The offices of Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) are reportedly being bombarded with calls and coat hangers amid a campaign aimed at swaying her to vote against the confirmation of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Pro-choice advocates are ramping up more pressure on the lawmaker in the midst of what’s been described as a bribery scheme launched against her.
What’s going on?
Abortion advocates fear that with Kavanaugh on the high court, Roe v. Wade could be overturned. As part of their effort to stop that from happening, opponents of the judge are targeting Collins as the most likely Republican to vote against his confirmation.
Collins told the Wall Street Journal that the “out-of-state voicemails being left on the answering machines of [her] state offices” are “incredibly offensive.”
“In one case — and we are going to turn this over to the police, but unfortunately, of course, the person didn’t leave a name or number — but they actually threatened to rape one of my young female staffers,” Collins told the Journal.
In one voicemail released from Collins’ office to NBC News, one caller said “If you care at all about women’s choice, vote ‘no’ on Kavanaugh. Don’t be a dumb b***h. F*** you also.”
Another caller left a message saying that Collins is “a feckless, feckless, feckless woman standing there letting Trump and his appointees steal the right to choose what women do with their bodies. And you stood by, ‘Oh, I don’t know. I’m so naïve.’ F*** you. F*** you.”
USA Today reported that in addition to threatening calls and letters, the senator’s office has received more than 3,000 wire coat hangers sent by pro-choice advocates to symbolize a method used for illegal abortions.
“I consider this quid pro quo fundraising to be the equivalent of an attempt to bribe me to vote against Judge Kavanaugh,” Collins said of the campaign.
Collins told the Journal, “I have had three attorneys tell me that they think it is a clear violation of federal law on bribery. Actually, two told me that; one told me it’s extortion.”
The crowdfunding campaign threatens to fund Collins’ future opponent if she refuses to vote “no” on Kavanaugh. As of Wednesday, it had raised 90 percent of its $1,302,388 goal.