In a surprising move, the national LCV has endorsed Sen. Collins over Rep. Allen.
When asked about his organization's decision to back a candidate with a 68% lifetime rating who voted for the Cheney energy bill (which LCV called one of the most anti-environment bills in recent years) over a candidate with a 93% rating who opposed the Cheney bill, LCV spokesman Joshua McNeil paused for a solid seven seconds before stating: "I'm not an expert on this race."
After another pause, he rattled off a series of talking points about Collins' work on environmental issues over the last two years.
Even when pressed, he declined to comment on the discrepancy between Collins' 68% lifetime LCV rating and Rep. Allen's 93% score, or about their contrasting votes on the Cheney energy bill.
UPDATE: After declining to discuss the endorsement at any level of detail and promising a call back, McNeil e-mails a press release that does not mention Collins' vote for the 2005 energy bill or the yawning 25% gap in the lifetime ratings of the two candidates.
UPDATE UPDATE: To be clear, I don't mean to suggest above that I was timing McNeil's response or that I know for a fact that he paused for exactly seven seconds. It could have been six seconds or eight seconds.
What I might have said, instead, was that McNeil took an extended, unusually-long pause--so long that I felt compelled to ask if he was still on the line.