Susan Collins Wrote Legislation That Made Her Husband’s Lobbying Firm Millions
Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) wrote contracting reforms during her time on the Senate Government Affairs Committee that seem to have provided a direct benefit to her future husband’s lobbying and consulting firm, Salon reports.
While that firm had some contracts that coincided with Collins' tenure on the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, it also landed a major $48 million contract with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in 2013 — the year after Collins stepped away from that committee.
- Salon’s Roger Sollenberger reports that “Collins first met Thomas Daffron in 1974 when she was an intern in the office of Rep. William Cohen, who went on to serve three terms in the Senate.”
- Daffron went on to serve as a consultant to the Republican lawmaker’s 1996, 2002 and 2008 Senate campaigns and also ran her leadership PAC from 2003 until they married in 2012, according to the report.
From 2006 to 2016, Daffron was chief operating officer at a K Street lobby shop called Jefferson Consulting, which also did some government contracting work. The firm took in nearly $60 million in federal contracts during his time there, with a significant increase after he became COO.
For most of that time, from 2005 to 2012, Collins either chaired or served as a senior GOP member of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, whose portfolio includes government contracting oversight. Daffron had "suggested [Collins] join the less desirable Government Affairs Committee," the Portland Press Herald reported in 2001.
While on the committee, Collins wrote contractor reform designed to "strengthen the procurement workforce," an area in which Jefferson Consulting specialized, securing tens of millions of dollars in government contracts related to acquisition services.
- Sollenberger wrote that “Daffron's firm landed more than $76 million spread across dozens of federal contracts related to acquisition and procurement, according to searches on USAspending.gov.”