Bloomberg PAC goes on the air against ‘extreme’ Republican Ann Marie Buerkle

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On Friday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg's new super PAC made what appears to be the first big television purchase of its late push for to affect the 2012 races.

Bloomberg's Independence USA spent $294,000 on a media buy opposing Ann Marie Buerkle in New York's 24th congressional district, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission.

Buerkle is being challenged by former Rep. Dan Maffei, who she defeated in 2010, with the endorsement of Sarah Palin, and the help of a Republican wave.

It's Bloomberg's third expenditure on the race already, following two direct mail buys.

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Howard Wolfson, the operative managing Bloomberg's pro-moderate campaign, explained his support for Maffei last week, when reports first showed the mayor was spending in the race.

"His opponent is a consistent opponent of common sense laws that would protect New Yorkers by keeping guns out of the hands of criminals," Wolfson said in an email to Capital. "She is part of the problem in Washington -- partisan and extreme."

Bloomberg has spent just over $366,000 on the race so far.

The mayor spent $52,000 in direct mail on Friday to bolster Illinois Republican Robert Dold, who has bucked his party to support certain abortion and gun control measures in the House, bringing his total spending in that race to just over $156,000.

He has also spent $119,000 to help Val Demings a Democratic candidate in Florida, and $195,000 to help Gloria Negrete McLeod, a Democratic state senator running for Congress in California.

The mayor has pledged to spend between $10 to $15 million before Election Day.