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Fighting Over Attendance in Maine « The Washington Independent

Democrat challenger Tom Allen and Republican Sen. Susan Collins are bickering again over their respective attendance records in Maine’s Senate race.

Allen called on Collins earlier this week during a debate to stop airing an advertisement, not posted online, that raises questions about his commitment to Maine and the number of bills he has voted on in the House.

“Sen. Collins has started a personal attack ad against me that questions my work ethic, that questions my commitment. I am deeply offended by it; my family is offended by it as well,” Allen said during the debate.

“The point is, this is about commitment. Commitment about the job,” Collins said in response.

Most voters might think that how one votes is more important than how often one votes. But Collins has touted her perfect attendance record in her bid for a third term.

Let’s do the numbers.

Allen, who is married and has two children, has missed 157 votes – 2 percent of roughly 7,500 votes cast – during his 12 years in the House.

Collins, who is single and has no children, has cast more than 3,700 consecutive votes during her 12 years in the Senate.

Allen missed votes to care for his wife, Diana, who was diagnosed with breast cancer last year, and to attend relative’s funerals and weddings.

And he missed some votes in 2007 because of a fund-raising trip to California and, in previous years, to attend events in Maine and to go to the 1998 All-Star game in Boston with a lifelong friend.

AllenCollins has maintained a solid lead in all public opinion polls throughout the election cycle.

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