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In the wake of last week’s raucous confirmation hearing for Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh, Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins said left-wing activist organizations are attempting to “bribe” her to vote against the nominee by staging a fundraising campaign that will go into effect only if she votes to confirm.
And Collins isn’t happy about it at all.
Newsmax reported that a left-leaning activist organization, Mainers for Accountable Leadership, has teamed up with another left-wing organization called the Maine People’s Alliance to create a fundraising campaign to oppose Collins in her 2020 Senate re-election in case she supports confirming Kavanaugh.
It was also reported that donors’ credit cards will only be charged their pledged donations against Collins if she casts a yes vote. The money would not be used against her if she opposes Kavanaugh.
In effect, Collins told Newsmax, the groups are trying to buy her vote.
“I consider this quid pro quo fundraising to be the equivalent of an attempt to bribe me to vote against Judge Kavanaugh,” Collins said in a statement to Newsmax.
“If I vote against him, the money is refunded to the donors. If I vote for him, the money is given to my opponent for the 2020 race.”
The website at Crowdpac.com where potential donors can pledge their donations featured the unambiguus headline: “Either Sen. Collins VOTES NO on Kavanaugh OR we fund her future opponent.”
The text then makes clear that whether the money will be collected and donated to a future Collins opponent will depend entirely on Collins’ vote on Kavanaugh.
As of Monday evening, the campaign had been pledged more than $1 million toward its goal of $1,302,388.
Some experts, such as Republican elections attorney, Cleta Mitchell of Foley & Lardner, told Newsmax they questioned the legality of the fundraising effort.
“It is certainly raising the specter of whether or not this violates the United States criminal code to prohibitions against attempted bribery, by linking official actions to monetary reward,” Mitchell said.
Collins remained undecided, and she said the bribe will not influence her decision either.
“This effort will not influence my vote at all,” she told Newsmax.
The fundraising attempt may also backfire.
“I think it demonstrates the new lows to which the judge’s opponents have stooped,” Collins said.
Collins is right.
There seems to be so little to criticize Kavanaugh about left-wing organizations need to bribe senators for a chance at opposing his confirmation.