People For the American Way

Senator Collins’ Smear Campaign of Constituents Leaves Mainers Resolute in their Opposition to SCOTUS Nominee Brett Kavanaugh

News and Analysis
Senator Collins’ Smear Campaign of Constituents Leaves Mainers Resolute in their Opposition to SCOTUS Nominee Brett Kavanaugh
Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) at a senate hearing. (DoD photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Daniel Hinton/released/Flickr)

If you asked Senator Susan Collins, R-Maine, what her constituents think of President Trump’s extreme Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, you might think it was laden with threats and bribery.

While Sen. Collins and her staff have selectively chosen communications from constituents and their opposition to Kavanaugh, PFAW members throughout Maine have been registering the very real concerns they have about Kavanaugh and the dangerous impact he would have on their daily lives. Rather than share the genuine stories of opposition her office has received regarding Kavanaugh, Sen. Collins disrespects her constituents by only releasing the most offensive communications her office has received.

Constituents throughout Maine have contacted Sen. Collins with their concerns about Kavanaugh, and since her office chooses not to share the sincere concerns of her constituents, we thought it might be helpful to elevate their voices:

I made a very polite call reminding Sen. Collins the primary reason she enjoys bipartisan support in Maine is because of her longstanding defense of women’s reproductive rights and asking her to vote against Brett Kavanaugh.

Nora Irvine

I called Susan Collins’ office and said that Brett Kavanaugh is not fit to be on the Supreme Court especially in light of [recent] allegations of abuse of women. I am 87 years old and I vote!

Suzanne Hedrick

I am a constituent of Susan Collins and have both written and [called] her. I told her that this was no time to be supporting extremists on the court. I also mentioned an abortion that my (now 50 year old) daughter had as a teenager and how it changed her life. Kavanaugh is the worst possible choice. 

Paul Diamond

I respect Susan Collins for the times she has stood up to senate Republicans in order to support women’s rights. I started by saying I didn’t believe a lot of what I read online, and I wanted to call and get the straight story. I then asked if Sen Collins really said the Maine People’s Alliance project to collect funds for a challenger to her in 2020 if she supports Kavanaugh was bribery. “Oh, yes,” the staffer said. “It is definitely bribery! Many election lawyers have said it is.” I asked innocently, “But what bribery is there?  Nobody is giving her any money.” And the staffer told me, “Oh, yes, they are! This crowdfunding group has collected over a million dollars, and if Sen Collins votes against Kavanaugh, they will pay her all that money!”

I literally gasped, I was so astonished! I told her that was absolutely not true. The $1 million in pledges are to go to her opponent in 2020 if Collins supports Kavanaugh. And if she votes against Kavanaugh, the group will simply not collect on the pledges.  Nobody is offering Sen. Collins any money of any kind! The staffer’s tone changed immediately. She hotly told me she would pass along my comment, and hung up on me.

Charlie Hartman

I have been listening to confirmation hearings for Judge Kavanaugh as much as possible and am HORRIFIED that the process is tainted by the withholding of hundreds of thousands of documents. I agree wholeheartedly that these documents MUST be released before any further action on this nominee is taken by the Senate.

Judge Kavanaugh’s testimony in response to questioning by Senator Klobuchar about the nominee’s position indicating that he apparently believes that there is no justification for an independent counsel to investigate a president suspected of “high crimes and misdemeanors” was particularly alarming. When questioned, the nominee said that if impeached, a president could then be prosecuted, but as Senator Klobuchar rightly pointed out, it would be virtually impossible to impeach a president without the ability to thoroughly investigate him or her. Judge Kavanaugh’s response that Senate committees would be adequate to the task was utterly inadequate and unacceptable.

The founders of our nation risked their lives and revolted against Britain so that NOBODY, including the president, is above the law. Kavanaugh’s writings that the president cannot be indicted for crimes and misdemeanors indicates that he does not value or understand this essential aspect of our constitutional democracy. That very constitutional democracy is at stake, and Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination, if allowed to continue to hearings and possible confirmation, risks a constitutional crisis, the like of which the country has never experienced. Our democracy cannot afford that risk.

Janet Lynch

Sen. Collins’ refusal to take seriously the concerns of her constituents while weighing the very real consequences that a Justice Brett Kavanaugh would have for them is deeply alarming. Generations of Mainers will face the repercussions if Sen. Collins chooses to put party politics over the livelihood of her constituents and it will forever tarnish her legacy of standing up for the protection of reproductive freedoms.

Your constituents are not threatening or bribing you, Sen. Collins; they’re simply reminding you that, in the words of another constituent, “you can either support your party, or your principles, but not both.”


Brett Kavanaugh, Maine, Members, Susan Collins