I’m raising money to pay for a full-page ad in the Maine Sunday Telegram, asking Senator Collins to start listening to average Mainers and not just the big money donors who support her. I’ve paid for one ad by putting it on my credit card, but I’m asking for your help to keep it going.
Here’s how I got here:
On a recent flight from Washington, D.C. to Portland, I was happy to see Senator Susan Collins in the boarding area. I approached her and politely introduced myself as a constituent. She invited me to sit down. I told her that I was struggling with how to explain the current situation in Washington to my children. How do I explain to them that a president is breaking the law and getting away with it? How do I teach them the importance of respecting one another when the president is openly hostile and discriminatory? And how do I explain the president's misogyny to my daughter?
Senator Collins responded by lamenting the breakdown of civility in Washington. I listened politely for any mention of Trump, but it did not come. I then asked more pointed questions about Trump and his racism, sexism, anti-semitism, and other examples of his bigotry. She told me she was not aware of any recent tweets that disrespected woman. Astonished, I asked whether it mattered? He is openly hostile toward women, minorities, immigrants, democrats, Muslims, the LGBT community…we know how he feels. How do I explain his to my children?
Her response was simply, “Sir, I can’t respond to that.”
I disagreed that she could not respond. I told her it was her job to respond. I pushed further and pointed out that President Trump has solicited election interference from Ukraine and then (on television) from China. Did she think this was a crime? Again, “Sir, I can’t comment on that.” But, I said, you must have an opinion. Do you believe it is okay for a president to solicit election interference from a foreign power?
At this she said, “We clearly have different beliefs." I responded that I suspected that she was right, but pointed out that she still hadn’t told me hers.
Before I left, I told her I was deeply disappointed in her appointment of Brett Kavanaugh and her unwillingness to speak out about the corruption in the Trump administration. I told her that I was angry about her silence in the middle of a national crisis.
We parted agreeing to disagree. But on the jet bridge, I heard Senator Collins tell someone that a constituent had been rude to her. I approached her again and explained that it was not my intention to be rude. It was my intention to engage in the work of a democracy - something that she was unwilling to do.
Susan Collins represents the interests of Mitch McConnell, Donald Trump and her big money donors. She has stopped listening to the people of Maine. Help us raise money to continue running ads in Maine newspapers holding Senator Collins accountable for her actions and demanding that she listen to her constituents.
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