Although it achieved mixed results overall, Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s recently-created “super PAC” was undoubtedly instrumental in a Democrat-on-Democrat congressional race in Southern California. Veteran Rep. Joe Baca saw his fortunes fade as Mr. Bloomberg poured more than $3 million behind his challenger, Congresswoman-elect Gloria Negrete McLeod, whom he felt would be more likely to stand up to the gun lobby.
Let’s just say Mr. Baca is a tad bitter over the whole affair.
In a recent op-ed touting his accomplishments in office, Mr. Baca managed to devote a substantial amount of space to Mr. Bloomberg, his PAC and all the terrible things wrong with both of them.
“I stand by my record, and I believe I would have defeated my opponent for the 35th Congressional District if each candidate were judged on merit alone,” the defeated congressman wrote. “But at the end of the day, I was defeated by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his super PAC, not by Sen. Gloria Negrette McLeod. Mr. Bloomberg’s super PAC, Independence USA, spent $3.3 million in television, radio, and mail attack ads against me during the final weeks of the election. These attacks had their intended effect, successfully propelling my opponent – whom I both outraised and outworked – to victory.”
Then Mr. Baca got a tad personal, accusing Mr. Bloomberg of neglecting his duties at home in order to intervene in California politics.
“But at what cost was Mayor Bloomberg’s victory secured?” he asked. “In the wake of super storm Sandy, imagine the number of homes that $3.3 million could repair, or the number of Thanksgiving meals that could be bought for displaced individuals and families. Yet instead of working toward the greater good, Mayor Bloomberg was content to spend his money influencing the outcome of a Congressional race nearly 3,000 miles away, while at the same time his home city was experiencing one of its times of greatest need.”
It’s worth noting Mr. Bloomberg, a billionaire, is capable of charitable and political spending at the same time. Nevertheless, clearly on a warpath, Mr. Baca went on to attack the mayor’s “shadowy dealings,” alleged falsehoods and the shortcomings of his opponent.
“As I move forward with my final weeks serving in Congress, I am heartened knowing the lasting positive change that many of my actions in Congress have brought to our families and communities in the Inland Empire,” he concluded. “I wish the same could be said for the $3.3 million Mayor Bloomberg spent to buy a candidate.”
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