To the Editor:

As the 2020 election cycle ramps up, it seems that this will be a face-off between Rhode Island-born Speaker of the House of Representatives Sara Gideon and our own Susan Collins in a fight for Maine’s U.S. Senate seat. Where has Speaker Gideon been the last three months since she adjourned the Legislature?

In her absence, we have witnessed fitful inconsistent feckless COVID-19 policy by the Governor that has brought Maine to its economic knees. When we need meaningful input from our elected officials the most, where is Sara Gideon? In her absence, a group from the Labor Department convened in an attempt to address the unemployment issue. To their credit, this bipartisan group of 62 legislators went around Mrs. Gideon. They drafted a letter to Governor Mills and Labor Commission Chairman Laura Fortman with the signature of caucus member Genevieve MacDonald demanding answers on the state’s management of the unemployment crisis. Sara Gideon claims to be “monitoring” the crisis, yet, we are getting zero leadership from her.

What can we expect if she gets to Washington? As a freshman senator, she would be completely under the iron fist of Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer for committee appointments, PAC and lobbyist money, even office space and her office budget. This is the same Chuck Schumer who recently shook his fist on the steps of the US Supreme Court and railed that if Judges Brett Kavanaugh and Neal Gorsuch did to rule the right way, they would “suffer the consequences.” This is governance by threat and intimidation. This is coercing judges to legislate from the bench as they attempt to ram controversial, unpopular policies down our throats. These tactics do not pass muster as legitimate legislative process. A vote for Sara Gideon is a vote for Chuck Schumer. It is a choice between Sara Gideon and the responsible, principled, high-level Senate leadership we have come to appreciate from Senator Susan Collins.

David G. Reed
West Rockport

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