Resistance Makes Rape Threat to Susan Collins Staffer over Kavanaugh Vote

Sen. Susan Collins arrives at the Kennedy Center for a tribute concert for Sen. Edward Kennedy on Mar. 8 2009 in Washington DC

"I consider this quid pro quo fundraising to be the equivalent of an attempt to bribe me to vote against Judge Kavanaugh", Collins said.

Republicans now hold a slim 51-49 majority in the Senate and only 51 votes are required to confirm Kavanaugh.

Of course, even though the full quote makes it clear that Kavanaugh is referring to the religious group's objection and using their terminology, Harris doubles down on her earlier claim that he used a "dog whistle" to refer to birth control generally.

This month's Supreme Court confirmation hearings have highlighted deeply held fears that abortion rights are in danger. Either Collins or Murkowski, who are seen as more pro-choice than many other Republican Senators, could be the deciding vote in whether Kavanaugh is appointed to the court.

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Maine People's Alliance and Mainers for Accountable Leadership launched the effort, raising money for Collins' future opponent if she votes to confirm Kavanaugh.

Sen. Collins recently told the Portland Press-Herald Friday that she remains undecided on whether she will vote to confirm Kavanaugh.

Collins insisted that this effort will not influence her vote.

Jordan Libowitz, a spokesman for the Citizens for Ethics and Responsibilities, told the Washington Post, "It seems kind of icky but it doesn't rise to the level of bribery because there's no agreement".

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Annie Clark, a spokeswoman for Collins, separately gave The New York Times copies of letters and voice mail messages being sent to the senator's offices that included threats.

Kavanaugh has been a controversial pick as many believe he would help roll back abortion access in the U.S. I'm so naive.' F*** you. "We will get you out of office".

One example of a threat is a "caller [who] told a 25-year-old female staff member at one of Ms. Collins's ME offices that he hoped she would be raped and impregnated". During the 2014 campaign, where Collins bested her Democratic opponent, Shenna Bellows, by a 68 to 32 percent margin, Collins spent $5.5 million and Bellows spent $2.3 million.

Collins has been considered a potential vote against Kavanaugh on the abortion issue since she supports abortion rights and hinted last week to a Maine newspaper that if Kavanaugh "was not truthful [during his confirmation hearing], then obviously that would be a major problem for me".

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But the announcements came from Democrats who signaled skepticism about Kavanaugh when Trump nominated him in July and had been widely assumed to be "no" votes from the start.

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