Judicial Crisis Network, a conservative dark money group known for backing Justice Brett Kavanaugh, has launched an ad campaign thanking Senator Susan Collins, the Washington Post reports.
The organization is, apparently, very grateful for Collins’s “yes” vote. A total of $100,000 will be spent on digital and television ads, the group says. “In the midst of the chaos one leader stood out,” one of the ads reads. “She did the right thing, supporting him. Thanks, Susan Collins, for being a reasonable voice in Washington.” The ad ends with a phone number for Senator Collins’s D.C. office.
Judicial Crisis Network has spent more than $5 million on pro-Kavanaugh advertisement campaigns. Most of them were targeted at voters in swing and Republican states, according to the Washington Post.
Interestingly, Senator Susan Collins claims to be against dark money groups. In a statement supplied to The Hill, Collins’ spokesperson said that the Maine senator is “against dark money — period… It makes no difference whether it’s used by interest groups to praise her or criticize her,” the spokesperson said. The term “dark money group” itself refers to politically active nonprofits which are not required by law to disclose the sources of their funding, although some do.
Liberal dark money groups have spent a considerable amount of money on anti-Kavanaugh advertisement campaigns, as well. Demand Justice, for instance, spent $700,000 of a planned $5 million on campaigning against Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the United States Supreme Court.
Senator Susan Collins was seen as a key swing vote on Brett Kavanaugh, but she voted for the judge’s confirmation, and held a 44-minute speech on the Senate floor, showering President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court pick with praise, and sealing his confirmation.
Susan Collins blasted "dark money" groups in Kavanaugh fight. One just paid six figures to say "thank you" for her vote. https://t.co/kZiO1fTKic
— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) October 13, 2018
During the speech, Collins slammed dark money groups for spending “unprecedented” amounts on anti-Kavanaugh advertisement campaigns. In response to Collins’s “yes” vote, a group of activists lead by Ady Barkan raised millions in pledges for the Maine Senator’s future Democratic opponent. As the Inquisitr previously reported, former National Security Adviser Susan Rice indicated that she might run against Collins. Rice later backed out, but vowed to give the run a proper consideration after this fall’s midterms.
Susan Collins criticized the activists’ initiative – thought to be a unique and innovative effort, different from standard corporate campaign finance models – calling it a “bribe,” stating that the initiative “demonstrates the new lows” to which Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s opponents have “stooped.”
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research group, dark money organizations have become a powerful force in elections across the United States. During the 2014 midterms, for instance, various dark money groups spent over $174 million.