SCARBOROUGH — Desperation has apparently blinded Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Shenna Bellows and her partisan left-wing allies. Just over a month from Election Day, and trailing badly in the polls, they have resorted to false attack ads, misleading letters to the editor and, sadly, outright lies.

The most recent example is Mike Tipping’s Sept. 27 column, “Sen. Collins tries to rewrite history after 2013 tea party stand.” Mr. Tipping is a paid activist for the Maine People’s Alliance, a far-left advocacy group whose agenda would benefit greatly if Ms. Bellows, a former lobbyist for the American Civil Liberties Union’s Maine chapter, were to somehow replace Susan Collins in the U.S. Senate. Perhaps that’s why the group feels so threatened by a television ad that simply lays out Sen. Collins’ role in helping end the disastrous federal government shutdown in October 2013.

The problem is, Mr. Tipping wasn’t there for the hours and hours of meetings and discussions that led to the bipartisan agreement that Sen. Collins hammered out and used as the basis for the final agreement between the Senate leaders. Those who were in the room, who included Democrats, Republicans and independent Maine Sen. Angus King, have recounted the story publicly. Mr. Tipping either missed it, or more likely is intentionally ignoring it, so here’s what they said.

While accepting the Allegheny College Prize for Civility in Public Life last spring (which, by the way, was also awarded to Sen. Collins), Maryland Democratic Sen. Barbara Mikulski, the longest-serving woman in Congress, said, “During the dark days of government shutdown this fall, when the government of the United States had come to a screeching halt because of outdated Senate rules, because of the rigidity of ideology, it was Sen. Collins, Sen. Collins who took to the floor and said we need to have a new way and a new day to break the logjam.”

This isn’t Sen. Collins rewriting history.

Sen. King, an independent who caucuses with Democrats but has endorsed Sen. Collins’ re-election, calling her a “model senator,” spoke on the Senate floor once an agreement to reopen government was finalized.

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“I also have to acknowledge the leadership of my senior colleague from Maine, Susan Collins,” he said. “It was really her initiative to stand up and take a risk and say, let’s try to work something out … . That’s what leadership is.”

This isn’t Sen. Collins rewriting history.

Amy Klobuchar, a Democratic senator from Minnesota, praised Sen. Collins’ “courage” and thanked her for bringing together the bipartisan group of her colleagues, which they called the “Common Sense Coalition,” that negotiated the framework for the agreement to reopen government. That framework did include a repeal of the medical device tax, as Mr. Tipping pointed out while suggesting some sort of campaign kickback.

What he fails to recognize is that the repeal was included because it has overwhelming bipartisan support. Everyone from Sen. Klobuchar, to Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren, to yes, even Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, supports this repeal because, as Sen. Warren herself has said, the harmful tax “too often disproportionately impacts the small companies with the narrowest financial margins and the broadest innovative potential.”

Again, this isn’t Sen. Collins rewriting history. It’s Sen. Collins working to get things done, to do what’s right, to negotiate, to find common ground and to reach agreements to move our country forward.

Unfortunately, this style of legislating is threatening to Mr. Tipping, and to Ms. Bellows, who has been ranked by The New York Times’ Upshot blog as the most liberal Senate candidate in the nation. No, this isn’t Sen. Collins rewriting history – these are the facts, and the facts are on Sen. Collins’ side.

 

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CLARIFICATION: This column was updated at noon on Oct. 1, 2014, to clarify a characterization made in an earlier column by Mike Tipping.


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