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Senator Collins, which one of us is being duped?

As one of those “small business owners” the GOP claims to love, I refuse to be used as a prop. If only my senator would do the same.

REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein/File Photo

Senator Collins, in all of your years in politics, all your years of being an educated, intelligent woman, have you honestly still not figured out how to tell when you are being lied to?

The idea that Mitch McConnell and your colleagues in the Senate are going to address your concerns with the tax bill in future health care legislation is absurd. GOP leaders started reneging on their so-called promises to you almost as soon as they were made. Even if your “fixes” make it through the Senate – which would be a miracle in and of itself – they would still have to make it through the House, and Speaker Paul Ryan has already stated publicly that he won’t stand by your deal.

So have you been duped? Or have we?

All these years, we have watched you thread the political needle. You’re a moderate and a conservative! A Washington insider who is true to her Maine roots! Reasonable and principled and sensible. That image got you re-elected in 2014 with 40% of the vote. It earned you a national platform. But Senator, hear me when I say, the smoke and mirrors are long gone. Now its just you, your values and your vote.

You are supposed to stand up for us, to represent Maine values and do the right thing in Washington, but you are selling us out. Plain and simple. This bill is going to hurt Maine and it’s going to hurt America. It was written by people who have no idea how to build a thriving economy. You are voting for one of the biggest pieces of legislation written in the last 50 years without having held a single hearing. Your colleagues were scribbling decisions worth hundreds of billions of dollars in the margins of the legislation at 2 am.

This bill will rewrite the entire tax code, it will change the economy in ways you can’t even imagine, that you certainly haven’t bothered to consider. With your vote, you will add more than $1 trillion to the deficit so you and your friends can deliver a huge tax cut to multinational corporations and billionaires. And what’s truly sick about it is that this hand out to your donors is going to come straight out of the pockets of Maine’s working people, the disabled and the elderly.

Do you think we don’t see what you’re doing? Do you think we can’t understand the choice you’re making, to end any hope for access to even the basic necessities which I always believed to be the right of all Americans? As one of those small business owners the GOP invokes whenever it’s convenient, I feel betrayed. As a woman, I feel betrayed. You have forgotten the best that we can be and left those who feel they have no voice without an advocate to protect their basic rights.

Vote for this bill, and we will know whose interests you truly represent. Shame on you, Senator Collins.

Written by Mary Allen Lindemann

Mary Allen Lindemann is the owner of Coffee By Design which operates four coffeehouses in Portland and one in Freeport and runs a thriving coffee roasters, which sells to nearly 500 wholesale and mail order customers around the globe.