Published Monday, Sept. 20, 2010 | 3 p.m.
Updated Monday, Sept. 20, 2010 | 3:50 p.m.
Republican House candidate Joe Heck is in Washington, D.C. today to meet with GOP members of Congress and fundraise.
The National Republican Congressional Committee held a luncheon for him at the Capitol Hill Club, a prominent members-only club for Republicans. Tickets cost $500 per person or $1,000 per political action committee.
Heck also will attend several private meetings, a spokeswoman said.
Heck will be in Washington for only a few hours, but his visit caught Democrats' attention. Heck is challenging Democratic incumbent Rep. Dina Titus in the 3rd Congressional District.
Democrats criticized Heck for collecting out-of-state contributions from Conservative -- Democrats say "extreme" -- groups, especially because he has billed himself as an independent voice for Nevada.
"Joe Heck is back in Washington, D.C. today, collecting special interest checks from those anxious to see a full implementation of the national Republican economic agenda," Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spokesman Andy Stone said.
"With a record of voting with his party more than 97 percent of the time and supporting Republican policies that undermine Social Security and let insurance companies and Wall Street run wild, it's no surprise that Sen. Heck would seek help from the same special interests that are bankrolling the Republican Party," Titus spokesman Andrew Stoddard said.
Democrats' complaint is somewhat disingenuous, however, as Titus also has received large sums of money from groups around the Capitol who want the Democratic agenda to advance.
Federal elections records show that since the beginning of 2009, Titus has received more than $700,000 in contributions from political committees and special interest groups, most of which are based in Washington.
Heck has received just over $200,000 from Beltway groups, Federal Election Commission records show. The amount Heck raised during today's visit is not yet available.
"This attack rises to a new level of hypocrisy," Heck spokeswoman Mari Nakashima said. "Washington Democrats are so desperate to save their most loyal and vulnerable members they'll do anything."
Titus leads Heck in fundraising almost 3 to 1, according to the most recent FEC records filed in June. Polls show Titus leading Heck by four percentage points.