FEC Reports Suggest Collins Violated Ethics Rules By Accepting Campaign Contributions From Her Government Staff
As recently as January 2019, Sen. Susan Collins’ campaign accepted illegal contributions from her own government staffers in an apparent violation of Senate ethics rules and federal law. The actions undermine decades-old promises to cease the illicit activities of her campaign in the late 90s.
According to reporting by The Hill from 1998, Sen. Susan Collins’ campaign violated Sec. 603 of the Federal criminal code, which states that it is illegal for a Member of Congress to accept political contributions, including an “advance of money,” from employees in their federal offices even if it is promptly reimbursed. Her chief of staff, Steve Abbott responded to the allegations from The Hill by vowing that this illegal practice would not continue. He also thanked the outlet for bringing the law to his attention, which he said the campaign was “not familiar” with.
According to a review by American Ledger, despite publicly heralding her support of a recent bill to strengthen U.S. elections against the threat of a foreign power, Sen. Susan Collins opposed that exact same bill -- the FIRE Act -- just last month.
In June 2019, Collins disavowed Sen. Mark Warner’s legislation, the FIRE Act -- which required offers of campaign assistance from foreign countries be reported to the FBI -- stating the legislation was “overly broad” and that Canada should not be held to the same standard as Russia.
Analysis: Susan Collins’ Special Interest Fundraising Has Potential to Undermine Re-Election Campaign
According to a review by American Ledger, Senator Susan Collins is relying on outsized donations from special interest groups -- such as Wall Street and the fossil fuel industry -- to fuel her reelection campaign, despite decades-long trumpeting of herself as an independent voice for Mainers.
In her 2019 second quarter filing, Collins received less than 5%, or $98,000, of her itemized fundraising from Maine itself, while pulling in large contributions from special interests such as Wall Street financiers, to the tune of over $300,000. In total, Collins received nearly $400,000 from Wall Street, the pharmaceutical industry, and the fossil fuel industry -- three of the most powerful special interests in Washington -- over the 90 day reporting period.
Alleged Champion of LGBTQ Rights Susan Collins Voted for 9 of Donald Trump’s Anti-LGBTQ Judicial Nominees
On June 14, 2019 Maine Republican Susan Collins came out strongly against Trump judicial nominee Matthew Kacsmaryk, citing his “alarming bias against LGBTQ Americans and disregard for Supreme Court precedents.” What Collins didn’t say was that, precluding this public admonishment, she had voted for at least eight other Trump judicial nominees who ruled on multiple occasions against LGBTQ equality.
Sen. Susan Collins’ campaign motto is “Our Senator.” But after her latest fundraising disclosure, it’s hard to say whose senator she is. Significant chunks of the more than $1.5 million Collins raised this year came from far-right figures like the Mercer family, an inventor who has funded white-supremacist online trolls, bankers and hedge-fund managers, and special interests.
Sen. Susan Collins — who has long cultivated an image as a centrist — recently pointed to her votes against repealing the Affordable Care Act to play up her moderate side, ignoring her 20-plus votes to repeal, delay or defund the law.
U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who is widely regarded as one of the last remaining moderate Republicans, invited an extremist right-wing politician from her home state to the annual State of the Union address Tuesday night.