Political Party/527

Independence USA PAC

Founder:

Michael Bloomberg

Location:

New York, NY

Type:

Super PAC

Tax Classification:

527

The Independence USA PAC is a super PAC funded by former New York City Mayor, 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, and left-of-center donor Michael Bloomberg. The PAC is fully funded by Bloomberg’s personal fortune and was founded in 2012 with the intention of supporting moderate Democrats and Republicans in congressional races. In recent election cycles the PAC has donated exclusively to Democratic candidates in competitive districts with the sole purpose of supporting Democratic majorities in the House and Senate.

The PAC supported Bloomberg’s 2020 campaign for President until his early exit from the Democratic primary and subsequently spent $68 million during the 2020 election cycle to promote Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden. The PAC is run by Howard Wolfson, a longtime Bloomberg advisor and Democratic political operative. [1] [2]

Background

The Independence USA PAC was formed by Michael Bloomberg in mid-October 2012, just a few weeks before the general election. Bloomberg, a former New York City mayor who was a lifelong Democrat before running for mayor as a Republican and later as an independent, announced that the new PAC would fund both Democratic and Republican candidates who support his agenda and particularly those who support gun control. Initial congressional candidates supported by the PAC in 2012 included Gloria McLeod (D-CA), Val Demings (D-FL), and Robert Dold (R-IL). [3]

The PAC solely makes independent expenditures and mostly spends money directly towards campaigning on TV and radio ads supporting its preferred candidates. The PAC spent a total of $10 million in 2012, $17.7 million in 2014, and $21.7 million in 2016. [4]

2018 election

Michael Bloomberg’s political spending dramatically increased during the 2018 election cycle and the PAC disregarded its previous alleged bipartisanship and began to focus its spending on competitive U.S. house races with the intention of flipping control of the U.S. House of Representatives to Democrats. The PAC’s spending increased from 21.7 million during the 2016 cycle to $64.7 million in the 2018 cycle. Democratic House candidates supported by the PAC in 2018 included Jennifer Wexton (D-VA), Haley Stevens (D-MI), Lauren Underwood (D-IL), Katie Hill (D-CA), and Lucy McBath (D-GA). [5] [6]

2020 Election

Michael Bloomberg, the founder of the Independence USA PAC, ran for president in the 2020 Democratic Primary, pending over $1.1 billion of his personal fortune before dropping out of the race, The PAC remained dormant while Bloomberg funneled his personal fortune into his presidential campaign, but was revived later in the 2020 election cycle pressure on Bloomberg to use his personal fortune to support Joe Biden’s presidential campaign. [7]

Bloomberg ultimately pledged to spend $150 million to support Biden’s campaign against then-President Donald Trump with over a third of that money being funneled through the Independence USA PAC, which spent a total of $68 million during the 2020 election cycle. Most of the PAC’s spending was on TV and radio ads supporting Biden. [8]

2022 Election

The Independence USA PAC is expected to spend more of Michael Bloomberg’s fortune supporting Democratic congressional candidates during the 20022 election. As of March 2022, the group had only reported a payment of $700,000 in consulting fees to Democratic operative Howard Wolfson. [9] [10]

References

  1. Tindera Michaela. “Here’s Where Mike Bloomberg, The Biggest Spender in The 2020 Election, Has Donated This Year.” Forbes. November 5, 2021. Accessed March 16, 2022. https://www.forbes.com/sites/michelatindera/2021/11/05/heres-where-mike-bloomberg-the-biggest-spender-in-the-2020-election-has-donated-this-year/?sh=4bd6bbab5a10 ^
  2. “Independence USA PAC.” Center for Responsive Politics. Accessed March 16, 2022.  https://www.opensecrets.org/political-action-committees-pacs/independence-usa-pac/C00532705/summary/2020 ^
  3. Marcus, Rachael. “Daily Disclosure: Bloomberg’s super PAC backs candidates in both parties.” The Center for Public Integrity. November 1, 2012. Accessed March 20, 2022. https://publicintegrity.org/politics/daily-disclosure-bloombergs-super-pac-backs-candidates-in-both-parties/ ^
  4. “Independence USA PAC.” Center for Responsive Politics. Accessed March 16, 2022.  https://www.opensecrets.org/political-action-committees-pacs/independence-usa-pac/C00532705/summary/2020 ^
  5. “2018 Elections.” Independence USA PAC. Accessed March 16, 2022. https://www.independenceusapac.org/Campaigns/2018-elections ^
  6. “Independence USA PAC.” Center for Responsive Politics. Accessed March 16, 2022.  https://www.opensecrets.org/political-action-committees-pacs/independence-usa-pac/C00532705/summary/2020 ^
  7. Marcus, Rachael. “Daily Disclosure: Bloomberg’s super PAC backs candidates in both parties.” The Center for Public Integrity. November 1, 2012. Accessed March 20, 2022. https://publicintegrity.org/politics/daily-disclosure-bloombergs-super-pac-backs-candidates-in-both-parties/ ^
  8. Tindera Michaela. “Here’s Where Mike Bloomberg, The Biggest Spender in The 2020 Election, Has Donated This Year.” Forbes. November 5, 2021. Accessed March 16, 2022.   https://www.forbes.com/sites/michelatindera/2021/11/05/heres-where-mike-bloomberg-the-biggest-spender-in-the-2020-election-has-donated-this-year/?sh=4bd6bbab5a10 ^
  9. Tindera Michaela. “Here’s Where Mike Bloomberg, The Biggest Spender in The 2020 Election, Has Donated This Year.” Forbes. November 5, 2021. Accessed March 16, 2022.   https://www.forbes.com/sites/michelatindera/2021/11/05/heres-where-mike-bloomberg-the-biggest-spender-in-the-2020-election-has-donated-this-year/?sh=4bd6bbab5a10 ^
  10. “Independence USA PAC.” Center for Responsive Politics. Accessed March 16, 2022.  https://www.opensecrets.org/political-action-committees-pacs/independence-usa-pac/C00532705/summary/2020 ^
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