Monday, March 10, 2014
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The U.S. Capitol in Washington.
The Associated Press
While groups from Maine largely praised Collins and Sen. Angus King for their votes, one national tea party-affiliated group threatened to help fund a primary challenger against Maine's senior senator.
"There are three incumbents up next year who supported the amnesty bill," Senate Conservatives Fund executive director Matt Hoskins wrote in an email to supporters on Friday, according to a report in the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call. The three senators are Collins, Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. "If strong, conservative challengers emerge in these races, we will support them."
Of course, there's no indication that the political group will get a chance to spend any money in Maine. Despite occasional rumors of a possible challenger, no one has stepped forward to run against the popular three-term incumbent next year on either the Republican or Democratic ticket.
Barely in office a few days, President Obama's newest Cabinet members were already receiving friendly "invitations" to visit New England, although not for a lobster bake or sunset paddle.
As was reported on Friday, members of the Maine and New Hampshire congressional delegations invited newly confirmed Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx to see for himself how badly the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge between Kittery and Portsmouth needs replacement.
But Maine Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King don't want Foxx to stop at the Maine border as long as he is in northern New England. The pair sent a separate letter to the transportation secretary urging him to also visit the Port of Eastport, the Howland-Enfield Penobscot River Bridge, and the tracks used by the Downeaster Amtrak train in Portland.
"As you will see, these projects are critical to the local, state and regional transportation network," King and Collins wrote. "It is essential that we work together to improve Maine's transportation infrastructure, because so much of my state's economy relies on these roads and bridges."
Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, meanwhile, received an invite from Massachusetts Rep. Frank Tierney to spend some time with fishermen in the Bay State fishing port of Gloucester, where recent cuts to groundfish quotas are having an impact. Chances are, many of the comments Pritzker would hear in Gloucester would be similar to what she would hear from some groundfishermen in Maine.
No word yet on whether Foxx or Pritzker might accept the invitations.
Washington Bureau Chief Kevin Miller can be contacted at 317-6256 or at:
On Twitter: @KevinMillerDC