Rep. Peter Roskam, looking ahead to a heated November contest, has decided to return the $1,465 contribution from recently disgraced RNC fundraising Chairman Steve Wynn.
"The Congressman has been very consistent in calling for several individuals on both sides of the aisle to step aside and/or step down in the wake of similar allegations and denounces Wynn’s alleged actions," Roskam's spokesman said in a statement to NBC Chicago. "Family shelter services was chosen because it is a shelter that Elizabeth Roskam has volunteered at."
Democratic challenger Amanda Howland was first to ask Roskam to return the donation and to denounce Wynn. He chose to donate money to the charity but has said nothing about Wynn. Roskam did not announce his decision to return the money, but his staff confirmed he will donate the Wynn amount to the Family Shelter Services in Wheaton.
“I am pleased that Peter Roskam returned money given to him by a sexual predator," Howland said in a statement. "My campaign and other Roskam constituents called on him to do the right thing and he did. If only he would hear our calls for congressional action to provide universal healthcare and respond to those.”
Democratic congressional candidate Kelly Mazeski also praised Roskam's move to return the cash.
“I applaud everyone who spoke up and demanded Peter Roskam donate his Wynn campaign contributions to victims of sexual assault,” Mazeski saidw. “It’s amazing what we achieve when we band together to demand that our voices be heard. I urge you to continue to speak up because it will make an impact.”
Wynn, the owner of a chain of hotels in Las Vegas, stepped down from the finance chair position after allegations of sexual misconduct were levied against him.
Democrats have called for Republicans to return donations from Wynn in similar fashion to Republican efforts to get their political opponents to return contributions from film mogul Harvey Weinstein in the wake of his sexual harassment scandal.
Wynn contributed to a host of Republican campaigns in 2016, including Senator Marco Rubio’s presidential campaign and Political Action Committee, but did not appear to make any individual contributions to Roskam, according to a Federal Election Commission database.
Kenneth Vogel of the New York Times did include Roskam on his list of politicians, committees, and 527 groups that received contributions from Wynn, saying that the "Roskam for Congress Committee" received $1465, according to FEC and IRS data.
Vogel did not specify whether it was Wynn or his company that made the contribution.