Susan Collins claims to support bill protecting elections she trashed just a month ago. Desperate in Maine.
August 1, 2019
By Oliver Willis
Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) completely reversed her position on keeping American elections secure in just a little over a month.
The radical change in her position comes after Collins bolstered efforts by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to keep elections vulnerable against interference from international actors like Russia.
“Russia’s efforts to interfere in our elections remain relentless,” Collins wrote on Monday. “I’m proud to join Sen. @MarkWarner in cosponsoring the bipartisan FIRE Act to require presidential candidates to immediately call the FBI if they are contacted by a foreign power attempting to target our elections.”
But just a few weeks before, in mid-June, Collins was against Warner’s proposed legislation.
“Susan Collins also told me Mark Warner’s legislation requiring reporting to FBI of offers of campaign assistance from foreign government agents is overly broad,” Bloomberg reported. “She said Canada shouldn’t be in the same category as Russia.”
Senate Republicans have been under fire for opposing legislation offered up by Democrats to protect American elections. Prominent figures like special counsel Robert Mueller have made it clear that Russia attacked the election before and are currently engaged in doing so now.
“We can’t let modern-day McCarthyism win,” McConnell complained in a speech on the floor of the Senate, responding to criticism of his disinterest in election protections.
Collins has been someone McConnell can rely on.
In August of last year, she voted against an amendment to a bill that would have provided election security grants to states to shore up election protection. That June, she also opposed an amendment in her role on the Senate Appropriations Committee that would have given $250 million in appropriations for election security.
Collins has seen her fortunes plummet to the point now where surveys within Maine rank her as the second most unpopular senator in America — second only to McConnell.
She has marched in lockstep with Trump and her fellow Republicans, voting with Trump 93.3% of the time.
Her approval rating is 45%, down from the 78% that she had four years ago.
Collins told a reporter that “dark money” was to blame for her woes.
Her actions, however, show an interest in positioning herself with senators like Warner, who are working to secure the election. But her fingerprints are all over McConnell’s work and it may be too late to fool Maine residents into thinking otherwise.
Posted with permssion