From The Bangor Daily News:
A Hawaii defense contractor who has donated to U.S. Sen. Susan Collins and whose business operates in Maine faces federal charges alleging he defrauded the Paycheck Protection Program, the small business loan program championed by the senator.
Martin Kao, the CEO of Martin Defense Group, formerly known as Navatek LLC, allegedly inflated the number of his employees his business had and how much they made to get a $10 million loan, then deposited $2 million into his personal bank account, according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Hawaii on Tuesday.
He then allegedly applied for a second loan. Kao, 47, is set to make an initial appearance in federal court in Honolulu on Thursday, according to U.S. Attorney Kenji M. Price’s office. He is facing two charges of bank fraud and five charges of money laundering.
By the way, The Boston Globe’s Editorial Board released a brutal piece pointing out that Collins is no longer a good fit for Maine:
The issues for Mainers who have long backed Collins, then, are two-fold. First, she isn’t the forceful, outspoken senator these times require. Second, she enables Trump and McConnell, whose agendas do not line up with Maine’s needs.
Once a bipartisan favorite in Maine, Collins is now locked in a tight contest with Democrat Sara Gideon, who as the speaker of the Maine House has made kitchen-table issues and climate change her focus. Collins, who tries to avoid or finesse polarizing national issues, has been underscoring her authorship of the Paycheck Protection Program and the individual actions she has taken for Mainers and their communities.
Yet Mainers are right to think that the national picture is more important. Collins is no longer a good fit for Maine. Not in these turbulent times.
Some of those voters say this episode has been a perfect microcosm of Collins’ tenure as they’ve come to understand it. “Collins was perfectly teed up to do exactly what we thought she would: find her moral center only after McConnell found his votes,” said Karin Leuthy, 48, a Maine Democrat who voted for Collins in 2014 and now runs a progressive advocacy group that’s working to oust the senator. “We have her number. We know all her moves.”
Conventional wisdom has long held that conservative voters are more motivated by the judiciary than liberal ones. But in the past few years, as the ideological balance of the Supreme Court has shifted, that notion has been proved wrong: Democrats are now more driven by court concerns than Republicans are. In a recent Quinnipiac University poll of likely Maine voters, 19 percent of Democrats ranked the Supreme Court as the top issue that mattered to their choice of senator. Only health care netted more first-place picks.
In this climate, with this president, and with polls showing that Mainers clearly want the winner of the November election to pick the next justice, who was Collins’ tortured, pseudo-diplomatic response for? Most Maine Democratic voters—39 percent of whom supported Collins in her last election—have given up on the idea that moderate Republican are allies in the Trump era. Is there anything Collins could do during this SCOTUS nomination process to win back Democrats’ support? “If she spent every last minute of her time authentically trying to convince her Republican colleagues to join her in opposing the nomination, and if she gave an impassioned speech in support of Joe Biden, maybe we would tone down some of our criticism,” Leuthy told me. “But we’d still vote against her.”
Also, Data For Progress’s latest poll confirms that Sara Gideon (D. ME) is still beating Collins:
Let’s keep up the momentum to flip Maine Blue. Click below to donate and get involved with Gideon, Biden and their fellow Maine Democrats campaigns: