ALBANY — Gov. Andrew Cuomo is hanging on to some of the campaign money he received from disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, renewing criticism from Republicans and setting himself apart from other politicians who benefited from the film producer’s largesse.
Cuomo, a Democrat who is positioning himself for a possible presidential bid, raised $110,400 from Weinstein or his company since 1999. When revelations that Weinstein sexually harassed actresses and female employees emerged Friday, Cuomo’s campaign said it would donate $50,000 to an unspecified women’s charity.
The governor is keeping the rest of the money, though, prompting an attack Wednesday from the Republican State Committee.
“In the dictionary next to the word ‘hypocrisy’ is a picture of Andrew Cuomo," said Jessica Proud, a party spokeswoman. “Democrats across the country have had the sense to give the money back, but not Governor Cuomo. What kind of message does it send to women 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.”
Political spokespeople for Cuomo did not comment, but the $50,000 represents the amount that Cuomo raised during the current four-year election cycle. “These allegations are horrid and disturbing — sexual harassment and abuse have no place in our society,” Cuomo campaign chairman Bill Mulrow stated on Friday.
U.S. Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand as well as Attorney General Eric Schneiderman have all pledged to return campaign contributions from Weinstein.