State of Maine Archives: on Homeland Security


Susan Collins: Mass surveillance justified by national security

Susan Collins has supported warrantless mass surveillance. Over the last seven months, the curtain has been ripped down around the covert mass spying operation.

Thanks to documents provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, we now know that the US government has taken unprecedented (and, according to 2 federal judges, unconstitutional) actions to invade our privacy & restrict our freedom.

We learned that the NSA collects a record of virtually every phone call, email, & instant message in the US--who people contact, when, for how long and where they are.

According to Collins, she was never informed about the bulk collection of information on Americans, despite being the ranking member on the Homeland Security Committee. Many politicians, perhaps conscious of not seeming soft on national security, have attacked Snowden personally or have argued that the security ends have justified the mass surveillance means. Collins, now that she has been informed about the programs, has done both.

Source: Portland Press Herald on 2014 Maine Senate race Jan 4, 2014

Susan Collins: Mass unwarranted surveillance is never justified

Thanks to documents provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, we now know that the US government has taken unprecedented (and, according to 2 federal judges, unconstitutional) actions to invade our privacy & restrict our freedom. We learned that the NSA collects a record of virtually every phone call, email, & instant message in the US--who people contact, when, for how long and where they are.

According to Sen. Collins, she was never informed about the bulk collection of information on Americans, despite being the ranking member on the Homeland Security Committee. Collins now attacks Snowden personally & argues that the security ends have justified the mass surveillance means.

Shenna Bellows is running against Collins and has made our freedom from unwarranted surveillance a centerpiece of her campaign. We need smart people in Congress who understand technology, who take the time to understand the intricacies of these issues and who stand up for our rights.

Source: Portland Press Herald on 2014 Maine Senate race Jan 4, 2014

Shenna Bellows: We cannot afford to be the world's policemen

International involvement of the US is one of those issues that will be important on both the local and federal level. "We cannot afford to be the world's policemen," she said, and pushed for strategic international involvement and for the US. To be diplomatic first and foremost.
Source: Machias Valley News Observer on 2014 Maine Senate race Dec 4, 2013

Shenna Bellows: No spying on foreign leaders NOR on ordinary Americans

Bellows calls out Congress for NSA complicity, amid reported US spying on world leaders including Germany's Angela Merkel. Among the critics˙of surveiling Merkel˙was Maine Sen. Susan Collins, who's chaired the Homeland Security Committee and now serves on the Intelligence Committee.

Q: Sen. Collins put out˙a statement saying that she's not aware of a justification for collecting intelligence on Chancellor Merkel, and that she would be telling the German ambassador that "it was wrong" for the administration to do that.

BELLOWS: We absolutely need to stop listening in on phone calls of allies like Merkel. But we also need to stop spying on millions of Americans.

Q: What about the comparative attention that those two kinds of surveillance get?

BELLOWS: It's certainly concerning to international relations to learn that we were spying on the phone conversations of some of our closest allies. But it's equally important to address the issue of spying on millions of ordinary Americans.

Source: Salon.com on 2014 Maine Senate debate, "Snowden" Oct 30, 2013

Shenna Bellows: Snowden was a whistle-blower, not a criminal

Q: What's your view of Edward Snowden?

A: We need more protection for whistle-blowers so that we can have an open conversation about what's appropriate. His revelations have been a catalyst for a national conversation that we really need to have.

Q: Should he be punished?

A: Daniel Ellsberg wrote an Op-Ed about how his revelations in the Pentagon Papers would not have been possible under current law that prohibits whistle-blowers from coming forward. And the ACLU and other civil liberties groups have been involved in Snowden's defense. We have too much secrecy surrounding these programs.

Q: Do you believe that Snowden should be either charged with a crime or detained by the US government?

A: I do not think that speaking out about matters of national import should be criminalized. Snowden is absolutely a whistle-blower and should be treated as such. He revealed government illegality and abuse of authority and we as a country depend upon truthful information about what the government is doing

Source: Salon.com on 2014 Maine Senate debate, "Snowden" Oct 30, 2013

Susan Collins: No justification for spying on Germany's chancellor

Bellows calls out Congress for NSA complicity, amid reported US spying on world leaders including Germany's Angela Merkel. Among the critics˙of surveiling Merkel˙was Maine Sen. Susan Collins, who's chaired the Homeland Security Committee and now serves on the Intelligence Committee.

Q: Sen. Collins put out˙a statement saying that she's not aware of a justification for collecting intelligence on Chancellor Merkel, and that she would be telling the German ambassador that "it was wrong" for the administration to do that.

BELLOWS: We absolutely need to stop listening in on phone calls of allies like Merkel. But we also need to stop spying on millions of Americans.

Q: What about the comparative attention that those two kinds of surveillance get?

