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 FlakeTrump's attacks on McCain exacerbate tensions with Senate GOP Schumer to introduce bill naming Senate office building after McCain amid Trump uproar Trump keeps tight grip on GOP MORE (R-Ariz.) and Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Pass USMCA Coalition - Dems look for traction following Barr-Mueller findings Senate rejection of Green New Deal won't slow Americans' desire for climate action Senate GOP poised to go 'nuclear' on Trump picks MORE (R-Maine) — but they will target the third undecided vote, Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiRed dresses displayed around American Indian museum to memorialize missing, murdered native women Juan Williams: Don't rule out impeaching Trump The 25 Republicans who defied Trump on emergency declaration MORE (R-Alaska).

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The ads will call for Murkowski, as well as GOP Sens. Deb FischerDebra (Deb) Strobel FischerTrump approves Nebraska disaster declaration Nebraska lawmakers urge Trump to approve disaster funding 
College professor accused of vandalizing Nebraska GOP lawmaker's campaign signs MORE (Neb.), Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerConservation remains a core conservative principle How to stand out in the crowd: Kirsten Gillibrand needs to find her niche Overnight Defense: Trump to reverse North Korea sanctions imposed by Treasury | Move sparks confusion | White House says all ISIS territory in Syria retaken | US-backed forces report heavy fighting | Two US troops killed in Afghanistan MORE (Colo.), Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoFCC claims on broadband access under scrutiny Senate GOP proposes constitutional amendment to keep Supreme Court at 9 seats Pence, GOP senators discuss offer to kill Trump emergency disapproval resolution MORE (W.Va.) and Dan SullivanDaniel Scott SullivanRepublicans defend McCain amid Trump attacks Overnight Defense: Senate rejects border emergency in rebuke to Trump | Acting Pentagon chief grilled on wall funding | Warren confronts chief over war fund budget Pentagon chief calls reports of charges to allies erroneous: 'We won't do cost plus 50' MORE (Alaska), to vote "no" on Kavanaugh. Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinFCC claims on broadband access under scrutiny Senate gears up for Green New Deal vote Overnight Energy: Green New Deal vote set to test Dem unity | Renewables on track to phase out coal, study finds | EPA chief reportedly recuses himself from mine review 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 LauerFewer men say sexual harassment in the workplace is major problem: Gallup Jenna Bush Hager named as Gifford replacement on 4th hour of 'Today' CEO of Time's Up anti-harassment group steps down, cites 'family concerns' 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 RoseFewer men say sexual harassment in the workplace is major problem: Gallup Susan Zirinsky to replace David Rhodes as first female head of CBS News Judge rules Harvey Weinstein sexual assault case can move forward 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.