Susan Collins Is Looking Out For Her Big Special Interest Donors
Collins’ campaigns have been supported by millions of dollars of corporate special interests and groups that spend unlimited and undisclosed money.
Throughout her career, Collins has taken over $2.9 million from corporate PACs. Her reliance on corporations comes as no surprise, considering the fact that during her last campaign, only 2.8% of Collins’ fundraising came from small contributions.
In 2014, Citizens For Responsible Energy Solutions, a dark money group, spent over $267,000 on Collins’ behalf.
The U.S. Chamber Of Commerce, one of the biggest dark money groups in the country, considers Collins a favorite. In 2008, the Chamber spent over $342,000 to help Collins get elected.
Collins Received Over $1.4 Million From The Financial Industry And Pushed Bills That Would Give Big Banks More Power
Collins has cashed in over $1.4 million from the securities and investment industry and over $311,000 from the commercial banking industry.
Collins cosponsored a bill that would undermine regulators’ authority to hold banks accountable by crippling the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which protects Maine families from fraud and abuse by Big Banks. Shortly after its release, major lobbying groups representing the financial sector seeking to limit the Bureau’s efforts endorsed the bill.
Collins voted to repeal the CFPB’s rule on arbitration, stripping many consumers of their right to sue when banks deceive them.
When Mainers open credit cards or bank accounts, there’s often fine print requiring them to settle any disputes through arbitration, rather than through a lawsuit. Arbitration is “a private system where an individual has to go up alone against a deep-pocketed corporation.”
By requiring arbitration, companies “take away one of the few tools that individuals have to fight predatory and deceptive business practices.”
Collins Voted For The Disastrous Republican Tax Bill That Cut Taxes For Her Corporate Donors
Collins voted for the Republican tax plan — a massive giveaway to corporations and the wealthy, including slashing the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21% and allowing them to avoid paying billions of dollars in taxes on profits stashed overseas.
Some of Collins’ biggest donors saved billions thanks to her vote, including General Dynamics, which gave Collins over $200,000 and received a massive cut in their tax rate, and Blue Cross Blue Shield, which gave Collins nearly $100,000 and received $2.3 billion in savings in the tax bill.
To pay for the tax plan and the $1.9 trillion it will add to the deficit, Congress will need to make deep cuts to Medicare And Social Security or force massive tax hikes on younger Mainers.
Collins Voted To Allow The Telecom Industry — Which Has Given Her Over $140,000 — To Sell Mainers’ Personal Data Without Their Permission
Collins has taken over $140,000 from the telecommunications industry.
Collins also voted to allow Internet Service Providers to sell customers’ personal data without their permission. That data could include precise location, financial information, children’s information, health information, web browsing history, and even Social Security numbers.
Verizon — a major Collins donor — defended the legislation and said it would benefit consumers and “innovations.” Collins has taken nearly $60,000 from Verizon.
Collins Opposed Anti-Corruption and Reform Efforts
When Collins first ran for Senate in 1996, she supported limiting out-of-state campaign contributions. Now she relies on them — she’s accepted $3 million from corporate special interests and in 2019, only one percent of her first quarter donations came from Mainers.
Collins has voted multiple times against getting Big Money out of politics.
Collins voted against the DISCLOSE Act. The DISCLOSE Act “would require certain tax-exempt groups involved in political advertising — which currently are not required to disclose the names of their donors — to release the names of those who give donations of $10,000 or more.”
In 2014, Collins also voted to block a Constitutional Amendment that would overturn Citizens United.