Politicizing James Taylor and Carole King

Can't James Taylor and Carole King just perform on stage together at the Verizon Center and not have political controversy erupt around it? No, folk music lovers, that is too much to ask: the Sunlight Foundation posted a copy of a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee invitation to the concert, for $2,400 campaign contributions for New York Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney.

The congresswoman, meanwhile, says she went to the concert because Carole King invited her:
Maloney told HuffPost's Ryan Grim that she attended the concert because Carole King is a close friend of hers. "She even came and sang at my husband's funeral," the Congresswoman said. "She invited me and I went."

Why is this an issue? Maloney's primary opponent, Reshma Saujani, is slamming her for it, implying Maloney irresponsibly skipped out on financial reform negotiations to attend. The fundraiser "occurred in the middle of negotiations for a sweeping financial reform bill that has already been significantly influenced by special interest groups -- including auto dealers, who contributed heavily to Carolyn Maloney and then won her support for an exemption from the consumer financial protection agency," according to her campaign. Maloney's office says the congresswoman attended all financial reform meetings on Wednesday.

UPDATE: The Saujani campaign clarifies to say it was not insinuating that Maloney had skipped out on any meetings; rather, their problem with the fundraiser was that it was held after financial-reform negotiations concluded on Wednesday night, with more resuming in the morning, and her statement to the Huffington Post.

UPDATE 2: With regard to some of the Saujani campaign's other critiques, it turns out Maloney voted against the auto-dealer position on Rep. Gutierrez's amendment to modify it, according to her office. The fundraiser was planned before the conference committee began its work on the bill.