U.S. House Speaker John Boehner’s fundraising visit to Maine for Bruce Poliquin, the Republican candidate for Maine’s 2nd Congressional District, will be held in Portland, which is not part of the district
An email invitation sent Monday asked donors to contribute to Poliquin’s campaign for a chance to attend the event, which will take place Thursday at the Holiday Inn by the Bay in Portland.
Contributions of $250 will get donors into the general reception; $1,000 will include a picture with Boehner and with $2,600, donors will join the “Host Committee” and have a chance to meet the Ohio Republican who has served as House speaker since January 2011.
When asked why the event would be held outside the 2nd District, which Poliquin hopes to represent, Jessica Corbett, Poliquin’s finance director, said “it was all the speaker’s travel schedule allowed.”
According to the invitation, “Maine’s 2nd Congressional District is one of only 17 toss up seats this year and the most likely seat to flip to responsible Republican hands in all of New England. Current polling has this race as a dead heat.”
Poliquin is running against state Sen. Emily Cain, a Democrat from Orono, who has tried to paint her opponent as a wealthy, powerful and Wall Street-friendly. Cain has also campaigned in Portland with high-profile members of her party. In her case it was Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz at an event in July, but Wasserman Schultz was also promoting 1st Congressional District Rep. Chellie Pingree, who represents Portland and was at the event.
It’s Poliquin’s other opponent, independent Blaine Richardson, arguably the more conservative of the three people on the 2nd District ballot, who has been most vocal about Boehner’s appearance in Maine.
“John Boehner has a history of being pro-amnesty, a history of putting Wall Street and big banks above the families and taxpayers in our communities and has even removed fiscal conservatives from congressional committees because they dared to advocate for fiscal responsibility,” Richardson, who left the GOP to run as an independent, said in a statement about the event.
Richardson’s comments echo criticisms of Boehner leveled by regional and national tea party groups.
Richardson’s spokesman, Matt McDonald, said Tuesday that the cost and location of the event show that there is a disconnect between Poliquin, Boehner and Maine’s more rural congressional district.
“To the struggling people in the 2nd District, that’s fire wood and oil,” he said of the price tag.