ACLU's $1M in anti-Kavanaugh ads won't target Flake, Collins

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on Monday said it purchased more than $1 million in ads opposing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

The group is targeting Republicans in four states with ads that compare Kavanaugh to other men toppled by the "Me Too" movement against sexual harassment and assault.

The spots will not target two of the most pivotal swing votes — Sens. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeThe Hill's 12:30 Report: House managers to begin opening arguments on day two Flake: Republicans don't speak out against Trump 'because they want to keep their jobs' GOP senator calls CNN reporter a 'liberal hack' when asked about Parnas materials MORE (R-Ariz.) and Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsThe Hill's Morning Report - House prosecutes Trump as 'lawless,' 'corrupt' Tensions between McConnell and Schumer run high as trial gains momentum No. 2 GOP leader eyes Wednesday of next week for possible votes on witnesses MORE (R-Maine) — but they will target the third undecided vote, Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiTensions between McConnell and Schumer run high as trial gains momentum No. 2 GOP leader eyes Wednesday of next week for possible votes on witnesses Collins walks impeachment tightrope MORE (R-Alaska).

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The ads will call for Murkowski, as well as GOP Sens. Deb FischerDebra (Deb) Strobel FischerThe Hill's Morning Report — Impeachment unknowns await returning lawmakers Pressure builds over impeachment impasse in Senate Trump faces pivotal year with Russia on arms control MORE (Neb.), Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerTensions between McConnell and Schumer run high as trial gains momentum McConnell keeps press in check as impeachment trial starts Progressive group launches campaign targeting vulnerable GOP senators on impeachment MORE (Colo.), Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoDemocrat Richard Ojeda announces Senate bid after dropping out of presidential race Spending bill to address miners' health care, pensions Manchin warns he'll slow-walk government funding bill until he gets deal on miners legislation MORE (W.Va.) and Dan SullivanDaniel Scott SullivanImpeachment trial forces senators to scrap fundraisers Senators inch forward on federal privacy bill Romney, Collins, Murkowski only Senate GOP holdouts on Graham's impeachment resolution MORE (Alaska), to vote "no" on Kavanaugh. Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinTrump's trial a major test for McConnell, Schumer Poll: West Virginia voters would view Manchin negatively if he votes to convict Trump Pelosi set to send impeachment articles to the Senate next week MORE (D-W.Va.) is also being targeted by the ACLU.

The ACLU is comparing Kavanaugh's denials of sexual misconduct to those from Hollywood executive Harvey Weinstein and convicted felon Bill Cosby.

Fair Shakir, national political director at ACLU, told The Hill they are trying to target Republicans other than Collins and Murkowski.

"So far, many of the other Republicans have not received as much pressure and heat," Shakir said. "It’s not fair to put it all on Collins and Murkowski to be the conscience of the nation."

"[It's] my impression and understanding is that Collins and Murkowski are more likely to oppose if they know and feel that there’s going to be other Republicans who are inclined in that direction," he said. 

The ads will target Murkowski's counterpart Sullivan (R). They will also call out Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), who is often overshadowed by Manchin in discussions about Kavanaugh's nomination. 

"Everyone’s forgotten that there’s another senator in that state," Shakir said.

He said the ads are aimed towards "conservative and moderate women in those red states."

The ad buy comes days after the ACLU put out a rare statement opposing Kavanaugh's nomination to the high court. The ACLU has only opposed four Supreme Court nominees since it was founded in 1920.

The group's Colorado ad juxtaposes Kavanaugh, who has denied allegations of sexual misconduct from three women, with clips of Cosby and former President Clinton.

"We've seen this before," a voiceover says. "Denials from powerful men."

The ad highlights the famous clip of Clinton saying during the Monica Lewinsky scandal, "I did not have sexual relations with that woman."

The ad also includes an image of two women watching the a clip of Kavanaugh denying the allegations against him during last week's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.

"America is watching, and as we choose a lifetime seat on our highest court, integrity maters and we cannot have any doubt," the voiceover concludes.

The men featured in the ad include Matt LauerMatthew (Matt) Todd Lauer'Bombshell' bombing at box office isn't exactly a shock — here's why 2020 primary debate guide: Everything you need to know ahead of the November forum 2020 Democrats seek investigation into 'toxic culture' at NBC ahead of debate MORE, who was fired from NBC's "Today" after facing allegations of sexual harassment; Weinstein, who has been accused of raping or harassing dozens of women and now faces criminal charges; and talk-show host Charlie RoseCharles Peete Rose'Bombshell' bombing at box office isn't exactly a shock — here's why '60 Minutes' producer alleges CBS News retaliated after she reported inappropriate behavior Bloomberg allies acknowledge his past 'disrespectful and wrong' comments about women MORE, who was ousted over sexual harassment allegations.

The ad buy is part of an anti-Kavanaugh campaign organized by the ACLU that will include phone banks, online petitions, congressional office visits and a national day of action, according to the organization.

Kavanaugh has been accused of sexual misconduct by three women. He has denied their accusations.

The ads will run this week as the FBI is expected to complete its one-week probe into the allegations, which was ordered by the White House after Flake insisted he would vote against Kavanaugh's nomination if there wasn't an FBI investigation first.

Republicans hold a 51-49 majority in the Senate.

-Updated 3:15 p.m.