Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein is one of the Democratic Party’s most prolific donors.
Since the 2000 election cycle, Weinstein has donated nearly $US1 million in his own name in addition to collecting and providing roughly $US1.5 million as a part of “bundled” donations, which the Center for Responsive Politics defines as contributions provided by “people with friends in high places who, after bumping against personal contribution limits, turn to those friends, associates, and, well, anyone who’s willing to give, and deliver the checks to the candidate.”
Top Democrats including former President Barack Obama, 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, and Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Al Franken, Cory Booker, and Kirsten Gillibrand have all received contributions from Weinstein, the Hollywood mega-executive who co-founded Miramax Films and The Weinstein Company.
On Thursday, The New York Times reported on Weinstein’s decades of alleged sexual misconduct. The Times reported that Weinstein pressured younger women into giving him massages and asked them to watch him bathe, among other harassment. By Friday, Weinstein was suspended from his company, the Associated Press reported.
Almost immediately, Democrats began facing pressure to return their donations from Weinstein. So far, a number of prominent Democrats already have.
BuzzFeed reported that, as of Friday afternoon, 10 Democratic senators have donated campaign contributions from Weinstein to charity. They include Sens. Chuck Schumer, Martin Heinrich, Patrick Leahy, Richard Blumenthal, Kamala Harris, Booker, Warren, Gillibrand, and Franken. Many of the charities were either national or local nonprofits focused on combating sexual violence.
The Democratic National Committee, which received more than $US300,000 from Weinstein since 2000, decided to donate more than $US30,000 to left-leaning political groups that support Democratic female candidates.
Editor’s Note: The donations included are all of Weinstein’s contributions to candidates in federal elections and national political organisations since 2000.
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