by Calin Brown
In the wake of sexual harassment allegations against Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn), a number of his fellow Democrats have stated that they have donated the money their campaigns received from Midwest Values PAC, a political action committee affiliated with Franken.
So far in the 2018 election cycle, Midwest Values PAC has contributed $145,500 to 26 candidates, including 17 of Franken’s Senate colleagues.
At least 21 Democrats who have received contributions from Franken’s PAC this election cycle have pledged to return or donate to charities the PAC contributions, according to official statements and news reports.
Abby Finkenauer, who is running for Congress against incumbent Republican Rep. Rod Blum of Iowa, has reportedly donated the $1,500 she received in late September from the Midwest Values PAC.
In a statement issued by her campaign, Finkenauer said, “I’ve decided to donate Senator Franken’s donation to my campaign to the Riverview Center, a nonprofit in Iowa that helps individuals affected by sexual assault.”
Last month, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo) said in a tweet that she will donate the $30,000 she’s received from Franken’s PAC over the past three election cycles to a food bank. Similarly, Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont) also said in a tweet that he will donate the $25,000 he’s received from the PAC to the Montana Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence.
Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis), Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Democratic congressional candidate Angie Craig from Franken’s home state of Minnesota are among others who have reportedly vowed to donate contributions from Midwest Values.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass), who received $10,000 from Midwest Values during this election cycle, has not released an official statement regarding any plans to donate the contribution. Earlier this year, however, Warren returned the money her campaign received from former film executive Harvey Weinstein after he was accused of sexual harassment and sexual assault.
Other representatives who have remained mum about their intentions include Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va), Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md) and Rep. Collin Peterson of Minnesota.
Several Democratic female senators, including McCaskill and Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, have called for Franken’s resignation in light of the sexual harassment claims.
Franken will make an announcement Thursday, according to his office.