September 13, 2018

Senator Collins, We Are Here

by Chris Thomas

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You can’t hear if you don’t listen, Senator.

Back in July, Susan Collins stated that she was getting a lot less feedback from her constituents over the Kavanaugh confirmation than she got over the fight to defend the Affordable Care Act.

Analysis | 'A different level of intensity': Collins and Murkowski find pressure over Supreme Court lacks emotional pleas on health care

This article in the Washington Post, dated July 28, quotes her as saying the following:

The protests are similar, the media campaign is more aggressive this time, but the constituent involvement is less. And I think that’s because health care is so personal and affects everybody

With all due respect, Senator — bullshit.

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Text analysis for Maine Resistbot deliveries — July 1–31, 2018

Your constituents were screaming at you. In July, Resistbot delivered 2,674 letters to Maine, 81% of which went to you. Had you read the 2,165 pieces of correspondence your constituents sent to your offices, you’d have noted that more than 1,000 of them mention the Supreme Court and about 750 of them call out Kavanaugh by name.

Just for the sake of comparison, Senator, let’s take a look at the letters you got in May, before Justice Kennedy announced his retirement. In May, Resistbot delivered just 1,003 letters from Mainers, 77% of which went to you. While I’m sure someone in Maine wrote about the Supreme Court, the term doesn’t make our top 25. In May your constituents were more concerned about the President’s proclivity for locking children in cages.

But maybe you weren’t talking about the spike in letters which, surely, any Senate office must expect when the upper chamber is in the news. Maybe you were talking about the singular focus your office received during the health care fight. You were, after all, one of a small group of Republicans viewed as potentially courageous enough to buck the party line.

New Hampshire, as it happens, has just a few thousand more residents than Maine and is demographically and geographically similar; a handy stand-in for the Pine Tree State.

New Hampshireites — who outnumber Mainers by about 9,000 — sent just 562 letters in July of 2018, 73% of which went to their Senators. That’s 410 pieces of Resistbot correspondence — five letters on your desk for every one on Senator Shaheen’s. Kavanaugh and the Court are topics of major concern in New Hampshire as well, but the implication is pretty clear here: your constituents are begging you to listen to them.

Will you?

Brett Kavanaugh was nominated to the Supreme Court on July 2, 2018. Since then, Senator Collins, Resistbot has delivered 6,060 letters for the residents of the great state of Maine, with 87% of them bound for your office. Of those, nearly 5,000 have mentioned Brett Kavanaugh by name, so much so that he appears twice in our most frequently used terms analysis (the second time as the possessive from of his name with the apostrophe removed by our analytics tool for security reasons).

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Maine letter text analysis for July 2-Sept 13, 2018

And that’s just Resistbot. While far and away the easiest way to give your government a piece of your mind, none of these numbers include the tidal wave of letters, post-cards, phone calls, emails, and other missives that are piling up on Senator Collins’ desk.

You may not want to listen, Senator, but by God you won’t claim we’re not shouting. If you won’t listen today there’s $1.2 million dollars that says Maine will have a Senator who will listen in 2021.

Tell Congress What You Think

If you live in Maine, keep up the pressure. Collins may not want to vote against Kavanaugh but her complaints about activism mean that the uproar is getting to her. Write to her, to your Junior Senator, Angus King, and to your governor, Paul LePage. Resistbot can help you reach them all.

If you don’t live in Maine, this is a great opportunity to express some solidarity. Tell your Senators what you think of Collins’ ignoring her constituents and tell them to pass the message on to her.

You can write to Senators, Representatives, and Governor by sending the word Resist to Resistbot on Facebook Messenger, Telegram, or as a Twitter direct message. If none of those work for you, Resistbot also supports old fashioned SMS: text RESIST to 50409 to get started. It takes 2 minutes to make a difference.

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