The gulf of Maine

By JEFF INGLIS  |  October 9, 2008

SNOWE supported Bush on Iraq even more than Collins, agreeing with the president’s Iraq policy 77 percent of the time, as compared with her overall support score of 73 percent. But she opposed the surge, and has sponsored a bill for prompt withdrawal from Iraq.

Democratic US Representative MIKE MICHAUD took Bush’s side 21 percent of the time, mostly on war-spending bills. (Michaud supported the president 19 percent overall.)

Civil Liberties
COLLINS agreed with Bush’s positions on civil liberties 82 percent of the time. Not only did she vote to confirm the appointments of John Ashcroft and Alberto Gonzales as attorney general, and to confirm John Roberts and Samuel Alito to the US Supreme Court, but she voted for the USA PATRIOT Act and its reauthorizations, and for a constitutional amendment that sought to ban flag-burning. She supported Bush’s positions on treatment of terrorism detainees, the creation of military tribunals to “try” terrorism suspects (while barring the creation of a commission to oversee those tribunals, which largely have been ruled unconstitutional), and suspension of habeas corpus. She also voted to support warrantless wiretapping of American citizens, and to grant immunity to telecommunications companies that had participated in warrantless wiretaps before the practice was formally legalized. In the process, she voted to dismiss a federal lawsuit filed by Maine residents seeking information on the government’s warrantless-wiretapping program. Collins opposed a Bush-supported constitutional amendment that would have banned same-sex marriage, and voted against Bush to declare that Attorney General Gonzales “no longer holds the confidence” of the Senate.

ALLEN agreed with Bush just 12 percent of the time on civil-liberties matters. He supported the USA PATRIOT Act in 2001, but has opposed its renewal ever since. He has opposed Bush’s efforts to block same-sex marriage, to weaken Net neutrality, to legalize warrantless wiretapping of US citizens, and to defend abuse and torture of detainees suspected of being terrorists.

SNOWE agreed with Bush 74 percent of the time on civil-liberties matters, aligning with Collins in every way, except that she was at a family funeral and missed the votes on military tribunals and suspension of habeas corpus.

MICHAUD aligned with Bush 16 percent of the time, including support for efforts to weaken Net neutrality and for the creation of military tribunals for terrorism suspects. He was not in the House to vote on the original USA PATRIOT Act, but has opposed it since taking office.

CollinsAllenSnowe_inside.jpg
MAINE’S DELEGATION: Where they stand in relation to Bush.

Economic Policy
COLLINS has supported Bush’s economic policies 88 percent of the time, backing his tax cuts for wealthy individuals and corporations, agreeing with his efforts to abolish the estate tax, and supporting both “economic stimulus” bills (in 2001 and 2008). Her only significant opposition to the president was on the 2001 “bankruptcy reform” bill, a credit-card-company-supported measure that made it harder for individuals to reduce their debts through bankruptcy protection. She voted for the Bush-backed financial bailout proposal that passed the US Senate and was signed into law last week.

ALLEN supported 13 percent of Bush’s economic efforts, including the 2008 “economic stimulus” package (though not the one in 2001) and extensions of previously existing tax credits for children in taxpaying families. He voted against Bush’s tax breaks for the rich, and against the abolition of the estate tax, and in favor of a Bush-opposed increase to the minimum wage. He too backed the Bush-supported financial bailout, during both votes in the US House.

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