 'Mayors Against Illegal Guns Action Fund', and has reportedly contributed more than $3.1 million to that coalition in the past two years.

Business Insider has a breakdown of 12 superPACS that it says are bankrolling the U.S. election. You can check that out here.

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