Emily Cain courts anonymous Hollywood billionaires for campaign cash

This article first appeared in The Maine Wire.

Career politician and Democratic challenger for Maine’s 2nd congressional district, Emily Cain, will continue to face an uphill battle in fundraising as we near the November elections. After raising $385,000 in the first quarter of 2016, her newest reported cash on hand amounts are estimated at $785,000, or roughly one-half of what incumbent Republican representative Bruce Poliquin has at his disposal. However, the Cain campaign is still bragging that she’s ahead of the fundraising pace she set in 2014.

But, what the Cain campaign doesn’t want you to know is how their candidate recently ventured from Maine to California for meetings with a group of liberal billionaire elites, the Democracy Alliance (DA), all of whom are notorious for flooding dark money into politics.

The DA is a liberal political entity composed of an assortment of billionaire “activists” who dump droves of cash into progressive political interests. The group charges $30,000 a year in dues and requires its members to donate $200,000 annually to recommended causes in order to sustain membership. Since 2005, the DA has devoted roughly $500 million in dark money to liberal political causes.  Some of the group’s largest contributors include George Soros, Michael Vachon and Tom Steyer.

Cain traveled to Santa Monica over the weekend to give a presentation at the DA’s spring investment conference, an event that is closed to the public and media. Politico obtained an agenda of the conference, which began Sunday, detailing its contents in a report released last Friday.

Cain and her DA cohorts, including Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, will discuss procedures to help elect Democrats to Congress and appoint Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court, as well as strategies for using the extensive reach of Hollywood to further promote liberal policies.

According to the agenda obtained by Politico, the event includes dialogues “with Hollywood actors and directors on how Hollywood has been used to promote progressive ideals, and how it can be utilized more effectively in the future.”

Along with Hollywood’s influence, the discussion sessions will center around effective methods in social justice advocacy and media, legalizing marijuana and campaign finance strategies for the presidential election. Leaders of major labor unions and other left-leaning entities like America Votes, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, National Resources Defense Council Action Fund and League of Conservation Voters will be presenting at the DA conference as well.

The trip is contradictory when considering Cain’s many progressive campaign platforms, which include giving a voice to middle class Mainers and putting an end to the spread of dark money in Washington political circles.

“If we’re serious about getting Congress working again, we need to end the secret money flowing to politicians in Washington. I’m excited to work together with the people of Maine’s 2nd district and End Citizens United because we cannot stand by and let the voices of everyday Americans be drowned out by millionaires and billionaires,” Cain said in an End Citizens United endorsement.

Her move to attend the conference is telling of whose interests Cain truly has in mind — her own. Leaving Maine during a crucial point in the fundraising season to travel more than 3,000 miles away from home for a conference filled with wealthy donors, instead of connecting with her constituency, is a slap in the face to Maine’s 2nd district voters.

Maine’s 2nd district is a vulnerable population that faces real adversities. Handfuls of mill closures have forced thousands of working class Mainers out of work over the last 18 months, and the heroin epidemic has taken the lives of loved ones from families all across our state. Hollywood movies and social media activism won’t bring back these jobs or end drug abuse. Real policy solutions, ones rooted in science and economics, will make a difference for the middle class of Maine.

This sentiment was echoed yesterday by the Executive Director of Maine’s GOP, Jason Savage, saying in a press release, “This appearance demonstrates how out of touch Emily Cain is with Maine people. She would rather schmooze with liberal Hollywood elites than discuss the real issues affecting Mainers, issues like loss of jobs and record deaths from heroin overdoses.”

When she returns to the Pine Tree State, Cain will have to double down on fundraising efforts and do more to connect with her constituency if she wants to upend Poliquin. Unfortunately for the career politician, no amount of liberal dark money raised in California will be able to undo her hypocritical actions or restore her record with the 2nd district voters of Maine.

Jacob Posik

About Jacob Posik

Jacob Posik, of Turner, is the editor of The Maine Wire, an online news and opinion service offered by the Maine Heritage Policy Center. His blog covers local and national political topics.