On Friday afternoon, as Maine Sen. Susan Collins gave a speech on the Senate floor explaining why she would vote in favor of Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court, the progressive crowdfunding platform Crowdpac began receiving a flood of campaign donations for her eventual Democratic challenger when she runs for re-election in 2020. In fact, it appears that Crowdpac was deluged by so many donations that it shut down due to an internal server error. The website is still down as of this writing.
As Kavanaugh’s messy confirmation fight was raging over the past few weeks, Crowdpac had been collecting donation pledges ranging from $1 to $2,700 for two progressive Maine groups that would use the funds toward unseating Collins. However, the conceit was that these donations would only be processed if Collins voted “Yes” on Kavanaugh, since she was seen as one of the handful of senators who were on the fence about the nomination. Collins, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Republican election lawyer Cleta Mitchell alleged that this fundraising effort amounted to a bribery scheme to pressure the Maine senator into voting against Kavanaugh. The crowdfunding campaign had raised more than $1 million by early September.
When Collins announced that she would in fact be supporting the nominee, donations for her eventual opponent skyrocketed. Earlier in the day, the raised funds stood at around $1.8 million. Because the Crowdpac site is currently down, it’s difficult to tell just how much money the campaign managed to raise after Collins’ decision became clear, but reports suggest that the total amount raised blew past the $2 million mark while she was still speaking.
Crowdpac announced that it will be back online shortly.