A crowdfunding campaign that raised $1 million said they are willing to donate to Senator Susan Collin’s opponent, unless she decides to vote against Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination. Collins claimed the Crowdpac campaign was an attempt at a bribe.
Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination has the Senate split in half, and Senator Susan Collins along with Senator Lisa Murkowski’s votes may very well be the definitive factors leading — or not — to Kavanaugh’s nomination.
The fundraising effort came from the Maine People’s Alliance, Mainers for Accountable Leadership, and liberal activist Ady Barkan. The three parties jointly organized a crowdfunding campaign on the website Crowdpac and have already raised $1 million from 37,000 pledges.
The platform states, “Senator Collins votes NO on Kavanaugh and you will not be charged, and no money will go to fund her opponent.” It later adds, “Senator Collins Votes YES on Kavanaugh and your pledge will go to her opponent’s campaign, once that opponent has been identified.”
In an interview with The Washington Post, Adav Noti, a senior director at the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center, provided commentary on the crowdfunding’s legality. “I think they’re playing a game to avoid the literal application of the bribery statute,” explained Noti to the Post.
“It still seems like they’re saying if you don’t do what we want we will spend $1 million and that strikes me as just as much as an inducement as saying we’ll give you $1 million if you do what we want,” he continued.
Marie Follayttar, co-director of Mainer for Accountable Leadership spoke with the Post as well and denounced Collins’ accusations of extortion. “Thousands of Mainers are trying desperately to tell her that she needs to protect abortion access and critical healthcare coverage across the country by voting ‘no’ on Kavanaugh. If she doesn’t, we absolutely have the right to prepare to unseat her,” said Follayttar.
Senator Collins’ stance regarding Kavanaugh’s nomination is still undefined. The Senator has raised concerns regarding Kavanaugh’s threats to Roe v. Wade, yet has also been consulting recursively with the Trump administration through the selection process.
Collins has publicly announced in various instances that she would vote against a Supreme Court Nominee looking to challenge Roe v. Wade, a law settled in 1973 affirming women the right to access safe and legal abortion.
In an interview on ABC, Collins stated “A candidate for this important position who would overturn Roe v. Wade would not be acceptable to me, because that would indicate an activist agenda that I don’t want to see a judge have.”
Despite her statements, this wouldn’t be the first time Collins backed Kavanaugh in a nomination. In 2006, he was nominated to the US Court of Appeals by former President George W. Bush. At the time, she voted in favor of Kavanaugh’s nomination.
After a one-on-one session with Kavanaugh in late August, Collins claimed the Supreme Court nominee had reassured her he considered Roe v. Wade was “settled law.” Collins described the meeting as “excellent” given Kavanaugh’s opinion of the 1973 landmark.