Election security bills face GOP buzzsaw
Crowdfunding campaign raises $1.3M urging Collins to vote against Kavanaugh
A crowdfunding campaign urging Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) to vote against Judge Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation to the Supreme Court over concerns about abortion has raised $1.3 million, organizers announced Friday.
Collins has blasted the campaign as an effort to "bribe" her. The groups behind the effort - Mainers for Accountable Leadership, Maine People's Alliance and Be A Hero - said Friday that they aren't done raising money.
"Sen. Collins still has a chance. This is not a foregone conclusion. We hope she listens to what Mainers are telling her, searches her conscience, and makes the right choice for those of us who are most vulnerable. She still has a choice to vote 'no,' " said Ady Barkan, one of the campaign's founders.
"For us, for her legacy, and for the good of all Mainers, we hope she does. Otherwise, we are ready to oppose her and her future opponent will have already matched her dollar-for-dollar," he added.
Organizers have encouraged people to donate funds for a future Collins Democratic challenger should she vote "yes" on Kavanaugh's nomination. Collins will not be up for reelection until 2020.
Collins, a potential swing vote in Kavanaugh's confirmation, has said she would vote against anyone who expressed hostility to abortion access but noted that Kavanaugh told her he considered Roe v. Wade to be established precedent. She also had an hourlong call with Kavanaugh on Friday, according to a spokesman for her office.
The GOP senator has slammed the crowdfunding campaign targeting her, telling the conservative news outlet Newsmax, "I consider this quid pro quo fundraising to be the equivalent of an attempt to bribe me to vote against Judge Kavanaugh."
Multiple Democratic senators have already come out in opposition to Kavanaugh's nomination. With a 51-49 majority in the Senate, Republicans can only afford to lose one vote if every Democrat votes "no."