Mayor no more, Bloomberg goes national with big donation

New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg departs City Hall, Dec. 19, 2013.
New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg departs City Hall, Dec. 19, 2013.

A week into retirement after three terms as the mayor of New York City, it’s clear that Michael Bloomberg isn’t leaving the national political stage.

If anything, he might just be upping the ante.

Bloomberg has given $2.5 million to the Senate Majority PAC, a super PAC aimed at keeping Democrats in power in the Senate. 

“Mike Bloomberg has made clear that he will continue to fight for the causes that matter to New Yorkers, even more so now that he isn’t constrained by the mayoralty,” Bloomberg aide Howard Wolfson told Politico. He declined to confirm whether this signaled Bloomberg’s entrance into a more aggressive political game on behalf of Democrats.

Last year, Bloomberg’s political efforts focused almost entirely on gun control.

A PAC he formed, called Independence USA, helped defeat GOP gubernatorial nominee Ken Cucinneli in Virginia, pouring $1 million in ad buys in the final two weeks in support of Terry McAuliffe, and lifted up New Jersey's Cory Booker in his Senate bid with another $1 million. He spent more than $2 million to defeat a pro-gun House candidate in Illinois, too.

He poured another $15 million into other gun control initiatives, like Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which responded in force as a fierce lobby in favor of gun control. And while the movement had some casualties and ultimately failed to enact any major changes to federal gun law, it introduced Bloomberg as a national player willing to shell out for the causes he supports. 

And though he bills himself as a Independent, the latest donation signals that the billionaire former mayor—who is reportedly worth as much as $30 billion— may be teaming up with Democrats in a more aggressive way.

The Senate Majority PAC is run by former aides of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid; Bloomberg’s spokesman said the donation had risen “out of the close relationship the Mayor has developed with Leader Reid over the years working on issues of concern to New Yorkers like [super storm] Sandy relief and gun safety.”