Bribery, Crowdfunding, and the Strange Case of Senator Susan Collins
CO-AUTHORS Stuart Green
UVA Law Faculty Affiliations
Two progressive groups are gathering contributions – more than $1 million so far — pledged to a yet-to-be-named opponent to Maine Senator Susan Collins if she votes for the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. “Either Sen. Collins VOTES NO on Kavanaugh OR we fund her future opponent,” a crowdfunding page declares. The senator complained that this is “bribery,” a charge echoed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Are Collins and McConnell serious, or is the claim mere partisan rhetoric? Do they really think this proposition amounts to a federal crime? It’s hard to say what they’re thinking, but it’s worth considering the accusation on its own terms, since it reveals something important about the topsy-turvy, down-is-up culture that now prevails in the world of campaign finance and political corruption law.
Stuart Green & Deborah Hellman, Bribery, Crowdfunding, and the Strange Case of Senator Susan Collins, The Atlantic (September 14, 2018).