What’s the Ask?

Current action item: Announce your opposition to the Senate Trumpcare bill (BCRA) and encourage your colleagues to do the same.

The big ask: Leave the Republican Party and become an Independent.

When calling, it’s important to ask for a specific action that Sen. Collins can take to address your concerns.

Please start your call by asking for the current action item above, an ever-changing request that’s relevant to current events in the Senate and will be easier for Collins to comply with, then close by mentioning our big campaign ask, that Sen. Collins leave the Republican party.

Also be sure to explain your personal reasons for wanting Collins to act, and don’t forget to say your name and town of residence.  Here’s a rough guide you can use:

Hello, my name is _________ and I live at ___[address]_____.  I am deeply concerned about ________________ because ______________, and so am calling to ask Senator Collins to ___[current action item]____.  As an additional step, I want to ask the Senator to leave the Republican Party because ________________.

Rationale behind the action item:

See here for the explanation on the Trumpcare ask.

Rationale behind the big ask:

Republicans now have a 52 to 48 seat majority  in the Senate, enough for them to control what bills come up for a vote, repeal ObamaCare, and pack the federal lower courts.  If Republicans choose to eliminate the filibuster for legislation and the Supreme Court, a simple majority would allow them to put as many Trump-friendly bills as they want into law, and approve whomever Donald Trump nominates to the Supreme Court, without any support or input from Democrats.

If we can persuade Sen. Collins to become an Indepdendent and caucus with the Democrats–and she is clearly the most likely Senator to do so–it would mean Democrats would need to peel off only two Republicans on any given issue to stop its passage.

Moving one Senator over to the Democratic caucus vote won’t immediately flip Senate control like when Jim Jeffords did it in 2001, but it will sure as hell gum up the works for Trump, Ryan & Co., making it much more likely that at least some elements of their agenda don’t come into law.  Finally, if our campaign is successful, the momentum it generates could end up increasing pressure enough on another moderate Senator or two to persuade them to change as well, turning the Senate over to Democratic control.

Even though Collins would be on the right wing of the Democratic Caucus, there is reason to believe that her voting record would change significantly.  Caucus memberships tend to have a big influence on voting records, as seen with Arlen Specter’s party switch in 2009.  Sen. Collins seems to have a strong tendency to vote with her party unless there’s a really good reason to stick her neck out, so becoming a member of the other team would likely make her a much more reliable vote against Trump.

Collins is a lifelong Republican, so going straight to being a Democrat would likely be much more difficult for her to accept than becoming an Independent.  Maine also has a long tradition of supporting Independents, so becoming an Independent would likely play better among her supporters.   So long as she agrees to caucus with the Democrats, as does her Independent colleague Sen. Angus King, she will be just as helpful in terms of stopping Trump’s agenda.