As I've said before, I don't see out of state campaign donations as in any way tainted. And candidates shouldn't be held responsible for all the statements, issue positions or associations of their donors.
So the point of highlighting Sen. Collins' fundraising profile here isn't to suggest she's the tool of nefarious out of state interests or that corporations have bought her support.
It's a question, instead, of hypocrisy. And of priorities.
Let's remember, this is a candidate who has chided critics for using out of state money to question her record while confiding to out of state donors that they're the key to her campaign; who has solicited out of state dollars aggressively with a vile, red meat smear targeted to the hard right Republican base while just this month complaining about how expensive campaigns have become.
All this, and the junior senator is the pulling in three out of every four dollars from outside Maine.
In short: Are you kidding me?
The dissonance is truly something to behold, even for a seasoned, cynical political pro. (The utter lack of interest in the story--at least so far--from the Maine press corps is also pretty remarkable.)
So, that covers hypocrisy.
In terms of priorities: Look, it's not at all shocking that Sen. Collins is getting a ton of corporate PAC money, and I don't think it's because she's a patsy or plant. The truth is far simpler: Collins and corporations have goals in common.
Don't forget: The junior senator voted for all three of President Bush's fiscally reckless tax cuts for the super-rich; supports legal immunity for telecom companies who spied illegally on their customers; voted in favor of activist, business-friendly Judge Samuel Alito's nomination to the Supreme Court; and looked the other way as Iraq war contractors bilked American taxpayers out of literally billions of dollars.
To put it plainly: Collins is the corporate world's dream candidate--especially once you adjust for the fact that she represents a blue state.
I'm sure they can't believe their good fortune.
After all, who would have thought that a state with one in eight residents on food stamps would seriously consider reelecting a pol who consistently favors industry over consumers, corporations over citizens and Wall Street over Mainers?
With Collins, business PACs have a good thing going. And they're desperate to keep it going. That's why they shower her with money. And it's why they'll continue to.