Washington — U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, a Lansing Democrat, will donate to charity the donations she previously received from disgraced Hollywood movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, a spokesman said Tuesday.
Weinstein was fired from The Weinstein Co. on Sunday following last week’s revelations of allegations of sexual harassment by actresses and employees dating back three decades, including eight settlements reached with accusers.
Stabenow, Michigan’s senior senator, received $4,800 total from Weinstein in February 2011, according to campaign finance reports.
Stabenow spokesman Matt Williams said Tuesday the senator is still deciding on the charity to which she will give the $4,800.
Stabenow is among several Democrats in recent days to say they plan to send Weinstein’s donations to charity. Weinstein was a high-profile mega donor who contributed more than $780,000 to Democratic lawmakers, party organizations and liberal causes since 1991, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
GOP groups including the Republican National Committee called on Democrats to condemn Weinstein’s actions and return his contributions.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York is donating Weinstein’s $14,200 in contributions to women’s charities, while New York Sen. Kristen Gillibrand is giving $11,800 to the anti-sexual-assault group RAINN, according to news reports.
RNC Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel on CNN on Sunday praised the Democrats who have shifted their Weinstein contributions and called on the Democratic National Committee to follow suit.
“That is something Republicans and Democrats should agree on: That it is despicable, and you have seen Democrats returning those donations. You’ve seen Elizabeth Warren and Chuck Schumer. I applaud them for doing that,” said McDaniel, the former chair of the Michigan Republican Party.
“The DNC should do the same thing. They are keeping 90 percent of his donations. I don’t understand.”
The DNC has been criticized for sending the the money it received from Weinstein to political groups instead of charities or nonprofits advocating for victims of sexual violence.