9:51 am Oct. 24, 2012
Mayor Michael Bloomberg's new super PAC made its first expenditures late yesterday, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission.
The Independence USA PAC spent a total of $94,000 on two House candidates: Val Demings in Florida, and New York's own Dan Maffei.
Demings, the former police chief of Orlando, has been a favorite of Democrats this cycle and is taking on a Republican incumbent who is backed by the Tea Party. Bloomberg's PAC spent $58,000 on direct mail, according to the filing. The mayor had previously contributed $2,500 to her campaign in July.
Independence USA spent just over $36,000 on direct mail for Maffei, who is running to reclaim the seat he lost in 2010 to Ann Marie Buerkle, a Tea Party candidate who was endorsed by Sarah Palin as a "grizzly mama" in her first race, and is one of the few New York members to be approved by the conservative Club for Growth.
The mayor hadn't previously contributed to Maffei's campaign this cycle, and the candidate wasn't mentioned in the early reports as a likely recipient of support from Bloomberg's spending.
"His opponent is a consistent opponent of common sense laws that would protect New Yorkers by keeping guns out of the hands of criminals," said Howard Wolfson, the former Democratic operative managing the super PAC's spending, in an email. "She is part of the problem in Washington -- partisan and extreme."
Bloomberg has pledged to spend between $15 and $20 million on the stretch run this cycle, to be managed by Wolfson, who is taking leave from his current job as deputy mayor.
Yesterday's expenses both went to SKD Knickerbocker, the consulting firm founded by Josh Isay, who has worked for the mayor in the past and has a long, (locally) storied relationship with Wolfson.
This article has been updated with a comment from Wolfson.
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