Speed Reads


If Sen. Susan Collins votes to confirm Kavanaugh, activists are ready to give $1 million to her 2020 opponent

Should Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) vote to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, her yet-to-be-determined Democratic opponent in 2020 will receive at least $1 million from angry donors.

Using the platform Crowdpac, the Maine People's Alliance, Mainers for Accountable Leadership, and activist Ady Barkan launched a crowdfunding campaign that has already raised $1 million, but with a catch. If Collins votes to confirm Kavanaugh, all that money will be sent to the TBD Democrat running against her. If she votes no, the money will not be collected.

All eyes are on Collins, as well as her fellow moderate Republican, Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. Collins has said she wants to ensure Roe v. Wade is not overturned, but also voted for Kavanaugh already, when he was nominated in 2006 to the U.S. Court of Appeals. In a statement, Annie Clark, a spokeswoman for Collins, said "anybody who thinks these tactics would work on Sen. Collins obviously doesn't know her. Sen. Collins will make up her mind based on the merits of the nomination. Threats or other attempts to bully her will not play a factor in her decision-making whatsoever."

Adav Noti of the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center told The Washington Post on Tuesday that this campaign could violate federal bribery laws. "I think they're playing a game to avoid the literal application of the bribery statute," Noti said. Jordan Libowitz, spokesman for the group Citizens for Ethics and Responsibilities, disagrees, telling the Post: "It seems kind of icky but it doesn't rise to the level of bribery because there's no agreement. It's just the way money and politics tend to work these days."