During Bailout Vote Negotiation, Susan Collins’ Donors Push To Put Profits Over Public Health

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While Senator Collins was pushing to give corporations access to a $500 billion, no-strings attached corporate slush fund, her biggest donors were taking private meetings at the White House and arguing that employees should return to work, despite the risks to their health. 

“It’s clear that Susan Collins’ corporate donors are more interested in profits than protecting workers, and Senator Collins wanted to reward them with a giveaway funded by taxpayers,” said Willy Ritch, Executive Director of 16 Counties Coalition. “We need her to listen to health experts and support Mainers in need, not Wall Street CEOs.” One of Susan Collins’ biggest financial supporters is Stephen Schwarzman, CEO of the Wall Street investment firm Blackstone.

Schwarzman’s employees have given Collins over $60,000 and he has personally given $500,000 to a PAC that is running TV ads in Maine in support of Collins. At the same time, Schwarzman had a private call with President Trump this week to discuss the idea of relaxing physical-distancing restrictions, which health officials warn could be disastrous for public health. The US Chamber of Commerce, which has spent $500,000 on ads in support of Senator Collins since late last year, represents many of the country’s biggest companies – many of which already pay little or nothing in taxes thanks to Collins’ key vote on the 2017 Republican tax bill – and is lobbying hard to ensure that these companies can shirk their responsibility for contributing to the public good. Wells Fargo also supported Collins in late 2019 through their corporate PAC, and just this week former CEO Dick Kovacevich called for Americans to be sent back to work as early as next week, calling on companies to “bring those people back and see what happens. Some of them will get sick, some may even die,” Kovacevich said.

DemCast is an advocacy-based 501(c)4 nonprofit. We have made the decision to build a media site free of outside influence. There are no ads. We do not get paid for clicks. If you appreciate our content, please consider a small monthly donation.

The 16 Counties Coalition is a year-long grassroots advocacy campaign aimed at amplifying the voices of families and working Mainers and encouraging Senator Susan Collins to vote in favor of the people she was elected to represent and defend. The campaign will mobilize members through small- and large-scale events, through digital action, and paid television, radio, and digital ads.

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