Earlier this month, I reported on an activist group in Maine called “Mainers for Accountable Leadership,” which released a video featuring hard-left Democrats threatening Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) with fundraising for her opponent should she vote for Kavanaugh.
As I wrote in the article (which you can read here) the group made wild claims, in a video titled “Be a Hero,” about what Kavanaugh would do should he be voted into the Supreme Court, such as “instantly” stripping rights from LGBT persons, as well as killing people with pre-existing conditions. None of that is actually in Kavanaugh’s potential job description, but that matters very little to the women who made the video. The point was ginning up outrage and fear for donation dollars.
And donation dollars, they got. At the time of this writing, the fundraising total amounts to over $1 million.
The aim of the group is to give all that money to her Democratic campaign opponent if she votes in Kavanaugh, which amounts to nothing short of an attempt at bullying Collins. This group will likely do whatever they can to support Collins’ opponent with donations anyway, but I’m not sure they thought that obvious fact out.
However, Collins isn’t showing much fear and called the activist group’s efforts as an attempt to bribe her according to Ed Morrissey at Hot Air:
“I consider this quid pro quo fundraising to be the equivalent of an attempt to bribe me to vote against Judge Kavanaugh.
“If I vote against him, the money is refunded to the donors. If I vote for him, the money is given to my opponent for the 2020 race,” she said.
She emphasized “this effort will not influence my vote at all,” adding, “I think it demonstrates the new lows to which the judge’s opponents have stooped.”
As Morrissey notes, “Collins might not have announced her decision, but that statement — especially the last sentence — doesn’t sound like a ringing endorsement for the case against Kavanaugh.”
It sounds like this fundraising effort, for all its leftist glorification, is already a flop if Collins’ words are to be taken at face value. She may still be in the air, but it doesn’t look good for sensationalists trying to tear Kavanaugh down.
What’s worse, MFAL might be looking at some time in court as their fundraising efforts combined with their threat against Collins may amount to breaking some election rules according to Republican elections attorney, Cleta Mitchell of Foley & Lardner, as noted by Morrissey:
Mitchell wants an FEC probe into the MFAL-MPA campaign against Collins. The FEC probably will take a pass, but the IRS might take an interest in the group’s 501(c)(4) status. This certainly comes close to “electioneering” as opposed to “lobbying,” which would require the group to file under 527 rather than 501. It’s at least close enough to potentially give its organizers a very big headache, and to spend a lot of that $1.3 million on lawyers rather than candidates. Their attack on Collins might not have been their only miscalculation.
This would be an interesting turn of events that, if Mitchell’s theory is true, would result in one of the most hysterical political backfires in 2018.