Bangor, Maine- Senator Rand Paul provided the keynote address at the Maine GOP Convention this Saturday. Senator Paul spoke before a packed house, excited to hear from the likely Republican Presidential candidate. What surprised some of the crowd and simultaneously delighted others, however was when Paul endorsed long time Maine Senator Susan Collins.

“I whole-heartedly endorse Senator Collins for re-election. I think she is doing a great job for Maine and for the country.”

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.”

Collins, who is running unopposed on the Republican side for re-election in 2014 has a record on government wiretapping and FISA courts that is quite clear. A quick search of her voting record.

She 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)

Senator Paul told the crowd in Bangor that he doesn’t “see division here (in Maine), I see unity. I smell victory.”

One of the major questions for Republicans in Maine is whether the party is unified or divided between the establishment and liberty wings. For her part, Collins spent her time at the convention blasting the policies of the Obama administration and pushing back against, “federal overreach.” But Collins herself hardly has a small government voting record.

Collins voted against the Affordable Care Act in 2010 but that doesn’t mean she is a small government legislator. Her record on stimulus and government spending is not strong. Collins, like so many Republicans and Democrats has voted for the huge stimulus packages of 2008 and 2009

She Voted YES on $60B stimulus package for jobs, infrastructure, & energy in September of 2008. Voted YES on an additional $825 billion for economic recovery package in February of 2009 and then in July of the same year voted YES on $192B additional anti-recession stimulus spending. She also voted YES on $2 billion more for Cash for Clunkers program.

Senator Paul told the crowd in Bangor that he doesn’t “see division here (in Maine), I see unity. I smell victory.”

When it comes to the reach of federal agencies, Collins voted NO on barring EPA from regulating greenhouse gases and voted NO on banning eminent domain for use as parks or grazing land. While Rand Paul was vocally against the internet sales tax of 2013, Collins voted for it.

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