New York Governor Andrew Cuomo will keep over $60,000 in donations from disgraced media executive Harvey Weinstein, despite growing allegations of sexual harassment and assault.
Following a bombshell report in the New York Times that Weinstein had settled multiple sexual harassment cases, Cuomo’s campaign announced that it would donate $50,000 to an unspecified women’s charity.
“These allegations are horrid and disturbing — sexual harassment and abuse have no place in our society,” Cuomo campaign chairman Bill Mulrow said last Friday.
However, according to Politico, Cuomo plans to keep the remaining $60,000 for himself, leading to charges of hypocrisy from the Republican State Committee.
“In the dictionary next to the word ‘hypocrisy’ is a picture of Andrew Cuomo,” said Jessica Proud, a New York Republican State Committee spokeswoman. “Democrats across the country have had the sense to give the money back, but not Gov. Cuomo. What kind of message does it send to women and victims that despite everything we know about the abuse Harvey Weinstein inflicted on them, he still won’t let go of his $60,000? His actions speak volumes.”
However, Basil A. Smikle Jr., executive director of the New York’s Democratic State Committee, defended Cuomo by accusing Republicans of suppressing women’s rights.
“As was said on Friday, these actions are horrid and disturbing and the contributions from the 2018 campaign cycle will be donated to an organization that fights for women’s rights,” he said. “Money from past cycles was spent in that cycle and is no longer there. What we need less of is rhetoric from hypocrites who supported Washington’s attempts to roll back hard-fought rights and oppose every effort to expand protections and promote equality for women in New York.”
Cuomo, who has been mooted as a potential 2020 presidential candidate, has yet to comment on the decision.
Other Democrat politicians, including Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Charles Schumer (D-NY), and Cory Booker (D-NJ), have announced they will donate contributions they received from Weinstein over the years to charitable causes.
Since the allegations were revealed by the New York Times last week, Weinstein has been fired from his role at the Weinstein Company, been left by his wife and announced that he will check into rehab for sex addiction.
Weinstein initially threatened to sue the New York Times for “reckless reporting.” He has since admitted to a “whole way of behavior that is not good.”