Weinstein’s fundraising and giving on behalf of Democrats began in the early 1990s, when he gave to Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont, former Representative Joe Kennedy, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which supports Democrats running for the U.S. House. Since then, his list of recipients reads like a who’s who of prominent Democrats: Senators Barbara Boxer, Tom Harkin, Chris Dodd, Chuck Schumer, Dick Durbin. His contributions span the party’s ideological breadth, from strong progressives like Elizabeth Warren and Rosa DeLauro to centrist Democrats like Erskine Bowles and Rahm Emanuel. They include party institutions like Russ Feingold and candidates who lost their races, like insurgent 2006 Connecticut Senate hopeful Ned Lamont.
On Thursday, Leahy also became the first Democrat to return or give away a donation, saying he would give to charity $2,700 that Weinstein has donated to his reelection effort. On Friday, the Democratic National Committee called the allegations against Weinstein “deeply troubling” and said it would donate more than $30,000 in donations from the mogul to EMILY’s List, Emerge America, and Higher Heights, organizations that support progressive women candidates.
All told, the website Political Moneyline, drawing from FEC records, finds more than $660,000 in donations to Democratic causes and candidates. The largest recipients of his largesse have been the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, each of which has received more than $100,000. (Under federal law, committees can accept much greater amounts than individual candidates.) He also gave $50,000 to the liberal group MoveOn in 2004.
Over her career as a candidate for both the U.S. Senate and the presidency, Hillary Clinton received $17,400 from Weinstein. Schumer, who like Clinton hails from Weinstein’s home state of New York, received $16,200. “Senator Schumer is donating all of the contributions to several charities supporting women,” a spokesman said. Clinton did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Weinstein donated $5,200 to Alison Lundergan Grimes, who was the Democratic nominee for Senate in Kentucky in 2014. One of Grimes’s rivals for the nomination was Ashley Judd, the actress and Kentucky native, who is one of the women who reported on Weinstein’s abuse. “Women have been talking about Harvey amongst ourselves for a long time, and it’s simply beyond time to have the conversation publicly,” she told the Times. (Grimes ultimately lost the general election to Mitch McConnell.)
Among possible 2020 candidates on the Democratic slate, Warren took in $5,000 from Weinstein. Senator Al Franken of Minnesota took in $10,000. Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey received $7,800. Kirsten Gillibrand, another New Yorker and a prominent advocate for stronger sexual-assault laws in the military and on campus, has received $9,800 from Weinstein.