Months in the past, Republicans shamed Democrats into returning marketing campaign money from Harvey Weinstein, the Hollywood mogul going through a barrage of sexual misconduct accusations.
Now they’ve a problematic donor of their very own: on line casino magnate Steve Wynn.
Wynn is just not merely a donor. He’s the finance chair — basically the chief fundraiser — for the Republican Nationwide Committee. He was tapped for the publish final 12 months, placing to relaxation no matter rivalries existed with President Donald Trump, a fellow billionaire developer.
On Friday, the Wall Road Journal, citing interviews with dozens of girls who labored at Wynn’s casinos, reported on “habits that cumulatively would quantity to a decades-long sample of sexual misconduct.” The story consists of a number of detailed allegations of misconduct. Wynn instructed the newspaper in a written assertion that it was “preposterous” he “ever would assault any girl,” however didn’t reply to all questions.
The allegations towards Weinstein surfaced final October in a New York Occasions report that included on-the-record accounts from ladies who mentioned the movie producer had made undesirable advances on them. Inside hours of the Occasions story, the RNC was main the cost towards Weinstein-backed Democrats. A press release from the celebration the identical day the story printed included an accounting of Weinstein donations to the Democratic Nationwide Committee, Hillary Clinton, and others.
“Throughout three-decades value of sexual harassment allegations, Harvey Weinstein lined the pockets of Democrats to the tune of three quarters of 1,000,000 ,” RNC chair Ronna Romney McDaniel mentioned in that assertion. “If Democrats and the DNC actually arise for ladies like they are saying they do, then returning this soiled cash must be a no brainer.”
The RNC saved at it for days, and Democrats started relinquishing their Weinstein cash — in lots of instances making donations in the identical quantity to charity or different political teams.
In keeping with Federal Election Fee filings, Wynn donated greater than $200,000 to Republicans in 2017. About $69,000 of that went to the RNC, together with in-kind contributions, comparable to journey bills, vendor reimbursements, and catering prices.
Wynn additionally gave $100,000 to the Nationwide Republican Senatorial Committee final 12 months. He donated to the in the end profitable GOP candidates in two of final 12 months’s intently watched particular Home elections: Greg Gianforte in Montana and Karen Handel in Georgia. And he contributed to the campaigns of Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake and Nevada Sen. Dean Heller.
Since 2001, data present, Wynn has given tons of of hundreds of to the RNC, NRSC, and the Nationwide Republican Congressional Committee. By means of his firm, Wynn Resorts, he is additionally been a beneficiant contributor to the Republican Governors Affiliation, which advantages GOP candidates in state races.
These donations, particularly within the final 12 months, should not a full illustration of what Wynn means to the celebration’s money circulate. His place as finance chair makes him a key determine in prying contributions unfastened from different high donors. Final week, to commemorate the one-year anniversary of Trump’s inauguration, Wynn and McDaniel cohosted a high-dollar celebration on the president’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.
RNC spokespersons didn’t instantly reply to BuzzFeed Information’ requests for remark Friday. Nor did spokespersons for the NRSC, Gianforte, Handel, Flake, or Heller.
Politico reported that Vice President Mike Pence was scheduled to go to with RNC employees and make donor calls Friday afternoon. The celebration holds its winter conferences — a gathering of committee members and GOP donors from throughout the nation — subsequent week in Washington.