INDIANAPOLIS – Republicans continue to struggle with returning their scandal-tainted donations from serial sexual harasser and GOP mega donor Steve Wynn as the RNC Chairwoman relies on excuses to cling to the money Wynn raised as finance chairman, and the Indiana Republican Party has yet to say whether it plans on returning the $10,000 check Wynn wrote them.
Despite previous calls for other politicians and organizations to divest money from other public figures in the wake of sexual harassments, RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel flip-flopped on Tuesday and offered a labored excuse for why the committee would keep money donated by Wynn or raised by him in his role as finance chairman. Wynn had held the role roughly a year until he stepped down Saturday following the bombshell Wall Street Journal report detailing years of sexual harassment by the casino mogul.
While McDaniel at least offered up an excuse as to why the RNC plans to cling to Wynn’s donations, the Indiana Republican Party has failed to give any reason why they’ve continued holding on to a $10,000 contribution Wynn gave them. Local Republicans have said nothing since Friday about Wynn’s donations to the state committee that came in October 2016.
Indeed, none of Indiana’s GOP leaders have commented on the allegations against Wynn, the RNC’s decision not to donate their Wynn-tainted money, nor whether the Indiana GOP ought to donate Mr. Wynn’s $10,000 check. The silence is especially galling from Congressman Messer and Rokita, as both men are listed by the RNC as members of Indiana Republican leadership; Congressman Messer is listed online as a member of the national leadership as well.
“Ronna McDaniel has apparently changed her beliefs to come up with a new excuse for why she hasn’t returned the RNC’s Wynn-tainted money, but what is Indiana Republicans’ excuse for keeping its own $10,000 check from Wynn?,” said Michael Feldman, spokesman for the Indiana Democratic Party. “Indiana Republicans like Congressman Messer and Rokita need to remember the principles they set for themselves just months ago. It’s far past time for them to step up and say it’s wrong for the RNC to keep Wynn’s donations, and it’s certainly wrong for the state party.”