Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's political action committee Independence USA is pouring $1.9 million into an television ad buy backing Illinois congressional candidate Bob Dold.
Crain's Chicago Businessreports that the donation from billionaire Bloomberg, who returned to lead his namesake company after relinquishing his three-term post last year, is the "largest outside spending by a wide margin in the race," besting the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's now-quaint, six-figure contribution to Dold earlier this year.
Dold is running a tight toss-up race against Rep. Brad Schneider in the battleground 10th district on suburban Chicago's tony North Shore.
The Republican businessman from Kenilworth previously held Schneider's position until the Deerfield Democrat ousted him from office in 2012. Millions in outside money is flooding in on both sides, with Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS a benefactor for the Dold campaign.
Meanwhile, Dold has sought to reinvent himself as a fiscally conservative/socially moderate independent in the vein of the popular GOP Sen. Mark Kirk, who previously repped the 10th. Last week, Dold and Kirk appeared in a TV ad together wherein the latter gushed: "He's like me!"
Bloomberg is worth some $34 billion, so (obviously) he has dollars to drop. According to the New York Times, this month the ex-Republican city boss (whose politics cross over into Democratic territory on social issues) intended to earmark even more dough—$25 million—to prop up political centrists ahead of Nov. 4's midterm elections. Beyond Dold, this cycle he's supported a bipartisan array of candidates in states from Massachusetts to Michigan and was also directing cash to back a Washington State referendum on gun control.
"He wants to elect people who are open and actually inclined to work with people across the aisle," Bloomberg's political adviser Howard Wolfson told the Times in early October.
Angling to influence last year's showdown for Jesse Jackson Jr.'s House seat, the Independence USA PAC earmarked over $1.4 million on gun control-themed ads that successfully helped Rep. Robin Kelly defeat a rival bid from former congresswoman Debbie Halvorson.
The PAC's Dold spot touts Dold's endorsements of gun-shop background checks as well as gay marriage. It takes a positive tone, slinging no mud in Schneider's direction.