BELLOWS: It's certainly concerning to international relations to learn that we were spying on the phone conversations of some of our closest allies. But it's equally important to address the issue of spying on millions of ordinary Americans.

Source: Salon.com on 2014 Maine Senate debate, "Snowden" Oct 30, 2013

Susan Collins: Cuts in defense are very troubling to me personally

Q: A poll asked, "Would you vote to defeat and replace every member of Congress including your representative if you could?" 60% said, "Yes, I would."

COLLINS: There's a lot of justifiable anger at Congress and at the president for failing to solve these [government shutdown and budget] problems. But I do want to say that despite what people may read, there are a lot of constructive discussions going on behind the scenes.

Q: Any kind of budget deal?

COLLINS: There could be a substitution of some of the mandatory spending cuts--such as the farm bill which would save $23 billion over ten years-- for some of the cuts in defense and biomedical research that are very troubling to me personally.

Source: CNN SOTU 2013 interview on 2014 Maine Senate race Oct 13, 2013

Paul LePage: Wreaths Across America: thank our men and women in uniform

I ask that we all take a moment to remember, recognize and thank our men and women in uniform. Recently, Ann and I had the opportunity to go down to Arlington National Cemetery during the Wreaths Across America trip. As I walked through rows and rows of tombstones, marking the final resting place of our fallen American heroes, I remembered one simple truth: These individuals paid the ultimate sacrifice to ensure future generations had the opportunity to pursue their piece of the American Dream. It is a dream we cherish and the freedom that marks our lives is so rare for the rest of the world.

The American experience represents a unique moment in time. We must not abandon it! If each and every one of our elected officials visited Arlington, they might realize the political battles we wage are meaningless in comparison to the blood that's been shed to protect our American Dream.

Source: 2013 State of the State speech to Maine Legislature Feb 5, 2013

Angus King: Ok to target suspected terrorists outside of war zones

Q: Do you support targeting suspected terrorists outside of official theaters of conflict?

A: Yes. In the face of a foreign threat every option must be on the table, beginning with diplomacy and right through military force; a nuclear-armed Iran is a threat not only to Israel, but to the U.S. and the world.

Source: Maine Congressional Election 2012 Political Courage Test Sep 1, 2012

Cynthia Dill: Cut military spending such as weapons systems

Dill called for fair tax policies that require the wealthy to pay their fair share, and cuts in military spending such as for weapons systems.

All four candidates said they oppose unlimited detention of terror suspects, including by the Obama administration.

Source: Portland Press Herald on 2012 Maine Senate debates Jun 6, 2012

Cynthia Dill: Opposes unlimited detention of terror suspects

All four candidates said they oppose unlimited detention of terror suspects, including by the Obama administration. Dill said Congress authorized detentions with too little public debate. "I believe we have to make choices and cast votes based on constitutional liberties and civil rights. There's been a total lessening of liberties" since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Dill said.
Source: Portland Press Herald on 2012 Maine Senate debates Jun 6, 2012

Charlie Summers: Bath Iron Works & Kittery Naval Shipyard are indispensable

We need a senator who not only supports our military, but also understands their needs because he is one of them. A senator who has served in both of the major wars of our time--Iraq and Afghanistan--and at the Pentagon working for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. A senator who knows the indispensable roles that Bath Iron Works and Kittery Naval Shipyard play in the defense of our nation.
Source: 2012 Senate Campaign website, summersformaine.com, "Message" Apr 14, 2012

Charlie Summers: Military tribunals for terrorists; deploy National Guard

Q: Do you support using military tribunals to try suspected terrorists when ordinary civilian courts are deemed inappropriate or impractical?

A: Yes.

Q: Should the United States hold foreign states accountable for terrorists who operate in their country?

A: Yes.

Q: Should the federal government increase funding to states and cities for homeland security?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support the creation of a federal identification card system?

A: No.

Q: Do you support long-term use of National Guard troops to supplement the armed forces in assignments overseas?

A: Yes.

Source: Maine Congressional Election 2008 Political Courage Test Nov 1, 2008

  • The above quotations are from State of Maine Politicians: Archives.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Homeland Security.
  • Click here for other issues (main summary page).
2012 Presidential contenders on Homeland Security:
  Democrats:
Pres.Barack Obama(IL)
V.P.Joe Biden(DE)

Republicans:
Gov.Mitt Romney(MA)
Rep.Paul Ryan(WI)
Third Parties:
Green: Dr.Jill Stein(MA)
Libertarian: Gov.Gary Johnson(NM)
Justice: Mayor Rocky Anderson(UT)
Constitution: Rep.Virgil Goode(VA)
Peace+Freedom: Roseanne Barr(HI)
Reform Party: André Barnett(NY)
AmericansElect: Gov.Buddy Roemer(LA)
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Page last updated: Jan 11, 2014