Politics

October 11, 2012

NYC's mayor to host fundraiser for Angus King

King's trip to Michael Bloomberg's home likely will intensify the debate over out-of-state ties to Maine's U.S. Senate race.

By Kevin Miller kmiller@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will host an invitation-only fundraiser for U.S. Senate candidate Angus King.

The Associated Press

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Independent Angus King and Democrat Cynthia Dill at a recent debate for U.S. Senate candidates.

2012 file photo

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Cutler isn't the only connection between Americans Elect and King. The candidate worked with Peter Ackerman -- co-founder of Americans Elect -- on Unity08, a campaign to build a "unity ticket" for the 2008 presidential election.

Ackerman is one of the other two donors to Americans Elect's independent expenditures supporting King. Federal Election Commission filings show that, like Bloomberg, he donated $500,000. John Burbank III, chief investment officer of the financial investment firm Passport Capital, donated $750,000. Crystal Canney, spokeswoman for the King campaign, said the candidate has met Ackerman three times and they have never discussed Americans Elect.

Similarly, Wachtel said the organization's decision to support King was based solely on his vision and potential as an independent voice in Washington.

On Wednesday, the Maine Republican Party lodged a second official complaint, with the Internal Revenue Service, challenging Americans Elect's 501(c)(4) nonprofit tax status.

The complaint accuses Americans Elect of violating laws that prohibit nonprofits from engaging in political activity as their primary purpose. "What this amounts to is taxpayer subsidy of the election of Angus King," said Sorensen, the Maine Republican Party's spokesman.

Wachtel said that while Americans Elect is supporting King, its "primary activity" remains attempting to open up the political process and ballot access to nonpartisan candidates.

"We are not in violation of any rules," she said.

Wachtel and King's campaign have accused Maine Republicans of trying to distract the public from the fact that Summers is trailing King in polls.

They also noted that -- unlike the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other Republican-aligned groups that are running ads to help Summers -- Bloomberg, Ackerman and Burbank opted to make their contributions public.

"At least we know where the money is coming from," Canney said. "We still don't know where the money is coming from in the U.S. Chamber ads."

Washington Bureau Chief Kevin Miller can be contacted at 317-6256 or at:

kmiller@mainetoday.com

On Twitter: @KevinMillerDC

 

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