The Beltway myth that there are actually moderate Republicans left in Congress is one they love to perpetuate. These days, if a Republican refuses to shut down the federal government because of Obamacare they are now considered moderate. That's how fu*ked up things are these days.
There's also another mythical moderate republican the Beltway loves to prance around the DC weenie circuit, and her name is Susan Collins. It's time we vote her out of office and elect a real liberal to take her seat in Congress and that woman is Shenna Bellows. I've met her several times and the former ACLU leader has been a strong progressive leader her entire career (Donate here) and it's time Maine reaps the benefits from her strength and convictions. And let's face it, Susan Collins hasn't earned 6 more years.
Digby has a great rundown of the real record of the phony Susan Collins:
Susan Collins may play Hamlet from time to time, wringing her hands in public about the crazies "on both sides" and Democrats inevitably throw in some more goodies to make her happy, watering down what is always already a compromise, and then ... she votes with the Republicans anyway. It's a con game she's run over and over again. Here are just a few examples:
Paycheck Fairness Act
Collins voted in April and again in September against the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would shield employees who raise legitimate questions about workplace pay equity, among other features. Bellows has consistently called on Collins to support the bill-- which Collins also voted to filibuster in 2010, 2012 and earlier this year-- and has made support for the measure one of the centerpieces of her campaign.
A February national survey found 60 percent of voters are more likely to support a candidate who supports fair pay for women, a higher minimum wage, paid family and medical leave and paid sick days. The survey also found that women are less likely to receive paid extended leave than men.
Republicans have been uncomfortable discussing the issue all year, leading to an MSNBC story on the GOP's shifting explanation for why the bill keeps getting filibustered. Collins said in 2012 without citing evidence that it would lead to "excessive litigation.
Collins stood with Washington Republicans in April against increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, which translates to $21,008 per year for someone working 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year. Afterward, Collins put out a statement bemoaning the fact that the proposal "does not have the votes it would need to pass the Senate."
Maine voters support "raising the minimum wage to at least $10 an hour and indexing future increases to inflation" by a 63-36 spread, according to a July poll by the Maine People's Resource Center.
In 2007 the Senate voted 94-3 to increase the federal minimum wage in stages to its current level of $7.25 an hour, a far cry from today's partisanship.
Campaign Finance Reform
Collins is also out of step with public opinion on campaign finance reform. A CBS poll in May found voters support "limiting the amount of money individuals can contribute to political campaigns" over "allowing individuals to contribute as much money to political campaigns as they'd like" by 71-25. Collins has voted in lockstep with Washington Republicans against both the DISCLOSE Act, which would publicize the sources of large political contributions in a timely way, and the Udall Amendment, which would give Congress and state legislatures the power to regulate campaign spending.
That's just for starters. Her contention that she voted against the most outrageous Republican act of sabotage in the last congress (and that's saying something) --- the government shutdown --- is at the very least misleading. (In fact, she voted three times for bills requiring the president to defund or delay Obamacare in order to keep the government open.)
A whole lot of Mainers are on to Collins' phony posturing. They know that Collins is a phony and being independent Yankee types they don't take kindly to being conned. Instead, they are supporting Democrat Shenna Bellows for Senate.
The beltway may be in love with phony "moderates" they can laud as examples of bipartisan comity despite all evidence to the contrary, but there's no reason for Maine voters to do the same. Shenna Bellows is the Real Deal.
If you'd like to help Bellows down the stretch, you can contribute to her campaign here.