Bloomberg PAC tries to drown its opponents in money

February 21, 2013

It's a bad day when New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's political action committee rolls into town to take you on.

Former congresswoman Debbie Halvorson (D-Ill.) is finding that out the hard way right now, as she suffers from a barrage of ads from the super PAC, also known as Independence USA.

The PAC, which has backed gun control supporters and targeted those who oppose it, regardless of party, has so far spent about 20 times the amount Halvorson has been able to raise for her campaign in the special election to replace former congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.). While Halvorson has raised just about $100,000, Independence USA has spent $2.16 million against her, citing her 'A' rating from the NRA.

(Update: The New York Times's Nick Corasaniti has a great look at how Independence USA has spent that $2.16 million.)

It's not the first time the PAC has cast a huge shadow over a race. In fact, in three of the six congressional races it has gotten involved in since its founding in 2012, it has outspent the candidate it opposed.

The PAC is clearly looking to pick its spots and make a statement in each race it targets -- even if that means spending $2 million or even $3 million to get it done.

So far, though, the PAC has had mixed results, winning two of the five 2012 races.

Halvorson could well be No. 3. We'll find out after this Tuesday's primary.


Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix, the Post’s top political blog.
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Sean Sullivan | February 21, 2013