MADISON, Wis. — Top Wisconsin Republicans, including House Speaker Paul Ryan and Sen. Ron Johnson, are donating contributions they received from Las Vegas billionaire Steve Wynn following sexual misconduct allegations against the former Republican National Committee finance chairman.
They and other Republicans across the country were quickly divesting themselves of money received from Wynn following a Wall Street Journal report Friday that Wynn sexually harassed several women who worked at his resorts. Wynn, chairman and CEO of Wynn Resorts, has denied the allegations. He resigned as RNC finance chair on Saturday.
The Wisconsin Republican Party said Monday it is donating a $10,000 Wynn contribution to organizations that help victims of sexual harassment and abuse.
A spokesman for Johnson said his campaign will be donating $5,400 it received from Wynn to a charity that helps domestic abuse victims in Oshkosh. And aides to Ryan said he would donate $1,000 from a Wynn-related business group to a Rock County charity that supports homeless children.
The liberal group One Wisconsin Now called for two other Republican groups to return donations received from Wynn.
A political action committee created by Gov. Scott Walker when he was preparing for his presidential run received $5,000 from Wynn in 2015. A spokesman for Our American Revival said it will donate the money to an organization that supports victims of sexual harassment and assault.
The Republican Governors Association received $250,000 from Wynn Resorts in 2016 when Walker was chairman of the national group.
“The governor finds these allegations deeply troubling, and his campaign has not received any contributions,” Walker campaign spokesman Nathan Craft said.
The RGA said it was returning a $100,000 Wynn contribution it received this election cycle and will not accept any future contributions from the group unless the allegations are proven false.
A spokesman for the RGA said it can’t return $2.5 million received from Wynn Resorts in previous election cycles because it has already been spent.
The allegations against Wynn are part of a wave of sexual misconduct claims against prominent media, entertainment and political figures that gained momentum last fall after the emergence of detailed allegations of rape and harassment involving movie producer Harvey Weinstein.
Just as Republicans called on Democrats to return money from Weinstein, Democrats were now calling on Republicans to get rid of money from Wynn.
The Wisconsin Democratic Party in October donated a $5,000 contribution from Weinstein to in-state groups that help women who are survivors of sexual harassment and abuse.
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