More Bribery: Kamala Harris hands $400,000 to Heidi Heitkamp
Funny how politics works these days...
Democratic senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota went against her own voters' sentiment, which supported Judge Brett Kavanaugh for Supreme Court by about 60%; voted against the man in a bid to sink his confirmation; and suddenly found herself with a flood of campaign cash, courtesy of Sen. Kamala Harris, who raised her a $400,000 payday.
Was that cash why she changed her vote from sympathetic to Kavanaugh to a "no"? One wonders if these were the arrangements made, because it sure was weird that she changed her vote, given that she was from a red state and likely to lose her seat, running as she was 9 points behind her Republican challenger, and would have politically benefited from casting a "yes." Did she know about the payday? Was it something she was offered? And did she need the payday that bad?
Oh, I heard her on 60 Minutes the other night, unpersuasively telling us she was voting her "conscience." The ace investigative reporters at that lefty show never thought to ask her about any of her political calculations – they just gave her a soapbox to justify herself and didn't quite notice that little $400,000 being slipped into her coffers.
It all has the look of disguised bribery, just as the crowdfunding efforts directed against Maine's Republican senator, Susan Collins, had the look of a bribe.
Here is what I wrote a few days ago about that:
First, dangling offers of money:
A crowdfunding website is trying to strong-arm Senator Susan Collins, the Republican from Maine, by giving more than $1 million to her 2020 opponent – unless she opposes Judge Kavanaugh. Donors are asked to make a financial pledge and then enter their credit-card information. As of Tuesday afternoon, 37,425 people had put down $1,041,878.
The fine print makes clear the quid pro quo: "Your card will only be charged if Senator Susan Collins votes for Kavanaugh's confirmation to the Supreme Court." To avoid the money bomb, all Ms. Collins must do is vote "no."
That cash, by the way, snowballed to $2.9 million at the latest reading, an intimidating prospect, indeed.
Money didn't work, and Collins called it what it was: bribery. The Wall Street Journal in its editorial above explained why that was accurate:
But federal law defines the crime of bribery as "corruptly" offering "anything of value" to a public official, including a Member of Congress, with the intent to "influence any official act." The crowdfunders in this case are offering something of value – withholding funds from her opponent – in return for a Supreme Court confirmation vote.
"I have had three attorneys tell me that they think it is a clear violation of the federal law on bribery," Ms. Collins says. "Actually, two told me that; one told me it's extortion."
So now the bribes and payoffs go on, using the pretense of crowdfunding. I suppose the Democrats will attempt to justify it as free speech. What we are seeing here is quid pro quo, emoluments for services rendered, and this isn't different in kind from what Sen. Bob Menendez did with his doctor pal in Florida.
The problem is that there is little control over who is giving these vast sums of money, or if fat cats or foreigners are involved, which could mean campaign finance violations easily if the matter got looked at closely. There's also little notice of whether "incentives" were offered. Another thing that makes me suspicious is that Kamala Harris is not that popular: her Twitter feed, as I have pointed out repeatedly, has been loaded with fake followers in what was an obvious bid to puff herself up in influence she didn't have. Was she really capable of raising $400,000 as Democrats' Midas-like wonder woman? I think it's legitimate to ask.
Meanwhile, the message goes out: support leftist Democrat causes no matter what you think or your voters want, and you, too, can get cash from who knows where rolling in.
Any questions why Democrats are held in such disrepute?