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Susan Collins

Does pay-to-play work in Baltimore City Hall? Some liquor store owners sure think so.

Does pay-to-play work in Baltimore City Hall? Some liquor store owners sure think so.

Back when the Senate was considering the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, activists in Maine engaged in an unusually direct effort to sway a presumed swing vote, Republican Sen. Susan Collins. They started amassing pledges for donations to her eventual opponent in 2020, to be collected only if she voted yes. If she voted against confirmation, no money would change hands. Ms. Collins cried foul, accusing the groups of crossing the line into outright bribery, and some ethics experts agreed. But really, wasn’t this just a less subtle version of what goes on all the time when people give money to politicians?

Case in point: the...

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