Washington (CNN) - Though Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe hasn't drawn a Democratic challenger yet, she's plenty prepared for a re-election battle. According to fundraising numbers for the first quarter released Monday, Maine's third term senator has over $2 million in cash on hand.
Snowe raised $877,019 in the first quarter of 2011 and spent $62,433 on her 2012 U.S. Senate campaign. She will report $2,050,053 in cash on hand 17 months before the Senate election, according to numbers released by her office.
Washington (CNN) - A Tea Party activist, well known in Maine, announced that he will try to oust his state's senior Republican senator.
And now Andrew Ian Dodge is repeating a favorite line of conservatives: "I consider her almost as bad for the country as President Obama."
On Friday, the Tea Party Patriots' Maine state coordinator announced he'd challenge Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe. And yet his words beg the question: Could the same kind of Republican political warfare that burst open in Alaska and Delaware also happen – in Maine?
Washington (CNN) – Still swaggering after its recent electoral successes, the Tea Party movement appears to be growing more emboldened as it tries to blaze a path to power.
One new bold move: An activist group is publicly parading a list of lawmakers the group is determined to oust from office.
(CNN) - Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, announced Wednesday that she now supports a repeal of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy, making four Republican Senators in all who have publically endorsed the end of the 17-year-old prohibition against openly gay soldiers from serving in the U.S. military.
In a statement, Snowe said she came to the conclusion after "careful analysis," but also stressed the importance of allowing time to implement a plan for repeal.
Snowe's announcement means, in theory, supporters of a repeal have more than the 60 senators needed to end debate.
Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska and Scott Brown, R-Massachusetts, are the other GOP senators who have voiced support for the repeal. In her statement, Snowe joins Murkowski and Brown who have said their vote is contingent on the Senate finishing work on both the tax cut legislation and the bill to fund the government.
The House passed a stand-alone bill to repeal the policy Wednesday, putting increased pressure on Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nevada, to bring a vote on the measure to the floor before the end of this Congress.
Snowe also criticized the Senate for the delay of the defense authorization bill. Originally, a repeal of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy was included as part of the Defense Authorization Bill – a strategy supporters of repeal hoped would speed passage, as senators who oppose repeal would be forced to make a politically risky vote against military policy.
"It is undeniable that we could have avoided this situation, where three weeks before the end of the legislative session we are without a national defense authorization bill for the first time in 48 years," Snowe said in a statement. "It was a misguided judgment to hold up the critical defense authorization bill."
Snowe's announcement came about the same time Wednesday that Sens. Carl Levin, D-Michigan, and John McCain, R-Arizona, the chairman and ranking member of the Armed Services Committee, announced an agreement on a defense bill, stripped of controversial provisions, that the senators think can be unanimously approved by the Senate in the coming days. The move could clear the way for Snowe to vote for the separate bill repealing "don't ask, don't tell."
The open question is whether there will be time to do so, with 10 days until Christmas and the Senate's plate already full with the START treaty and an enormous, controversial spending bill.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Sen. Snowe's vote on "don't ask, don't tell" was contigent on the passage of the Defense Authorization bill.
Washington (CNN) - Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine said Tuesday the tax cut deal between President Obama and Republican leaders is an "outstanding way to move forward and welcome the bipartisanship that was evident."
When asked whether it changes the relationship between Republicans and Democrats in Congress, Snowe said, "hopefully it creates a new dynamic," adding that it could perhaps be a "template" for how to proceed on other issues.
This "demonstrated it's possible to achieve consensus" and "work across party lines," Snowe said.
4:50 p.m. - Few Republican lawmakers were as stung by Rep. Mike Castle's surprising loss to his conservative GOP opponent as Maine Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe.
In a hallway just off the Senate floor Thursday afternoon, she sounded off about her place as a moderate in the GOP, and voter anger she says she understands.
Visibly sad, Snowe called Castle "an outstanding public servant who was committed to the common good of his state and country."
