No, not Hillary Rodham Clinton:
The Human Rights Campaign, an advocacy group for gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgendered citizens, announced on Monday that it will support 10 senators for re-election, including Senator Susan Collins.This isn't surprising, but it's still frustrating.
Joe Solmonese, the president of the Human Rights Campaign, said that Collins has been supportive of issues important to gay and lesbian voters, including support of the Employment Nondiscrimination Act. The bill, which passed the House last year, would ban discrimination against gay and lesbian employees in the workplace.
To her credit, Sen. Collins does have a solid record on gay and lesbian issues. It's one of a (very) few areas where her rhetoric about bucking the GOP holds up to reality.
In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if this is an area where the junior senator and Rep. Allen have nearly identical positions and vote profiles. (Though I haven't done the research to confirm this.)
But here's the thing: In a closely divided country with a closely divided Senate, a vote for Sen. Collins is a vote for Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for Majority Leader. And advancing the cause of gay rights isn't exactly high on his agenda.
Come to think of it, it's not on his agenda at all.
So if you're a one-issue voter interested in protecting and defending the rights of gays and lesbians, it's a no brainer: You vote for Rep. Allen, who has essentially the same views as Collins but will support a Democratic leadership team much more receptive to the concerns of gays and lesbians.
There are a number of (understandable) agendas at work in Human Rights Campaign's decision to back Collins--the desire to reward good behavior, respect for the power of incumbency, an interest in positioning itself as an organization whose appeal transcends partisan divisions, etc.
But voters face a much simpler calculation.