New reporting in HuffPost digs into how Senator Susan Collins has used her position to benefit her husband Thomas Daffron’s lobbying business. In the ten years leading up to his retirement, Collins’ husband’s lobbying firm received nearly $60 million worth of government contracts, and Collins took repeated actions that could have directly benefited Daffron.
Not only did Collins vote to put more money into her husband’s pocket, she also led the fight to block an effort to increase transparency around the political giving of contractors like Daffron’s firm.
“Mainers deserve a Senator who’s fighting for us, but Senator Collins has been using the power of her office to line her lobbyist husband’s pockets,” said Maine Democratic Party Executive Director Lisa Roberts. “After 24 years in Washington, Collins has made it clear that she’ll put her special interest pals and corporate backers ahead of working families here in Maine.”
By Kevin Robillard
September 1, 2020
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) pushed and voted for policies that benefited her husband’s consulting and lobbying business, positions Democrats are set to attack in what is quickly becoming one of the most contentious and expensive Senate races in the country.
“Collins’ husband, a former lobbyist, profited off the opioid crisis,” the male narrator says in an ad from Duty and Honor, a Democratic nonprofit controlled by allies of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).
Democrats are ready to take direct aim at Collins’ husband, Thomas Daffron, a longtime Republican operative who served as a chief of staff to three senators and spent the end of his career as the chief operating officer of Jefferson Consulting Group, a lobbying and consulting firm. The company received nearly $60 million worth of government contracts from 2006 to 2016, when Daffron retired.
Collins and Daffron have known each other since the 1970s but began dating in 2010 and married in 2012. For much of that time, Collins was a senior GOP member of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, which oversees government contracting.
Two actions Collins took could have directly benefited her future husband’s business: In 2011, Collins voted to repeal a 3% withholding tax on government contractors. In the same year, she led a push to stop President Barack Obama’s administration from implementing a rule requiring government contractors to disclose their political giving.
The idea that Collins has shifted from a common-sense centrist to a hack for business and right-wing interest groups has been a central argument in Democratic attacks ads in the race, and Gideon’s allies are almost certain to mine Daffron’s career for nuggets to use against Collins.