If Sen. Susan Collins votes to confirm Kavanaugh, activists are ready to give $1 million to her 2020 opponent
Should Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) vote to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, her yet-to-be-determined Democratic opponent in 2020 will receive at least $1 million from angry donors.
Using the platform Crowdpac, the Maine People's Alliance, Mainers for Accountable Leadership, and activist Ady Barkan launched a crowdfunding campaign that has already raised $1 million, but with a catch. If Collins votes to confirm Kavanaugh, all that money will be sent to the TBD Democrat running against her. If she votes no, the money will not be collected.
All eyes are on Collins, as well as her fellow moderate Republican, Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. Collins has said she wants to ensure Roe v. Wade is not overturned, but also voted for Kavanaugh already, when he was nominated in 2006 to the U.S. Court of Appeals. In a statement, Annie Clark, a spokeswoman for Collins, said "anybody who thinks these tactics would work on Sen. Collins obviously doesn't know her. Sen. Collins will make up her mind based on the merits of the nomination. Threats or other attempts to bully her will not play a factor in her decision-making whatsoever."
Adav Noti of the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center told The Washington Post on Tuesday that this campaign could violate federal bribery laws. "I think they're playing a game to avoid the literal application of the bribery statute," Noti said. Jordan Libowitz, spokesman for the group Citizens for Ethics and Responsibilities, disagrees, telling the Post: "It seems kind of icky but it doesn't rise to the level of bribery because there's no agreement. It's just the way money and politics tend to work these days." Catherine Garcia
Trump has a pretty rich explanation for why he's sitting out the fight over Nike's Colin Kaepernick ad
Nike's decision to make former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick one of the faces of its 30th anniversary "Just Do It" ad campaign is not sitting well with many people who believe, as President Trump has argued, that Kaepernick's career-deflating decision to protest police violence against black people by kneeling during the national anthem is disrespectful to the anthem and the American flag. Several people posted videos of themselves burning or otherwise defacing their Nike gear, as The Root captures, fairly unsympathetically.
Some people are burning their Nike gear because the company endorsed Colin Kaepernick. The caucasity! pic.twitter.com/YkF1CFWZj9
— The Root (@TheRoot) September 4, 2018
But Trump himself has been conspicuously silent on Nike's celebration of Kaepernick's protest. On Tuesday, he explained to The Daily Caller why he has been reticent to tweet or otherwise weigh in on one of his favorite culture-war battles. "I think it's a terrible message," Trump said. "Nike is a tenant of mine. They pay a lot of rent."
"I think it's a terrible message that they're sending and the purpose of them doing it, maybe there's a reason for them doing it," Trump elaborated, "but I think as far as sending a message, I think it's a terrible message and a message that shouldn't be sent. There's no reason for it." He added that "as much as I disagree with the Colin Kaepernick endorsement," and "I wouldn't have done it ... in another way, it is what this country is all about, that you have certain freedoms to do things that other people think you shouldn't do, but I personally am on a different side of it." Peter Weber
The U.K.'s Information Commissioner's Office announced Tuesday that Facebook will be fined £500,000 (roughly $660,000) for its role in the Cambridge Analytica data-collecting scandal.
The ICO is giving Facebook the maximum fine possible for two breaches of the Data Protection Act, saying Facebook did not safeguard user information and was not transparent regarding how data was harvested by others. "Fines and prosecutions punish the bad actors, but my real goal is to effect change and restore trust and confidence in our democratic system," Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said.
Erin Egan, Facebook's chief privacy officer, said the company "should have done more to investigate claims about Cambridge Analytica and take action in 2015. We have been working closely with the ICO in their investigation of Cambridge Analytica, just as we have with authorities in the U.S. and other countries." Catherine Garcia
If you already work from home and need a change of scenery, Vermont might be the place for you.
On Wednesday, Gov. Phil Scott (R) signed legislation that pays people who move to the state and work remotely. They will receive $5,000 a year, not to exceed $10,000 over two years. The money can be used on certain expenses, including relocation costs, computers and software, and internet access. To be eligible, a person must move to Vermont after Jan. 1, 2019, be a full-time employee for an out-of-state business, and work primarily from home or a co-working space.
Joan Goldstein, the state's commissioner of economic development, told CNN Vermont's population is small and aging, and "we recognize the need to recruit people" to live there. The funds will be distributed on a first come, first served basis, and only $125,000 will be given out in 2019. Catherine Garcia
David MacNeil, a Chicago-area businessman who has donated more than $1 million to President Trump, told Politico Republican candidates can expect nothing from him until they take action on an immigration bill.
MacNeil owns the WeatherTech automotive company, and employs more than 1,100 people. MacNeil told Politico that if Congress doesn't come up with a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) deal, one of his employees could be deported. "I'm saying this as a political donor who's donated seven figures in the last couple of years: I will not donate any more money to anyone who doesn't support DACA, period," he said. "I'm putting my money where my mouth is."
The "critically important" employee was brought to the United States as a toddler, and "it would be a disaster if I were not able to legally employ her," MacNeil told Politico. "They should not be playing political football, political blackmail with people's lives." Catherine Garcia
Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt was confirmed on Feb. 17, 2017, and he's had his unusual 24/7 security detail since day one on the job, the EPA's inspector general told lawmakers in a letter sent on Monday.
EPA Inspector General Arthur Elkins Jr. said Pruitt had requested the blanket security before taking office, and the EPA's Office of Criminal Enforcement, Forensics, and Training had complied with his request. Elkins sent his letter to Democratic senators who asked for more details on why Pruitt had such a security detail. He noted that his office "played no role in this decision."
Previous EPA administrators have not had constant security, Reuters reports, and agency spokesman Jahan Wilcox said the decision was made "before Administrator Pruitt arrived at EPA." Last month, Pruitt — who has come under scrutiny for his expensive travel and penchant for flying in first class — told lawmakers that he needed 24/7 protection because of threats made against him once he was in office. Catherine Garcia
Since Jan. 1, President Trump's 2020 re-election campaign has spent $835,000 on legal fees, about 22 percent of its total spending, reports filed with the Federal Election Commission show.
The Trump campaign has paid at least eight law firms, with the two firms working on the Stormy Daniels case receiving a combined $280,000. The reports also state that the campaign has spent $125,000 at several Trump businesses, including Trump International Hotel and Trump Tower, and paid former White House aide Johnny McEntee $22,000. After McEntee was fired in March, apparently for security concerns tied to a gambling habit, he was immediately hired by the campaign. So far this year, the campaign has raised $10.1 million, spending $3.9 million. Catherine Garcia
For supporters of President Trump who want the whole world — or at least those watching a livestream of his first State of the Union address via his campaign website — to know they've got Trump's back, it'll cost just $35.
Trump sent out a fundraising solicitation on Monday that said his "movement" is about "ALL of us," and that's why "your name deserves to be displayed during Tuesday night's speech." Donors have to give at least $35 to Trump's re-election campaign for their name to flash across the screen during the livestream, but they are more than welcome to donate up to $2,700, the maximum amount allowed per election. Calling it now: at least a few Ben Dovers, Don Keys, and Ivana Tinkles will be among the donors. Catherine Garcia