Updated 10/17/2012 07:42 PM
Mayor Sparks Pricey Campaign To Mold Moderates
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Wednesday that he is starting a Super PAC to help local and national candidates he favors get elected across the country. It is not the first time he is using his wealth to further his political agenda. NY1's Grace Rauh filed the following report.
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Mayor Michael Bloomberg has a long history of opening up his checkbook when he wants to make an impact. The announcement that he is starting his own Super PAC to influence the 2012 elections is very much in line with that tradition.
Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson is taking a leave of absence from City Hall to run the organization.
"The mayor believes very strongly that Washington is broken," Wolfson said. "We don't have people who are willing or able to work across party lines."
Wolfson said the mayor will spend more than $10 million on candidates and causes that he supports. He's already raised money for Sen. Scott Brown of Massachussets, a Republican, and Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri, a Democrat.
This new wave of money will help candidates who support same-sex marriage, tougher gun laws and education reform. Wolfson said it is unlikely the mayor will use the funds in the presidential race.
"The mayor is considering an endorsement but I don't think either of these candidates need any money," Wolfson said.
The news came after Mayor Bloomberg shared his frustration with both presidential candidates when it comes to gun control.
"Gov. Romney signed an assault weapon ban. Today, he's changed his mind," Bloomberg said. "The president campaigned four years ago to introduce a bill to ban assault weapons. The bill never saw the light of day."
The mayor did not like the way Obama and Romney answered a question about assault weapons in the latest debate.
"We need leadership," Bloomberg said. "And I don't think you got a decent answer from either candidate."
Political consultant George Arzt said he is not sure Mayor Bloomberg's money is going to go very far this fall.
"There are other Super PACs out there," Arzt said. "So I don't know if he is going to get the bang for the buck that he wants."
The biggest Super PACs have already burned through tens of millions of dollars this election cycle. It is unclear whether Mayor Bloomberg can ensure his message is heard amid so much outside spending.