Maine Democratic Senate nominee Cynthia Dill has a bone to pick with national Democrats: Why are you tacitly supporting my opponent?
Former Gov. Angus King, who is running as an independent, has dwarfed Dill in fundraising and publicity. And it shows in the polls: King has a whopping 27-point lead over Republican Charlie Summers, 53.3 percent to 25.7 percent, and Dill registers only 7.7 percent, according to the Polltracker Average.
King has also received the lion’s share of Democratic support. This week, he was the beneficiary of a D.C. fundraiser hosted by Tony and Heather Podesta, a former aide to Sen. Chuck Schumer and Nancy Jacobson, a Democratic fundraiser who helped form No Labels. King has not said which party he would caucus with in the Senate, but has endorsed President Obama for re-election.
Dill takes issue with King’s outsize profile and what she sees as his campaign’s siphoning of Democratic support that could help bolster her campaign. On Thursday, Dill wrote to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, urging them to support her bid.
Without mentioning King by name, Dill suggests that the DSCC has been tacitly supporting a candidate who does not adhere to the totality of the party’s beliefs.
“There’s ample evidence the unenrolled candidate in this race opposes much of the party’s core agenda, including support to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest, and flip-flopping on whether he supports contraception without co-pays for women’s health care,” she wrote in the letter. “His record also includes vetoing laws that protected union workers, funded Meals on Wheels, expanded family leave and increased the minimum wage.
Dill reminds the group that she is the progressive candidate in the race.
“With an open U.S. Senate seat at stake in Maine, we trust Democrats in Washington will act to preserve its ‘true blue’ majority by endorsing the candidate with the greatest respect for the Democratic Party and its platform,” Dill wrote in the letter. “I therefore respectfully request a meeting with you to discuss together we can redeem DSCC’s motto — ‘committed to keeping a Democratic majority in the U.S. Senate.’”
Dill wrote on her campaign website that she had spoken with Sen. Patty Murray, chairwoman of the DSCC, in a “cordial phone call.”
Far from pledging support, DSCC spokesman Matt Canter told TPM: “Sen. Murray spoke with Cynthia today and told her that the DSCC would continue to monitor the race.”
The DSCC did not respond to a request for comment on whether it endorses Dill’s bid.
“It doesn’t appear that way right now,” Dill spokesman Bob Mentzinger told TPM. “I think they are making an ongoing assessment, and they will be checking in from time to time to see how we’re doing.”
The campaign says the state Democratic Party, however, has been supportive.
“Chairman Ben Grant’s been great, we’ve been using their facilities, we’ve been involved with the coordinated campaign, which has a lot of administrative resources,” said Mentzinger. “On the ground here at the grassroots level, we feel great about our message and the fact that we’re gonna be reaching out to Democratic voters with the core Democratic message, which is empowerment for middle-class families.”