For almost a year now, Maine’s airwaves have been absolutely saturated with deceptive and largely false attack ads funded by shady out-of-state special interests. Most of these ads are backing Sara Gideon’s campaign to replace Sen. Susan Collins. These groups, and their anonymous donors, all have one thing in common – they want to hand the power to Chuck Schumer, and they have proven that they will say and do anything to try to influence your vote.

The latest group to join the cause is the Lincoln Project, which has purchased $1 million in TV ads targeting Collins. This ad, labeled “Trump Stooge,” makes the claim that Collins is in lockstep with President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, but ironically, the statistic they use proves that just the opposite is actually true.

The Lincoln Project’s ad cites a study that analyzed how frequently each member of Congress has voted with the president. According to the study, Collins has sided with Trump 67.5 percent, or roughly two-thirds of the time. When you compare all Senate Republicans on this scale, Sen. Collins was the Republican least likely to follow the party line. Hardly the rubber stamp the Lincoln Project would have you believe.

Mainers know Sen. Collins works tirelessly, does her research, listens to input from her constituents and votes her conscience. We know that her vote is controlled by no one but Susan, she is nobody’s “stooge.” To suggest otherwise is not only offensive but undeniably false, even when using their own statistics!

Ad after ad would have you believe that Sen. Collins has somehow been corrupted by political contributions. Yet the evidence proves that isn’t the case at all. In 2018, the Maine People’s Alliance helped raise over $4 million to bribe Sen. Collins to oppose Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. Collins ignored the blatant attempt to buy her vote, once again demonstrating her integrity by not letting outside groups and political donations sway her votes in the U.S. Senate. This is in stark contrast to her opponent, Sara Gideon, who recently accepted that $4 million political bribe for her campaign.

Gideon claims she is against big money in politics, despite raising significant resources from corporations during her time as Maine’s speaker of the House. But if Gideon were truly concerned about the corrosiveness of big money in politics, she could have shown true leadership by declining the bribe money raised to influence our senator’s vote.

Gideon often refers to mixing up the Maine House chamber’s partisan seating chart as a demonstration of her bipartisan leadership. As a former president of the Maine Senate, I can attest that there is much more to being a bipartisan leader than rearranging a seating chart.

In contrast, Sen. Collins continues to prove she is the independent-minded leader Mainers need in Washington. Collins was recently rated as the most bipartisan member of the U.S. Senate for an unprecedented seventh time in a row by the nonpartisan Lugar Center.

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia said last year on C-SPAN regarding the upcoming elections, “For America to lose somebody like Susan Collins would be an absolute shame.” I couldn’t agree more. As big of a loss as it would be for our nation, it would have an even greater impact on our state.

These are challenging times for our state, and our nation. One could argue that the way to fix the dysfunction in Washington would be to have more pragmatic and common-sense senators like Susan Collins and Joe Manchin, not fewer. Collins works hard for the people of Maine and our nation, setting aside ego and party affiliation to instead always focus on the greater good.

Don’t be fooled by the many false, and expensive, ads by groups like the Lincoln Project. These organizations are often primarily funded by ultra-rich Democrats and Hollywood types. They don’t care about Maine, or what’s best for us. To them, Maine is nothing more than a pawn in their high-stakes political game. Mainers deserve better. We deserve an honest and fair campaign without the falsehoods being pushed on us from people from away.

These special interest groups don’t want senators who think for themselves and vote their conscience, and that’s exactly why they oppose Susan Collins. Because Collins is no one’s stooge.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.