Shortly before Christine Blasey Ford began her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday, a bipartisan group of ten men gathered inside Portland City Hall to express their support for Ford — and their opposition to the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
"I think it's time to reexamine the way we consider these people," said Mike Cambareri, who identified himself as a life-long Republican.
Cambareri told reporters that survivors of sexual assault — as he believes Ford to be — risk reprisal and threats by coming forward and have nothing to gain personally.
"This is real life in which real people are harmed and [there] need to be real consequences,” he said. “I hope and pray that the Republican party chooses to be on the right side of history. I hope that they reconsider the nomination of Kavanaugh.”
The speakers, who simply referred to themselves as "Maine men," also included former state Senate president Justin Alfond and businessperson Adam Lee, who also serves on Maine Public's board of Trustees.
Alfond says the allegations of sexual assault against Kavanaugh made by Ford — and now by two other women — should be investigated.
"Today I hope, like any human being, they would take new information and think about ‘okay this is no longer just a go, a green-light,’” Alfond said.
Alfond also said it is outrageous that a confirmation vote had been scheduled before the parties had testified.
The group is adding to the pressure put on Republican Sen. Susan Collins to reject Kavanaugh. They say Collins needs to "stand with women and survivors," and they describe Collins as "the key" to how Kavanaugh's confirmation proceedings could unfold.