If Susan Collins confirms Kavanaugh, $300K will automatically be sent to her Democratic challenger

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/09/05/swing-senators.html


The challenger is going to be coming into some cash very soon.


Exactly. Because no damn GOP member seems to ever keep their word let alone go against the party.


A little pretzel logic to make the day pass easier.


Screw the hearings. We need to get that cash to any Dem challenger and send Collins home for good.


Shhhh, don’t give away the surprise ending!


But you know, if Collins does that thing she always does, the Democrat is still getting most of that money.

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These are some great examples of free speech.

That’ll be wasted money. I despise Collins, but she’s an incumbent, and not enough people in Maine dislike her enough to vote her out of office. Most Mainers will probably be OK with her confirming Kavanaugh anyways.

that’s a mistake. They should offer the $300K to her for her to vote against the nomination and to her opponent if she fails to vote against the nomination.

You need the carrot and the stick.


NYT just release a confidential email wherein Kavanaugh states RvW is NOT settled law and can be changed by the Supreme Court.

This will get interesting.


Update: $470,345


That slope… it’s soooo slippery. I mean, sure, politicians are bought all the time through lobbying, but to phrase it outright as “we will buy your vote for $300K” is so… bad, whether if it works or not.

There are a lot of deep pockets out there that would love to openly buy votes in their favor. Hell, the Church could make it a cool million without breaking a sweat if it meant getting a guy in that could undo Roe v Wade. And then they could give him, and each of the other judges $1M apiece to make it happen. It would amount to a rounding error on their books.

Why? That is the system of governance we have. It is simply logical to operate within the world that actually exists rather than the one we wished existed.

What are you going on about? They do openly buy votes now. They even write the laws for them and pay them to pass them. This isn’t done in secret. It’s done in the light of day right now.

Look, if you want to get money out of politics, great. I agree. But you can’t do that without paying off politicians. If you don’t like that idea, get money out of politics but remember that it will not happen until you pay off politicians. That’s the world we live in, Pensketch.

Please show me an example of someone openly offering money for votes on specific issues in American politics.

Yes, there’s way too much “wink-wink” behind-the-scenes shit that goes on, but I honestly don’t recall anything where someone has OPENLY and PUBLICLY said on the record, “If you vote for (or against) this thing, I will give $300K to your reelection campaign in exchange for that vote.”

Yes, the sham is paper thin these days, with unaccountable Super PACs, etc, but there’s still a semblance of ethics involved; even though it’s worse for wear. And I know, so much of the “semblance of ethics” has been blown away with this latest administration, but what you propose is to eliminate it entirely. Put two bullets in its skull and leave it out with the garbage.

Maybe that would be a good thing, then people would see the greed out in the open, all naked and disgusting. But at that point, so fucking what if they did? As long as they don’t have the money to influence the game, the people would no longer matter.

So this group has taken the oblique approach, offering money to any opponent of the voting politician if her vote doesn’t go the way they want. It feels like a threat, which I’m not fully behind either. But to offer the money directly to her makes it a bribe, and as-of-yet, bribing a politician for their vote is not legal. Unless I missed something really important.

Also, if it were legal for them to do that… they would have done that.

Currently, from what I can tell that’s the world we live in.

Thank you for talking down to me. I really appreciate when that happens, especially after the rude way I treated you in my first response.

Excellent tone policing. You have decided the intent or my “tone” was disparaging and are now attempting to shame me for what you would like to paint as “talking down”. That’s a nice little autological anti-debate ad hom I see used a lot these days. For my part, I’ll say your tone policing is expected and in no way detracts from your point of view or your argument. Feel free to continue along those lines if it makes you happy.

Let’s hear it from a former lobbiest then

Every fundraiser was yet another legal bribe. Every committee hearing I’d look up and think, “I just bought his vote.” And every time I got a bill passed or, better yet, killed, I’d think to myself, “That wouldn’t have worked if I hadn’t bought the outcome.”

It’s theater. The bribery is open and public, we simply chose to call it donation but that’s nothing more than semantic quibbling.

Yes. Yes I am. Having a veneer of ethics is not the same as behaving ethically. In fact it is quite the opposite. It is precisely this veneer that has allowed the process to become more and more corrupt by allowing us all to pretend that money doesn’t control our government. Because it does and pretending it’s otherwise is not helping anyone. It has no purpose other than to allow society to pretend we have a democratic process. If we stopped with the self delusion and lies then perhaps we could at least look at the issue honestly. We could have accounting of these bribes and the public could weigh in. As it is now, you are arguing for the continuation of a public false image of our government and a private reality that only the insiders are fully aware of. To maintain the status quo is to support the continuance of secretive governmental corruption and the gas lighting of the electorate.

If you think the situation of open bribery under the guise of donation is undesirable, then by all means change the law and make it illegal for someone to both donate and lobby. Pass laws to get money out of politics. I’d be right there supporting you. But I’d probably be whispering in your ear that none of it can happen unless you bribe a few politicians because that’s the world we live in.


My brother in-law, a lobbyist can confirm this.

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Thank you. I wouldn’t call it “policing” per se, you are also more than welcome to continue along those lines as well; I’m letting you know how I took those specific sentences from your reply to me. I felt attacked, whether your intention was to attack me or not. That said, text is a difficult medium from which to take tone.

After your latest reply… I do believe we are on the same side for the most part.

America needs many more lobbyists like this one.

In politics, everything is semantic quibbling. They live and die by it.

While stripping the veneer of ethics out of politics and revealing donations as what they are – “legal” bribery – is great, and something I am totally behind doing, it’s still legal bribery.

What you proposed was taking the additional step into outright illegal bribery. The end result of doing that would be that they would be shut down, fined, maybe serve jail time if they aren’t connected enough.

So, before they could do that, someone would have to lobby for illegal bribery to be legalized, and that would have to pass into law. If they thought they could get away with it, I’m positive they would reach for that ring.

I don’t believe I am. Any more than I’m arguing that the sky is up, the center of the earth is hot, and baby ducks are fuzzy. I could give a shit if the public false image is continued or not, and nothing I do or don’t do is going to change what happens. I’m arguing against legalizing illegal bribery.

I fully admit that shit’s shady as fuck in American politics. I’m saying that taking the last step by allowing bribes to be open and legal would not be a step toward anything good.

As long as there are still rules politicians and lobbyists have to play by, if either side are stupid enough to violate those rules, actions can be taken against them by law enforcement.

Take something that can be called a bribe for your vote, and you will lose your position (at least).

Make it legal to accept a bribe, then it’s really the ultimate payday for politicians. All bets will be off, the sky will be the limit.

You disagree. Well, okay. I think we can both agree that money has too much influence on politics, and there’s no way to walk it back with our current crop of politicians. The paid want to stay paid. Making it easier for them to be paid isn’t going to fix anything.

What Be a Hero is trying is novel, and within the current laws. I hope it somehow works, but I really doubt it will.

Susan Collins will either keep her word (how many politicians ever do that?) and not confirm this… gentleman… or she will bow to the party line and confirm him.

I don’t think the “fear” of an unnamed future opponent getting a few $100K to campaign against her will be enough to influence whatever decision she makes. I would love to be wrong though.

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