Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Bloomberg money bomb drops in Corona Congressional race

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The Mayor of New York came through. Michael Bloomberg created his own political action committee, Independence USA, and promised to help select House candidates around the country who support tougher gun control measures.

New filings with the Federal Election Commission show Bloomberg's PAC spent nearly $200,000 on a race in the Inland Empire. The latest FEC report shows two expenditures: $65,000 last Tuesday and another $130,000 on Thursday to pay for campaign mailers that support Democratic State Senator Gloria Negrete McLeod in her race to unseat incumbent Democratic Congressman Joe Baca in Corona.

On this year's NRA report card, the National Rifle Association gave McLeod a "D," describing her as an "anti-gun" candidate; Baca, described as "generally a pro-gun candidate,"got a "B+." When Baca first ran for Congress in 1999, the NRA named him one of its “Defenders of Freedom.” Nearly all other California Democrats in Congress get an "F" rating from the NRA.

Both candidates support the Second Amendment.

Baca has outraised McLeod three to one, but the Bloomberg PAC money means an equal amount of cash can be spent on her campaign as on Baca's.

McLeod, however, points out PAC money is an independent expenditure. "They can’t coordinate with me," said McLeod.

The Bloomberg money drop may not be the last from Independence USA in support of McLeod. Bloomberg says he’ll spend at least $10 million on behalf of candidates who can work in a bipartisan way. He also plans to spend in support education reform, and on ballot measures that support gay marriage.

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