Republicans spent Monday hitting several Democratic Senate candidates for raising money at a convention of trial lawyers in Canada.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) and at least eight other Democratic Senate candidates were at a reception for the Committee for a Better Future on Sunday in Vancouver, British Columbia.
The committee is connected to the American Association for Justice and the National Association of Trial Lawyer Executives, which were holding a convention in the city. The haul from the fundraiser was split between Reid and 11 other Democratic Senate candidates, according to a document circulated by the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
It’s legal for candidates to raise money from outside the country as long as it comes from U.S. citizens or permanent residents. The issue is the optics of collecting large donations north of the border from a group of trial lawyers, a popular Republican bogeyman.
Reid’s Republican challenger called him “callous” for making the trip at a time of double-digit unemployment in Nevada.
“Harry Reid says that ‘no one can do more’ for Nevada, so why does he have to leave the country to pad his war chest?” Jerry Stacy, a spokesman for Senate candidate Sharron Angle (R), said in a statement. “It seems callous.”
Reid’s campaign noted that he spent the weekend in Nevada and only traveled to Vancouver that day for the event.
Democratic Senate candidates Lee Fisher (Ohio) and Alexi Giannoulias (Ill.) came under similar attacks.
They weren’t the only candidates spotted at the reception. Democratic Senate candidates Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Roxanne Conlin (Iowa), Jack Conway (Ky.), Chris Coons (Del.), Brad Ellsworth (Ind.) and Charlie Melancon (La.) were also there, according to a Democratic source.
The NRSC blasted statements to reporters in the candidates’ respective states questioning why they would raise money in Canada from “trial lawyers.”