The longer Snowe talked about the state of the GOP and the Tea Party movement, the more riled up she got.
"Understand, there are a lot of issues that, for example, in the Tea Party that they raise that are legitimate issues. Did we abandon our basic principles of fiscal responsibility? Absolutely. I was arguing those points during the Bush administration," Snowe said emphatically, "I made those very arguments."
(CNN) - A day before she declares whether she will mount a write-in candidacy to preserve her Senate seat, Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski spent several hours in and around the Senate chamber Thursday talking with her colleagues about the difficult decision she faces.
After unexpectedly losing the Republican primary to Tea Party-backed Joe Miller, Murkowski is scheduled to be in Alaska Friday to announce whether she will run in the general election.
"I don't share personal conversations," Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe said about a lengthy discussion she and Sen. Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas had with Murkowski in a closed foyer just off the Senate floor.
Visible through a partially frosted glass door, the three women senators stood together for about a half an hour during a series of votes.
Snowe is a moderate Republican who later complained to reporters that Tea Party supporters want "ideological purity" in the Republican Party. Lincoln, a moderate Democrat, barely survived a challenge from the left in her primary. Now she is far down in the polls to a conservative Republican opponent.
"She's a great colleague and a friend as well," Snowe said about Murkowski. "Obviously, we feel very bad about it. She's been serving in the Senate with great standing and distinction."
(CNN) - Sen. Olympia Snowe said Wednesday she will vote to confirm Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court, making her the fourth Republican to come out in support of President Obama's nominee to the high court.
"Throughout my tenure in the Senate, I have applied a uniform standard for evaluating nominees for the United States Supreme Court, under both Republican and Democratic administrations," said Snowe in statement. "I find that Ms. Kagan has met that standard with the strong intellect, respect for the rule of law, and understanding of the important but limited role of the Supreme Court that I believe is required of any Justice.”
Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina; Susan Collins, R-Maine; and Richard Lugar, R-Indiana, have also said they will vote for Kagan. No Democrats have expressed opposition to Kagan.
The current solicitor general and former Harvard Law School dean is expected to easily win confirmation, but likely with less Republican support than the nine GOP votes Justice Sonia Sotomayor garnered a year ago.
Full statement from Snowe, after the jump:
Washington (CNNMoney.com) - Two key senators announced announced their support for the Wall Street reform bill Monday, placing Senate Democrats days away from winning the final vote to passing the most sweeping set of changes to the financial system in decades.
Top Senate Democrats say they have the 60 votes needed to pass the Wall Street reform bill this week.
"It is a better bill than it was when this whole process started," Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., said in a statement. "While it isn't perfect, I expect to support the bill when it comes up for a vote."
Sen. Olympia Snowe R-Maine told democrats that she would vote for the bill, two sources told CNN Monday.
Washington (CNN) – Two Senate moderates are teaming up in a bipartisan push for health care reform.
"We remain convinced that convening a bipartisan group of Members who are committed to reform is essential if we are to breathe new life into the broken health care reform process and rebuild confidence that our government is able to set aside partisan bickering and achieve meaningful results for working families facing enormous health care insecurity," Sens. Olympia Snowe , R-Maine, and Blanche Lincoln, D-Arkansas, said in a statement issued Wednesday. "No one party or ideology carries a monopoly on ideas – our constituents do not care if a workable solution comes from Democrats or Republicans."
"Legislation designed to help small businesses provide health care coverage to their employees should be a starting point for building a larger health care reform bill with bipartisan support," Snowe and Lincoln also said.
The "bill could pass with bipartisan support, alongside other broadly supported health insurance reforms. These might include requiring greater cost transparency from insurance companies, commonsense malpractice reforms, and allowing young people to stay on their parents' coverage until age 26. We believe that it is possible to take these critical first steps and to do so in a transparent and bipartisan manner."
The move by Snowe and Lincoln to push for bipartisanship comes a day before the White House's health care summit where President Obama will hold a daylong, televised meeting with congressional leaders from both parties.
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