Independent candidate for Maine Senate donated to DNC, Obama

Alexis Levinson | Political Reporter

Independent former Maine Gov. Angus King has stubbornly refused to say what party he would caucus with if he succeeds in his bid for the Senate seat left open by Olympia Snowe’s retirement.

But Federal Election Commission filings give an indication: King donated to both the Democratic National Committee and President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign this year.

The Maine Wire first reported the contributions, which were highlighted by the campaign of Rick Bennett — one of the Republican candidates.

On February 28, Sen. Olympia Snowe announced suddenly that she would not run for another term. On February 29, King made a $6,000 donation to the DNC.

Several days before that, he donated $10,000 to the Obama Victory Fund.

King has repeatedly said that he will not say which party he would caucus with before he is elected.

“I want to keep ’em guessing,” he told the Associated Press in April. “I think I can be much more effective by not making that decision and by postponing it as long as possible. I’d like to postpone it forever.”

Republicans have accused King of being a secret Democrat, and several potentially strong Democratic candidates opted not to run after he entered the race.

A statement put out by King’s campaign explained that the $10,000 donation was spent on “two tickets to a dinner for President Obama in Portland.” They were bought on February 21 so that King’s son and daughter-in-law could attend the dinner.

“A portion of the proceeds were distributed from the Obama campaign to the DNC on the 29th as was required by Federal Election Commission rules,” the release explains, and offered to show the credit card bills as evidence that the payment from King was made before anyone had an inkling that Sen. Snowe was going to retire.

“Angus has been public in his support of Obama since the first time he was asked by a Bangor television station who he supported for President. Purchasing the tickets for the Obama dinner is in keeping with his support,” said Communications Director Crystal Canney, noting that King has also supported Republican candidates, including President George W. Bush in 2000.

This post has been updated with the statement from the King campaign.

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