Sen. Susan Collins is being threatened with a nearly $1 million campaign fund if she votes to confirm Supreme Court justice Brett Kavanaugh.
Collins, a Republican from Maine, is pro-abortion, and abortion activists are putting intense pressure on her to oppose the conservative justice’s nomination.
The Daily Beast reports two pro-abortion political action committees have raised more than $900,800 to support a pro-abortion Democrat candidate to challenge Collins if she votes for Kavanaugh.
The Maine People’s Alliance and Mainers for Accountable Leadership PACs said the money will be spent on a Democrat challenger in 2020 only if Collins votes the way they do not want her to. According to The Express, the PACs said they plan to return the donations if Collins votes against Kavanaugh.
Maine People’s Alliance communications director Mike Tipping said legalized abortion on demand is a key concern for them. If Kavanaugh is confirmed, the U.S. Supreme Court would have a solid conservative majority and could uphold abortion restrictions and possibly even overturn Roe v. Wade.
“There are many Mainers who were disappointed that Collins voted for tax breaks for the wealthy despite promising not to,” Tipping said. “They see her claims that Kavanaugh isn’t a threat to abortion rights or the Affordable Care Act as another dishonest betrayal.”
However, Annie Clark, Collins’ communications director, dismissed the pro-abortion fundraising campaign as basically just bribery.
“Anybody who thinks these kinds of tactics work doesn’t know Senator Collins,” Clark told The Daily Beast. “This crowdfunded money to pressure Senator Collins is based on a quid pro quo… It is basically a bribe. These tactics will not work—Senator Collins will make up her mind based on the merits of the nomination.”
Though a Republican, Collins supports abortion and has not made a final decision about President Donald Trump’s second nominee to the high court. However, she did vote to confirm Trump’s first nominee, Neil Gorsuch.
With Republicans holding just a two-member majority in the U.S. Senate, every vote counts.
Abortion activists have been targeting Collins and several other swing vote senators with huge spending campaigns. The Guardian reports they recently sent Collins’ office about 3,000 coat hangers to pressure her to oppose Kavanaugh.
Planned Parenthood also has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to pressure Collins, fellow Republican U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski and several moderately pro-life Democrats to oppose him.
Kavanaugh has served on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for D.C. for more than a decade, where he developed an extensive record of protecting religious liberty and enforcing restrictions on abortion. Pro-life leaders believe he would do the same on the Supreme Court.
The U.S. Senate is expected to vote on his confirmation this fall.
ACTION: Contact Sen. Susan Collins of Maine.