To the Editor: Collins owes an explanation

To the Editor:

Constituents have a right to expect that their elected representatives will uphold their oaths to the constitution and serve their whole districts, not just the people who voted for them and certainly not just their party, or their donors.

It is also reasonable to expect our elected representatives to be available, to listen, to be accountable and to explain their decision making. It goes without saying that decisions should be rational and evidence based.

With her announcement that she intends to run for a fifth term, Senator Collins owes constituents some accounting and accountability. First, she owes us an explanation of what changed her views of Donald Trump. Collins repudiated Trump in an op-ed in August 2016 for his lack of what she saw as traditional Republican values, and even revealed that she wrote in the name of another candidate rather than vote for Donald Trump. What does Senator Collins see as Trump’s redeeming achievements in office that inspired her change of heat?

Collins has run as pro-choice and pro-access to health care. Yet she has voted to confirm a succession of anti-choice judges. Can she explain why? (The reason cannot be their distinguished careers since some were judged unfit by the ABA).

Collins’ vote to keep the ACA was widely celebrated yet she reneged on her commitment to health care by her vote for the tax bill that ruined the individual mandate, leaving the ACA (and coverage of pre-existing conditions) vulnerable to a lawsuit. Collins never succeeded in obtaining the protective measures that had been promised to her in exchange for her vote for the tax bill. Constituents have a right to know whether Collins changed her commitment to their access to health care — even survival — and why.

During the Clinton impeachment Collins stood up for a fair process with witnesses and ultimately concluded that removal from office by impeachment was to be reserved for an individual who shredded the fabric of our constitution. What has changed so that she fails to challenge McConnell’s proposal of a sham trial without witnesses? Given the gravity of the issues at stake today, constituents deserve an explanation.

Finally, Senator Collins first ran with a promise to serve only two terms. Can she explain when and why she changed her mind?

Linda Homer, Southwest Harbor

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