The Star-Herald

Collins is commited to Maine

A recent full-page ad in this newspaper, paid for by “Sara Gideon For Maine,” attacked Susan Collins with the charge that “Senator Collins has changed.” Mind you, this would be the same Susan Collins that for seven consecutive years has been, according to Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy, the most bipartisan United States Senator.

This would be the same Susan Collins whose roots in Aroostook County run deep: her family has operated a local business in The County since 1844, and she attended public schools and graduated from Caribou High School.

The Susan Collins in the ad is a fiction, and of the many ads attacking her in this campaign by distorting her record and smearing her character, none is farther from the truth than this one. Susan Collins has not changed. In fact, last year, her bipartisan score was the highest in the history of the Georgetown rankings, going back to 1993. She is the same hardworking, collaborative committed and caring U.S. senator she has always been; and she has a proven record of independence, integrity, and bipartisanship, qualities Maine people value most in elected officials.

No one has worked harder than Sen. Collins, primary sponsor of the Paycheck Protection Plan, to assist Mainers and all Americans from the economic fallout during the COVID crisis.  Under the PPP,  more than 27,000 Maine employers received grants of $2.2 billion, including 24,360 Maine small businesses, said a recent Portland Press Herald article.  An estimated 243,370 Mainers remained employed.  As a July 15 Aroostook Republican article states, here in Aroostook, over 1000 companies received loans, totaling up to $116 million. Many people were able to keep their jobs and many small businesses here in the County survived because of the PPP.

As someone who, like Senator Collins, grew up in Caribou attending public schools, and picking potatoes when the schools closed for harvest, I know she lives and breathes the Maine values of hard work, honesty, integrity and independence. She understands firsthand what it is like to work hard and earn a living in Maine. And as someone who has followed with special interest her work in the U.S. Senate, I know she has consistently set the standard for diligence, courage and bipartisanship. She is always available and listening, and always trying to solve problems for Maine people, whether it is to secure funding to repair the bridge in Madawaska, or help Maine people survive this pandemic by sponsoring legislation like the PPP.

So far this year, news sources including the BDN say about $20 million has been spent by the Gideon campaign and outside special interests, with the tag lines that she has changed. But Maine people cannot be bought, and we from The County know a “snow job” when we see one. We also know who Susan Collins is:  a legislator who knows Maine and Maine’s people, always available and always working hard to solve the State’s problems.

This year, Democratic Senator Joe Manchin said, “for America to lose someone like Susan Collins would be an absolute shame.”  Susan Collins is now, as she consistently has been since first being elected, the bipartisan voice of integrity and independence that Maine and the Country badly need in the U.S. Senate.

Gregg Ginn
Madawaska Lake

Op-ed pieces are generally limited to one per week due to space constraints, with a 600-word limit. To allow for fairness, selections are made with respect to varying viewpoints.

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