PORTLAND – Vice President Dick Cheney will appear briefly in Maine on Monday for a Republican Party fundraiser somewhere in southern Maine.

Details of the visit have been closely guarded, and the original intent was to keep the visit as low-key as possible, said Julie Ann O’Brien, the executive director of the Maine Republican Party.

As of Friday afternoon, no public events were scheduled and the vice president wasn’t expected to make any public comments or statements.

According to a schedule released by Cheney’s office, he will arrive in Portland at about 11:30 a.m. and attend a luncheon at a private home in Cape Elizabeth, where he’ll be for a couple of hours. Cheney will then fly to Pennsylvania for an event with Republican U.S. Rep. Don Sherwood.

O’Brien said Friday, however, that the schedule was in flux and the details could change.

The name of the host for the event and the address are not being released to protect the family’s privacy, O’Brien said.

“We’re trying to keep it private,” she said.

O’Brien estimated that about 50 people would attend. Tickets to the luncheon were $5,000 per couple.

The fundraiser is for the state Republican Party, O’Brien said, and is not related to any particular candidate.

Cheney’s approval ratings have been in the 20 percent range for more than a year, and he has become a lightning rod for criticism. But the vice president remains a potent fundraiser. The short jaunt to Maine is expected to raise $125,000 for the state Republican Party.

Cheney attended a similar fundraising breakfast for Kansas congressional candidate Kris Kobach in August and raised about $200,000 with a 15-minute speech, the Lawrence World Journal reported at the time.

Ben Dudley, the chairman of the state Democratic Party, criticized the upcoming visit.

“They don’t want to be painted with their own brush,” Dudley said. “They are happy to bring Cheney to Maine to raise money, but they don’t want to remind the public what Republican leadership really looks like. Their silence speaks volumes.”

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