Now it’s a battle of the independent expenditure campaigns.

Friends of Democracy, a group funded by Jonathan Soros that supports the public financing of political campaigns, is pushing back against a pair of TV ads from Balance New York, another IE that is airing anti-public financing spots in two competitive Senate districts.

As we reported in the Morning Memo today, Balance New York released TV spots knocking both Rochester-area Democratic Sen. Ted O’Brien and Democratic candidate Justin Wagner in the Hudson Valley over the public financing issue.

Friends of Democracy has not been active in O’Brien’s race against Republican Rich Funke, but issued a statement supporting Wagner and knocking his GOP opponent, Terrence Murphy.

“Terrence Murphy’s special interest friends are funded by a who’s who of corporate interests,” said David Donnelly of New York Friends of Democracy. “Sending Murphy to Albany will lead to more favors and pay-to-play politics and that’s why Balance New York is trying to stop Justin Wagner. They know, and we know, that Justin Wagner will be a champion for cleaning up Albany and stopping big donors from calling the shots.”

At the same time, the group is spending $200,042 on a TV ad campaign knocking Muprhy.

Meanwhile, in the Buffalo Senate district held by Republican Mark Grisanti, Friends of Democracy is airing a $45,845 radio campaign blasting the incumbent. That radio spot can be heard here.