King in D.C. raising money from lobbyists, says he takes ‘no joy from this’

The Washington, D.C., publication Politico reported yesterday that independent former Gov. Angus King is in the nation’s capital tonight for a fundraiser hosted by Democratic lobbyists Tony and Heather Podesta.

Also listed as hosts on the invitation (which Politico obtained) are Izzy Klein, a former aide to New York Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer, and the Council for a Livable World, an anti-nuclear arms group that has endorsed King and collected contributions on his behalf.

Aside from King and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., the Council for a Livable World lists only Democrats on its page showing candidates the group has endorsed.

The Maine Republican Party slammed the former governor this morning for raising money from Democratic-affiliated lobbyists, pointing out that he’s spoken out against special interests in the past (the Republicans cited news clipping from King’s time as governor in the 1990s) and that he challenged his opponents in the Senate race to discourage independent spending by so-called super-PACs.

“This is the height of hypocrisy – telling the working people of Maine one thing while at home, but doing another in Washington, D.C.,” Maine GOP Chairman Charlie Webster said in a statement. “This is exactly the kind of say one thing, do another attitude that Americans are sick of in Washington.”

King was also in Washington, D.C., earlier this spring to appeal to potential donors.

In a statement from his campaign, King said, “It’s a reality that we have to raise money for this Senate campaign, as we don’t benefit from money from either party or partisan special interest groups who are spending millions right now to defeat candidates who don’t toe the party line or threaten the two-party system.

“I take no joy from this and hope to work to reform our election finance laws if I am elected to the Senate.”