Many Maine voters feel betrayed by Susan Collins and turned their frustration into civic action. Interviews with group leaders and Mainers –many former Collins voters–casts a harsh yet just light on how Collins has changed under Trump.
Karin Leuthy, who voted for Susan Collins in 2014 said, “I thought Susan Collins was going to serve in an Olympia Snowe model. I was very wrong. Very wrong.” Leuthy co-founded Suit Up Maine, a constituent-led, unfunded group that seeks to create an informed electorate in Maine.
Sarah Holland of Mid-Coast Maine Indivisible said, “I thought she supported women’s rights…I thought she supported the environment. And now, she has just failed every one of those tests. I don’t know what happened to her.” Constituent-led MCMI holds weekly rallies, registers people to vote, and more.
Bruce Poulin of Indivisible Bangor shared, “I thought she was more responsive to her constituents—until I had to go and try to get a response from her.” Indivisible Bangor meets two times a month with Collins’ staffers, leads protests, registers voters, and more. Like others, they are all constituents.
Since 2016, Marie Follaytter has led the group Mainers for Accountable Leadership in “debunking” Collins—convincing supporters that she’s not the judicious, independent-minded legislator she’s assumed to be.”
Slate also highlights Mainers like Rick Parker, a former Collins voter, whose experience as a paper mill worker made him feel a kinship with Collins. “I just thought of her as being like one of us,” he said.
Now how does he see her? “She’s a Mitch McConnell righthand man.” Slate captures why Susan Collins’ Kavanaugh speech was an ultimate betrayal for many former supporters: “her speech made it sound like she’d made up her mind weeks earlier, then let thousands of women exhaust themselves in protest and bare their painful pasts for nothing.”
“Many Maine independents and Democrats told me they felt they’d been awakened from a period of political complacency—able to see clearly, for the first time, that Collins wasn’t the moderating force in the Senate she claimed to be.”
The article captures how Mainers, many former Susan Collins voters, educated ourselves on her record. We’re an informed electorate, not a “mob” of “paid activists” as Collins likes to claim. And that’s why she’s so scared.
And it’s why she will lose in November.
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