After reading three supposed exposés now on Sen. Susan Collins, fundraising practices and the inner workings of the United States Senate, I find it necessary to rebut some of the claims made in Saturday’s story (Sept. 7) about Sen. Collins and her powerful position in the Senate.

The claim that Sen. Collins has not chaired a major committee is inaccurate. In the past, she chaired the Homeland Security Committee, which is considered by the Senate itself as one of the most important committees.

Sen. Collins is a senior member of the 100-member Senate. That’s good news for Maine because the Senate operates on seniority. Should Republicans maintain the Senate in 2020, Sen. Collins will be chairwoman of the powerful Appropriations Committee. The Appropriations chairmanship is not a position that can be campaigned for. It is a position that is earned after years of service. Even if Republicans lost control of the Senate, Sen. Collins would be the ranking member — still a position of considerable influence.

The story quotes only people who want Sen. Collins’ job and quite frankly don’t know what they are talking about. Powerful chairmanships benefit Maine. Obtaining them isn’t a “power grab.” It’s smart and beneficial for Maine people. Opponents who say otherwise show a dangerous naiveté toward how government works.

Seniority matters in the U.S. Senate, and it’s one of the reasons why Sen. Collins continues to deliver for Maine.

Garrett Mason, Portland

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