Olympia Snowe is not a Moderate
Franklin County Democratic Committee - UMaine Farmington
January 22, 2006
Olympia Snowe is NOT a moderate. She lost claims to that label years ago. She voted for the Iraq War resolution, for the Patriot Act, for the Nuclear Bunker Buster Program. She voted to deny habeas corpus rights to Guantanamo Bay detainees. In one ranking she voted favorably on Peace Action issues 13 percent of the time in 2004, which was a great improvement over 2003, when she got a zero rating. Thatís not moderate.

Donít believe claims by the right-wing Republicans that Snowe is a RINO. She is, and always has been, an Elephant. A Republican Elephant. That RINO label is a ploy. The strategy is simple -- If moderates can be convinced that the right-wing Republicans donít like Olympia Snowe, then she must be OK.

Olympia Snowe is not a moderate, and she is not a RINO.

She has also lost her pro-choice standing. After getting a lot of attention last year for being one of the ìGang of 14î that stopped a filibuster on three anti-choice judges nominated to the federal bench, Snowe went ahead and voted to confirm two of those three, Janice Rogers Brown of California and Priscilla Owen of Texas. No adamantly pro-choice politician would have voted to confirm those anti-choice judges.

Furthermore, Olympia Snowe voted to confirm John Roberts as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, even though several womenís organizations which had supported her for years had come out against his confirmation.

And look at the millions of dollars being spent on ads and organized persuasion, on both sides of the Judge Alito issue, to convince Olympia Snowe to vote one way or the other. If Olympia Snowe were adamantly pro-choice, as her reputation claims, she would not be on the fence. Her vote would not be up for grabs, as it apparently is, over the confirmation of a judge who has a written and public record of opposition to Roe v. Wade.

Olympia Snowe does not reflect Maine values. If she did, she would have voted last fall to increase the federal minimum wage from $5.15 an hour to $6.25 an hour, knowing full-well that Maineís minimum is already $6.50 an hour. But she voted NO, and in the process Olympia Snowe voted to put Maine small businesses at a disadvantage with their competitors in those states who can continue to legally pay sub-poverty-level wages.

Another Maine value Olympia Snowe does not bring to Washington is the recognition that government has a responsibility for the health care of its citizens. Maine has Dirigo Health. The Republicans dismiss national health care as socialism, even though we are the only industrialized nation without such a system. Republicans tout ìmarket forcesî as the solution, a solution which leaves 43 million American out in the cold, and auto workers by the thousands unemployed. Republicans pass a confusing Medicare Part D plan involving dozens of insurance companies that has left seniors reeling, and state governments scrambling to keep their citizens alive and well while the kinks are worked out.

Not surprisingly, Olympia Snowe has tons of campaign contributions from insurance companies and drug companies. And credit card companies. That may explain why she voted for the draconian bankruptcy bill last year, knowing full well that half of those bankruptcies were the result of overwhelming medical bills.

Olympia Snowe is also losing her credentials on civil rights. In her speech at the NAACP Martin Luther King breakfast in Portland last Monday, she publicly lamented the income disparity in this country, the wide gap between the haves and the have-nots, as Hurricane Katrina so forcefully demonstrated. Her solution? She will work hard to make sure Katrina victims can get small business loans. Quite an offer to people with no homes, no jobs, no businesses left standing.

Combine that with her vote against a minimum wage increase, and her votes in favor of tax cuts for the wealthy, and what have you got? Youíve got straight-line hypocritical Republican thinking, and it left those of us in the audience at that Martin Luther King breakfast gasping.

So if Olympia Snowe is not moderate, if sheís not a RINO, if sheís losing it on choice and on civil rights, if she doesnít reflect Maine values, what is she?

Sheís a true-blue (or is it true-red these days?) Republican Bush-enabler. She makes a big show of voting against her party when it doesnít count, when she knows sheíll be on the losing side of an issue thatís popular here at home. But when they need her vote, they can count on her, and they know it.

Olympia Snowe has been in office for more than 30 years. According to her official campaign biography, being a politician is the only job sheís had her entire adult life. Sheís been making decisions that affect other peopleís lives since she was 26 years old.

Youíd think that someone with that much seniority, that much respect, that much power as a member of the majority party in Washington ñ youíd think that a Senator with that kind of standing would be able to finagle some home heating assistance money for Maineís poor and elderly before the winter is half over.

Itís time for Olympia Snowe to go. Next November, weíll have a chance to show her the door. Next November, it behooves us all to vote Olympia Snoweís version of America out of office, and to vote IN the America we want to live in.

Send me to Washington and Iíll do all I can to turn things around, to put this great country of ours back on its feet, morally, politically and financially. If five other states follow Maineís lead and I become one of six Democrats replacing Republican Senators nationally, we reclaim the Senate majority. Then weíll really be able to get some things done.

Iíve got the courage of my convictions. I want you to have the courage of your vote. Together we can make it possible for us to be proud of America again.