Sunday, March 9, 2014
Former Gov. Angus King is in Washington, D.C. today to raise money for his campaign, including at one event in the home of a Democratic lobbyist.
King's trip comes as polls show the race tightening and as his wife, Mary Herman, is making her own appeal for donation to counter the anti-King ads by Republican groups "literally trying to buy this election."
King has taken at least two previous trips to D.C. for fundraisers, and at least one other event was hosted by Democratic lobbyists.
Such excursions are a routine part of a U.S. Senate campaign, although it's trickier in King's case. D.C. is a highly partisan town and he is running as an independent who says he wants to break through the partisan gridlock.
King has not said which party he would caucus with if elected. National Democrats clearly expect King to side with their party, but King has said his decision will be based on the balance of power in the Senate and on what is the best decision for the state. He also has suggested not caucusing with either party if he can negotiate committee assignments without taking sides.
Some are suggesting King should simply declare his support for Democrats now that the race has tightened, but King is not likely to give up all his bargaining power at this point.
King is expcetd to attend multiple fundraisers on the trip. One is at the home of Patrick Murphy, a long-time Democratic donor. Guests are being asked to donate $500, $1,000 or $2,500.
King's rivals have called him hypocritical for seeking money from partisan lobbyists when he claims to be running against the political influence of parties and money.
King's spokesman, Crystal Canney, told my colleague Kevin Miller today that the independent has to raise money to defend himself against Republican atatcks.
"We have to fundraise with $1.7 million in negative, attack money against Angus," Canney told Miller. "And every single dollar that Angus raises is entirely disclosable. We are hot hiding from anybody."
Open Season targets all of Maine's political wildlife, from Portland city government to the donkeys, elephants and independents stalking the Statehouse and U.S. Capitol.
John Richardson joined the Press Herald in 1990 after working as a reporter in New Jersey. He has covered a variety of beats, including marine issues, the environment and health care. He is now covering politics and focusing on Maine's U.S. Senate race.
John can be reached at 791-6324 or email@example.com
On Twitter: @jrichmaine
Colin Woodard has covered politics and elections for more than two decades, from Bosnia and Bucharest to Washington, D.C., Augusta, and Portland City Hall. He has written for a wide range of national and international publications and is the author of four books, including "American Nations," a history of North America's regional cultures. He joined the Portland Press Herald at the end of April and covers political finance and lobbying, among other things.
Colin can be reached at 791-6317 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Susan Cover has covered Maine politics for 10 years and worked in Kansas, Ohio and Rhode Island as a reporter. This year, she is focusing on covering the same-sex marriage debate for MaineToday Media.
Susan can be reached at 621-5643 or email@example.com
Michael Shepherd joined MaineToday Media in May 2012 after graduating from the University of Maine in Orono, where he edited The Maine Campus, the student newspaper there. Until November he'll be writing the Truth Test, a recurring feature analyzing political statements and advertising.
Michael can be reached at 621-5632 or firstname.lastname@example.org