Chalk up another first for Mayor Bloomberg -- he's a noncandidate who has just registered a new campaign committee at the state Board of Elections.
Each of the other 10,356 active filers at the board is running for office, thinking of running for office, supporting someone running for office, or pushing a ballot initiative.
By his own words, Bloomberg falls into none of those categories.
Mayoral aides said the sole purpose of the committee, formed on April 15 and simply and aptly named "Michael R. Bloomberg," is to report the mayor's recent spending on TV, radio and direct-mail ads.
"While not obligated to file, we chose to do so in order to disclose the expenditures," said Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson.
The filing won't be made public until July 15.
Why Bloomberg is willing to disclose the information in three months, and not now, isn't clear. In a campaign, there might be a strategic advantage to not revealing any information an opponent might put to use.
But the mayor has no campaign to worry about. He has said repeatedly that he is not running again.
The new committee's mailing address is the Peekskill home of Kathleen McInerney, an employee of Bloomberg's longtime accountant, Martin Geller. Bloomberg's previous committees have all been registered out of Geller's Midtown offices.
"Everything about this is weird," said one veteran political consultant.
Government watchdog Gene Russianoff said he doesn't see an issue as long as the mayor is disbursing his own money for his own benefit.
"Clearly, the public doesn't hold it against him to spend his own money," observed Russianoff. "He can spend the money wisely or foolishly. His choice."
Bloomberg, one of the nation's wealthiest individuals, funded each of his three campaigns for City Hall to the tune of nearly $270 million combined.
The recent ads focusing on Bloomberg's "independence" were launched March 21, partly to counter a blitz of negative commercials by the teachers union and the AFL-CIO and partly to boost Bloomberg's dismal 40 percent approval number in the polls.
Is this political campaign registered just so Bloomberg can run campaign-like commercials about what a swell guy he is until his mayoral term ends?
Or does he have some even more insidious design behind the campaign?