It sure looks like Susan Collins has her own bribery and quid pro quo problem

It sure looks like Susan Collins has her own bribery and quid pro quo problem
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Remember when Sen. Susan Collins said this about grassroots fundraising against her: "I consider this quid pro quo fundraising to be the equivalent of an attempt to bribe me to vote against Judge Kavanaugh"? Ooooh, look at Collins talking quid pro quo. It's still unclear whether she understands what that means, given that money now equals free speech in politics. But what's really interesting now is that bribe part. Because we've finally got some answers to that mystery of the big money coming into her campaign from Hawaii, and boy, does it sure appear to be in the neighborhood of quid pro quo and bribery.


The money that showed up in the coffers of 1820 PAC, a super PAC set up to fund Collins, came from a shell company incorporated as the Society of Young Women Scientist and Engineers. Behind SYWSE, Honolulu Civil Beat reports, is Hawaii-based defense contractor Navatek LLC. The the Maine People’s Alliance website Beacon picks up the story from there: "In August 2019, Navatek was awarded an $8 million contract from the U.S. Navy Office of Naval Research," it reports. "Collins, joined by Lao and other members of Navatek's leadership team, announced the award together at a press event in Portland."

Collins was there for the big announcement because she was the one who got it into the defense appropriations bill, from her perch as head of the subcommittee that secured it. And guess what happened two weeks later: Yep, a bunch of donations to Collins’ campaign from people associated with Navatek. Then, in December, the 1820 PAC (again, set up to support Collins) got that $150,000 from SYSWE, the shell company of Navatek.

It all came together for Honolulu Civil Beat with the single name associated with SYSWE: Jennifer Lam. Turns out Navatek CEO Martin Kao is married to a woman named Tiffany Jennifer Lam, who has donated the maximum allowed amount—$5,600—to Collins, FEC records show, as have her husband and other officers of Navatek. Now is that a bribe, or is it a reward? Cuz, boy, from here it sure looks like quid pro quo of some kind.

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