In his series of ads about Susan Collins, Mr. Mercer poses the question: Is Susan Collins approachable and does she answer questions? As a voter I need to know if my congresspeople’s actions reflect my values. It is their job to be available to answer questions so I know.

I have gone to the senator’s Portland office a number of times. Her aides just take notes. The closest I get to an answer is “I will take down your question.” I have never had a specific answer to any question I have ever asked of the senator.

Susan Collins does not like town halls. She thinks one or two people will dominate the meeting so nothing will be accomplished. She prefers small, private meetings. At one of the visits to her office we told her aide we would be willing to set up a format for a town hall that would protect against a few hogging the floor. It is a reasonable concern. We have not heard back.

Mr. Mercer took a chance approaching Ms. Collins. But as a voter, he has an absolute right, if not obligation, to ask difficult questions. We all need to know the answers. It is the senator’s job to have answers. But she avoided, deflected and minimized. It is up to Sen. Collins to set the tone. It is up to her to make sure her constituents feel heard, their concerns addressed. Because it is not rude to ask hard questions. Ever.

Jo Trafford

Portland


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