Activists lead by Ady Barkan have raised $1.9 million in pledges for a future Democratic opponent of senior United States Senator from Maine, Susan Collins, the Intercept reports.
Earlier today, as the Inquisitr reported, Collins signaled that she will vote in favor of Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court. This means that the activists will almost certainly make good on their pledges.
The average donation is $28.40, according to individuals briefed on the matter, so this is a unique and innovative effort — different from standard corporate campaign finance models — and it aims to send a powerful message to Senator Collins.
Senator Collins, however, has not responded positively to the campaign. She has, in fact, called it a “bribe.”
In a statement supplied to Newsmax, Collins said that she considers “this quid pro quo fundraising to be the equivalent of an attempt to bribe” her into voting against Kavanaugh.
The effort, Collins said, “will not influence” her vote at all, adding that it “demonstrates the new lows to which the judge’s opponents have stooped.”
Collins’ statement is echoing a sentiment frequently expressed by the American right. Republican senators Ted Cruz and Orrin Hatch, for instance, smeared the activists’ effort, with Cruz calling it “shameful” and “desperate.”
Ironically, the Intercept notes, all of those who are now complaining about this new form of activism — and about this unique campaign finance model — have allegedly spent their careers defending powerful political donors.
It appears all but certain that Kavanaugh will be confirmed at this point. Further tipping the scale in favor of President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court pick, Democrat Joe Manchin announced today via Twitter that he will be voting to support Kavanaugh.
I will vote to support Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh. pic.twitter.com/1FfuMTOZz8— Senator Joe Manchin (@Sen_JoeManchin) October 5, 2018
It remains to be seen whether or not the Democratic Party will support Manchin in his re-election race.
Manchin’s party-defying move, as the Independent put it, is likely driven by this fall’s midterms. A moderate Democrat from a red Republican state of West Virginia, Manchin has decided to side with Brett Kavanaugh instead of siding with Kavanaugh’s accusers — unlike most Democrats.
“Judge Kavanaugh has been unequivocal in his belief that no president is above the law,” Senator Susan Collins said earlier today, according to The Hill, adding that she thinks that Kavanaugh will not provide a fifth vote for weakening or overturning Roe vs. Wade, the 1973 decision that established the right to an abortion.
Activist Ady Barkan described Susan Collins’ speech as “absurd” and “infuriating” today on Twitter, urging Americans to replace and unseat the senator.
Susan Rice — former United Nations ambassador and national security adviser to President Obama — has suggested that she may consider running against Susan Collins, the Guardian reports.