Did Senator Rand Paul endorse an establishment Republican to protect her seat from a "liberty Democrat"? As we reported Saturday, Senator Rand Paul was the keynote speaker at the Maine GOP Convention on Saturday where he endorsed Republican Senator Susan Collins in her re-election bid this year.

Speaking to the Portland Herald Press minutes before taking the stage, Paul said, "I whole-heartedly endorse Senator Collins for re-election. I think she is doing a great job for Maine and for the country." 

He went on to say that he was unaware of her stance on the NSA saying, "I don't really know, exactly, what her position is on the NSA; you'd have to ask her about that."

As we exclusively reported, Senator Collins record on NSA spying and wiretapping is not strong for those who believe in liberty.

  • Collins voted YES on extending the PATRIOT Act's roving wiretaps in February of 2011.
  • Voted NO on requiring a FISA court warrant to monitor US-to-foreign calls. (Feb 2008)
  • Voted YES on removing need for FISA warrant for wiretapping abroad. (Aug 2007)
  • Voted NO on preserving habeas corpus for Guantanamo detainees. (Sep 2006)
  • Voted NO on requiring CIA reports on detainees & interrogation methods. (Sep 2006)
  • Voted YES on reauthorizing the PATRIOT Act. (Mar 2006)
  • Voted YES on extending the PATRIOT Act's wiretap provision. (Dec 2005)

Based on those issues one would question why Senator Rand Paul, who is building his campaign largely on the issue of NSA spying and the restoration of Constitutional rights and civil liberties, would say Susan Collins "is doing a great job for Maine and for the country."

"I had never heard the phrase 'liberty Democrat' but I love it," says Bellows, who continues, "I am running because I am passionate about the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

In fact, if he were truly looking to endorse a candidate who aligns with his stated beliefs on indefinite detention of U.S. citizens, drone strikes, NSA spying, whistleblower protection, and no more bailouts, Sen. Paul arguably should have endorsed the Democratic candidate.

"Both of the oversight commissions (on NSA Spying) found that in reports in December and January that this mass bulk data collection by the NSA had not stopped a single incident of terrorism. So not only is it undermining our liberties but it doesn't work. It doesn't make any sense. Its big brother at its worst." said Sheena Bellows, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in Maine. Bellows is running against Collins.

Ben Swann exclusively interviewed Sheena Bellows on the Ben Swann Radio Show Monday about whether or not she is, in fact, a "liberty Democrat."

"I had never heard the phrase 'liberty Democrat' but I love it," says Bellows who continues, "I am running because I am passionate about the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. I want to restore our Constitutional freedoms. I am very concerned about the direction of our country."

So where does Bellows, who worked for the American Civil Liberties Union stand on issues such as the NDAA or NSA spying? She is staunchly against those policies which she claims undermines the rights of all Americans. She also believes that former NSA contractor Edward Snowden is a hero and that Congress should amend the Whistleblower Protection Act to include government contractors.

"I do think he should be protected under the Whistleblower Protection Act, and I am glad that you brought that up because the problem under our laws what he did is not protected as a whistleblower action and so even Daniel Ellsberg has said that what his ability to be a whistleblower with the Pentagon Papers would not be protected today." We have undermined protections for whistleblowers to the extent where it is a crime to tell the truth."

As for those who lie to Congress about these spying programs, Bellows believes the penalties should be severe.

"You demand that they be fired and I think that there should be penalties for lying to Congress and they should be enforced. I think there should be serious penalties for lying and rewards for whistleblowers."

I think the war on drugs has utterly failed. We see that we incarcerate more people than any other country in the world, more people per capita than any other country in the world and to what end?

Another distinction about Bellows from her opponent, Susan Collins, is that her stand on marijuana legalization. Bellows claims she is the first Senate candidate to call for national legalization of cannabis. Though she says a second candidate has now come out as well.

"I support legalization. I think the war on drugs has utterly failed. We see that we incarcerate more people than any other country in the world, more people per capita than any other country in the world and to what end? We are sending billions of dollars to lock people up for activities they engage in on their own time. There are industrial uses for hemp, medicinal uses for marijuana. I think it's time we take a new approach to drug laws and it's time to restore our individual liberties."

On Saturday, we also pointed out the stances of Sen. Collins on government spending, including her votes for massive stimulus bills in 2008 and 2009 as well as the Cash for Clunkers program. Bellows says she is against that kind of spending that really only serves the crony system.

"(Too Big To Fail) is a terrible concept." She continues, "No company should be too big to fail. It's time to restore principles. I think there can be common ground between Democrats and Republicans around the free enterprise principles on which this country was founded just as we are finding common ground on Constitutional freedom."

Bellows' strong liberty stances on a variety of issues could explain why Senator Paul was brought into Maine to endorse Collins. The theme of the GOP convention was "unity." The big question will now be whether or not liberty Republicans will back an establishment candidate just because of party affiliation or will they cross over and vote for a "liberty Democrat," who aligns with their beliefs?

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