×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Claire McCaskill’s GOP Opponent Slams Her Over Hollywood Ties

WASHINGTON — The most vulnerable of all Democratic senators up for re-election next year will attend a fundraiser co-hosted by Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Iger on Thursday, and with it, a GOP candidate is using it to attack his opponent.

In the wake of the event, the campaign of Sen. Claire McCaskill’s opponent, Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, put out a statement calling McCaskill “Hollywood’s candidate” and is trying to link her to Harvey Weinstein, a GOP target after his sexual harassment and assault scandal broke last fall.

“In the past, she gave Harvey Weinstein a taxpayer-funded advertisement for his movie,” said Hawley spokesperson Kelli Ford. “It’s no surprise because she is one of the top recipients of money from Hollywood. Now she is going back for even more money.”

The movie in question was “Philomena,” a Weinstein Co. release that was among the Oscar contenders in 2013-14, about Philomena Lee’s search for a child she was forced to put up for adoption. McCaskill met with Lee in 2014 to talk about the issue of forced adoption and Lee’s call for access to records in Ireland.

According to Reuters, Lee met with other lawmakers on that trip — including Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Rep. Joseph Kennedy (D-Mass.). But the Hawley campaign’s attack is rooted in the idea that the visit to Capitol Hill was a pretext for the movie’s Oscar campaign.

McCaskill’s campaign did not comment. But in her office’s press release for the 2014 meeting, McCaskill talked of her own family’s connection to adoption, and her office noted that Philomena’s son, after being taken away from her, was raised in St. Louis, Mo.

Especially during awards season, Weinstein did have a knack for connecting the themes of his movies with public policy debate and high profile leaders. In the case of “Philomena,” Lee also met with Pope Francis with star Steve Coogan.

The attack from Hawley’s campaign shows the extent to which Republicans are determined to tie red state Democrats to the Hollywood “elite.” It’s a pretty well-worn tactic familiar to those in Hollywood fundraising circles and to candidates, as showbiz is a big source of campaign money and endorsements, but it does come with some payback.

In the days after the Weinstein scandal, the Republican National Committee hammered Democrats for taking contributions from him, and many did give their donations to charity. Democrats returned the favor when sexual harassment allegations surfaced about Steve Wynn, who was the RNC finance chair and resigned his post. Some GOP groups did return contributions.

More Politics

  • HRC, UCLA to Host Presidential Candidates

    Human Rights Campaign, UCLA to Host Presidential Candidates Forum on LGBTQ Issues

    The Human Rights Campaign Foundation and UCLA are teaming up to host a forum in October for Democratic presidential candidates focused on LGBTQ issues. The event will take place on Oct. 10 in UCLA’s Royce Hall, and will be part of UCLA’s Luskin Lecture Series from the university’s Luskin School of Public Affairs. National Coming [...]

  • Devin Nunes

    Devin Nunes Files $250 Million Defamation Lawsuit Against Twitter

    U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes filed a $250 million defamation lawsuit against Twitter on Monday, alleging that he has been the victim of hundreds of hate-filled tweets. The suit also takes aim at Liz Mair, a Republican communications consultant who has attacked Nunes on Twitter, and the anonymous accounts “Devin Nunes’ Mom” and “Devin Nunes’ Cow.” [...]

  • Members of the public mourn at

    Peter Jackson: New Zealanders Stand 'United in Our Love' in Wake of Mosque Attacks

    “Lord of the Rings” director Peter Jackson said Saturday that he and his fellow New Zealanders “stand united in our love and support for our fellow Muslim brothers and sisters” in the wake of the devastating terrorist attacks on two mosques in Christchurch that left at least 49 people dead. “New Zealanders are devastated,” Jackson [...]

  • Steven Mnuchin

    Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin Grilled Over Interest in Wife's Production Company

    WASHINGTON — Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was asked in a Senate hearing about a continued potential interest in Stormchaser Films, the production company founded by his wife, Louise Linton. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, said at a hearing on Thursday that the concern is that “there has been [...]

  • Police keep watch at a park

    At Least 49 Killed in Terrorist Attack on Two New Zealand Mosques

    Armed attacks Friday on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, killed at least 49 people and injured dozens of others in what authorities called an act of terrorism. Four people – three men and one woman – were in custody Friday evening, New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush said. One of them, reported to be [...]

  • Anti-Brexit remain in the European Union

    British Parliament Decides to Ask for Delay to Brexit

    The British Parliament has voted to ask for a delay to the U.K.’s exit from the European Union in a bid for more time to get squabbling lawmakers behind a deal on the terms of the withdrawal. The U.K. is currently due to leave the E.U. on March 29, but Thursday evening’s 412-202 vote in [...]

  • President Donald Trump listens to a

    N.Y. Appeals Court Rules Trump Can't Avoid Summer Zervos' Defamation Suit

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is not immune from a defamation lawsuit brought by former “Apprentice” contestant Summer Zervos, even as his lawyers argued that the case should at least be deferred until the end of his term, a New York appeals court ruled on Thursday. Trump’s attorneys had argued that the Supremacy Clause of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content