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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Tom Allen's Guns A-Blazing

Despite Stoogan Collins' efforts to minimize the importance of Iraq to her constituents back here (how out of touch is this fool? And how little respect does she have for our intelligence?), Tom Allen has made it clear he's going to make the war front and center in his campaign. To wit:




PORTLAND – Susan Collins today stood by her opposition to timelines for withdrawal from Iraq although she attempted to hide behind her record with a vote for cloture on Levin-Reed today. Her vote for cloture was simply a vote to end debate, not for the legislation.

In an AP story, a Collins spokesperson said the Senator still opposes the legislation.

“Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, who is up for re-election next year, also voted to advance the bill. Spokesman Kevin Kelley said Collins believes the measure should be subject to a simple majority vote and not the 60 votes needed to end a filibuster. Kelley said the senator still opposes the legislation.”

Valerie Martin, campaign manager for Tom Allen for U.S. Senate, said Collins has been wrong on Iraq since the beginning, while Allen has been a consistent and staunch opponent to the war in Iraq from the outset.

“For four and a half years, Susan Collins has been wrong about Iraq and has voted consistently to continue Bush’s failed policies. For four and a half years, Susan Collins has stood by the administration instead of standing up for what is right. For the past week, Susan Collins has been talking about changing missions and has hidden behind votes for cloture. That isn’t leadership. Maine needs a Senator who consistently does what is right,” said Martin.

By contrast, Tom Allen voted against authorization for the war in 2002 and has been an outspoken critic ever since, backing his words up with actions. Just last week, Allen voted in favor of H.R. 2956, a measure requiring the President to being troop withdrawal from Iraq within 120 days, to be concluded by April 1, 2008. The measure passed in the House on July 12.

Compare the Records on Iraq:

Collins Voted For Legislation She Said She Opposed. Today, Collins voted in favor of moving forward on legislation that would begin withdrawing American troops from Iraq. Immediately after the vote Collins’ spokesman claimed that in fact, she did not support timelines. “Spokesman Kevin Kelley said Collins believes the measure should be subject to a simple majority vote and not the 60 votes needed to end a filibuster. She opposes the legislation.” [HR 1585, Vote #252, 7/18/07; AP, 7/18/07]

Allen Again Voted For Timeline For Redeployment From Iraq. Last week, Allen again voted to end U.S. involvement in the Iraqi civil war. The vote mark the fifth time Allen had voted for a binding proposal to begin bringing troops home from Iraq. After the vote, Allen said, “Setting a binding timetable is the most effective way to remove American troops from Iraq. I will continue to advocate for a binding timetable so that the men and women serving so bravely in Iraq return home safely to their families.” [HRES 533, Vote #621, 7/12/07; Office of Representative Tom Allen, Press Release, 7/12/07]

Collins Said She Opposed Beginning To Withdraw Troops With 120 Days. Earlier this year, Collins said she opposed the 2007 Supplemental Funding bill for Iraq because it would begin to withdraw troops within 120 days. "Ms. Collins said she was more troubled by the requirement that the administration begin removing troops within 120 days of the legislation rather than the March 2008 deadline for having most of the military out." [New York Times, 3/28/07]

Allen Said There Was A Clear Choice Between Supporting Timetables Or Supporting Bush’s Failed Policies. Earlier this year, Allen said, “This week, the House of Representatives has a choice: either endorse the President’s open-ended commitment, or adopt a plan that demands accountability, sets a timeline for redeployment, and restores the readiness of our armed forces.” [Office of Representative Tom Allen, Press Release, 3/22/07]

Collins Voted To Authorize The War In Iraq. In October 2002, Collins voted authorize the use of force against Iraq. [Vote #237, 10/11/02]
Allen Was One of Only 133 Members To Vote Against Use Force Against Iraq. In 2002, Allen voted against allowing President Bush to use the military against Iraq [Vote #455, 10/10/02; New York Times, 10/11/02]

Collins Voted Against Withdrawing U.S. Troops. In March, Collins voted three times against setting a goal of withdrawing most American troops from Iraq by March 31, 2008, with the redeployment beginning within months.[Vote #126, 3/29/07; Vote #116, 3/27/07; Vote #75, 3/15/07]

Allen Supported Measure to Bring Our Troops Home by August 2008. In March, Allen voted for a timetable for withdrawing troops from Iraq by the summer of 2008. The legislation included strong benchmarks for the President to meet in Iraq. [Vote #186, 3/23/07]

Collins Wanted to “Stay the Course” In Iraq. In late 2003, Collins said, “it’s important that we hold the line in Iraq and that we stay the course…” [CNBC, 11/6/03]

Allen Has Consistently Advocated For A New Direction In Iraq. In February 2007, Allen spoke on the House floor “Recent experience shows that the U.S. must impose deadlines with consequences so that Iraqi leaders will be compelled to take responsibility. An unending U.S. military presence in Iraq creates a climate of dependency that undermines the goal of having the Iraqi Government control internal security.” [Congressman Tom Allen Floor Statement, 2/6/07]

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