$1 million pledged against Collins if she backs Kavanaugh

"The senator and her Republican colleagues are decrying the effort in Maine as attempted bribery, as attention shifts from Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings to the question of how lawmakers will vote on his nomination"

How does the pledge fit the label of bribery? or does the notion earn another label?

Obviously the donor can not give Senator Collins $1M to vote against Kavanaugh, without a bribery issue being raised. That being said, this is an interesting spin in that if Collins does not vote for Kavanaugh, how can we know that she is not influenced by the pledge?

  • 1
    I have been researching similar topics because I am disgusted with special interests purchasing politicians. According to our colleagues in psychology, the money does corrupt and influence. There are so many academic studies and papers about the effects of gifting on human behavior you can't avoid finding the results. Gifting influences all humans, including politicians. The proof is pretty easy based on the science... use proof by contradiction and the truth you arrive at is politicians are not human. The contradiction discards the politicians' claims they are not corrupted and influenced.
    – jww
    Sep 19, 2018 at 7:47
  • When politicians claim dire results from something they don't like, they're very frequently lying or at least exaggerating. There's also the tendency to malign members of the opposing political party and overlook similar behavior on the part of one's own party. Sep 21, 2018 at 17:09

1 Answer 1


It sounds less like bribery (where you give someone a benefit in exchange for an official act) than like extortion (where you threaten some harm in the absence of an act).

  • You also have the Hobbs Act. If the politician fears he/she may loose an election then those using the money against the politician could be violating the act. And there's also the diametrically opposed, where the politician participating and profiting in the scheme (the quid quo pro). The Hobbs Act has teeth. I would really enjoy seeing it applied to politicians and the political machinery.
    – jww
    Sep 19, 2018 at 7:50
  • 1
    @JWW, do you think this is more of an answer than a comment?
    – gatorback
    Sep 19, 2018 at 13:51
  • @gatorback - I don't know enough about this particular area of the Hobbs Act. But all the information seems to be on the DoJ's website under 2403. Hobbs Act -- Extortion By Force, Violence, Or Fear. The real question for me is, why have no Attorney Generals used the tool? Mainers for Accountable Leadership and other trio members are not the first to do this. Partisan Attorney Generals seem to be the root cause of the failures.
    – jww
    Sep 19, 2018 at 18:21
  • 1
    I was going to link my answer to the Hobbs Act, but as I understand it, it's limited to cases of extortion involving interstate commerce. "Interstate commerce" is pretty broadly defined, but I don't think it's broad enough to include official government action or First Amendment-protected political donations.
    – bdb484
    Sep 19, 2018 at 18:28
  • @bdb484 - If I may suggest, I think you are looking at it from the wrong POV. I think you are looking at it from the quid quo pro angle where you want to see the trade of money for votes. Jump over to the Lindbergh baby side of things, and the use of money and fear to coerce behavior.
    – jww
    Sep 19, 2018 at 18:32

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .