King vs. Summers, or Bloomberg vs. Rove?

Posted by & filed under 2012 Election, Independent Candidates, The IVA Angle



Filed under: not surprising.

Everybody’s favorite senate race in the Northeast has turned into a full out independent expenditure war. According to the New York Times latest reporting, independent New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has dropped over $500K in the race supporting independent Gov Angus King, and Rove affiliated groups have spent at least $1 million propping up the candidacy of Republican Charlie Summers.

“After a tumultuous summer and fall in which party lines were scrambled and more than $6 million in outside money gushed into the state, Mr. King is still maintaining a double-digit lead in the polls.

This has discouraged some supporters of Charles Summers, the Republican nominee and Maine’s secretary of state. Both the national Republican and Democratic Senate campaign committees have stopped buying TV ads in the state.

But Mr. Rove has not. Crossroads has just tossed another $335,000 into the pot for a new ad blasting Mr. King, saying he used his influence to help wind power companies like his own (a charge that the King campaign denies).

The last-minute infusion brings Crossroads’ total spending in the race to nearly $1 million, and it has given some fresh hope to the Summers team.

“The fact that Crossroads has locked in for the final week with a new ad should reinforce the fact that this race continues to be seen as a winnable race for Charlie,” Lance Dutson, Mr. Summers’s campaign manager, wrote in an e-mail…

One of Mr. King’s chief benefactors has been Mr. Bloomberg, who sent a $500,000 infusion as part of a $1.75 million donation from a group called Americans Elect. The group stepped in after the avalanche of negative ads started to hurt Mr. King. The mayor also started his own super PAC with plans to funnel up to $15 million more to various candidates, including Mr. King.

As the recipient of so much outside money himself, Mr. Summers has not complained too loudly about Mr. Bloomberg’s involvement, except to cast Mr. King as a hypocrite. Mr. Summers has also sought to poke holes in Mr. King’s notion that he can accomplish anything as an independent.

“We don’t need an independent in the Senate,” Mr. Summers said at a candidate’s debate. “We don’t need an umpire. Umpires don’t win ballgames.”

Yes, and in games without umpires, we break the rules. Rule breaking usually causes problems…

What’s really interesting is that Michael Bloomberg and Karl Rove have now “raised” and spent more money in the Maine Senate race than both of the candidates, combined. Is this contest really King vs. Summers, or would Bloomberg vs. Rove be a more apt description?

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