$1 million pledged against Collins if she backs Kavanaugh

Pat Wise
September 13, 2018

Raising money to campaign against Kavanaugh is certainly legal, as it is to campaign against Collins.

In the closely divided senate, Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court confirmation hinges in part on the votes of two moderate Republican senators: Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine. "Threats or other attempts to bully her will not play a factor in her decision-making whatsoever", said Annie Clark, a spokeswoman for Collins.

A 25-year-old female staffer at one of Collins' Maine offices also received a call from someone wishing she be raped and impregnated.

As of Wednesday the fund was up to more than $1.1 million, rapidly approaching the goal of $1.3 million-the same amount Collins reportedly has on-hand for her 2020 re-election campaign-that Barkan's group has now set.

Collins is one of the two Republican senators representing blue states, and most likely to "flip" against Kavanaugh. Making an endorsement contingent on a vote is not just kosher, it's a wide practice among all sorts of interest groups, as is threatening opposition over it. Making it explicitly about cash while the money is in hand, however, might cross a line.

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As well as his views on abortion, many people are also concerned about Mr Kavanaugh's desire to abolish gun control legislation and unravel the Affordable Care Act. Polls commissioned by Planned Parenthood in both states show that a strong majority of voters would like to see Roe v. Wade upheld.

Collins herself told conservative publication Newsmax that the effort would not change her vote on Kavanaugh, equating it with a bribe, and saying, "I think it demonstrates the new lows to which the judge's opponents have stooped". If Collins opposes Kavanaugh, none of the donors will be charged for the money they pledged.

"Collins said she will instead vote based on "[Kavanaugh's] qualifications, his character and integrity, judicial temperament, his record, and his respect for the rule of law and fidelity to the Constitution".

"We won't let it stifle us". Murkowski is pro-choice in a generally anti-choice party, and abortion rights activists have been hoping to pressure her into voting against Kavanaugh. "We will continue to participate in our democracy", she said. "Kavanaugh, it does so in the shadow of the last day of the Senate Judiciary Committee's hearing, with strikingly different depictions of the appeals court judge on display". The same shout-and-arrest pattern continued throughout the week. But Collins voted to confirm Neil Gorsuch, Trump's first Supreme Court nominee.

Democrats accused Republicans of seeking to ram the confirmation through without a thorough vetting before the November midterm elections.

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