While a parade of Hollywood celebrities at Sunday night’s Golden Globe awards rallied against sexual misconduct, one prominent Democratic donor is considering withdrawing support from the party after a number of Democratic senators urged Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) to resign following accusations of alleged sexual misconduct.
Susie Tompkins Buell, founder of the Esprit clothing brand, made the threat to the Democrat party, despite a previous offer she had made to give money to assist a woman who accused President Trump of harassment. Buell claims that the woman did not use the money and it was refunded.
In an interview published Sunday in The New York Times, Buell contended that the many senators who called for Franken to resign last month “moved too fast,” and that withdrawing her support from those who led the campaign is “an option.”
“I am a big believer in helping more women into the political system, but this has given me an opportunity to rethink of how I can best help my party,” Buell wrote in a text to the newspaper.
Buell, who said she was impressed by Franken’s work as a senator, has spent millions backing liberal causes and candidates, including females such as Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D.-N.Y., and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D.-Mass. Gillibrand was one of the first lawmakers to insist on Franken’s resignation.
“As for Gillibrand, unfortunately, I believe she miscalculated and has shot herself in the foot,” Buell said.
Following accusations against Franken from multiple women who claimed that he kissed or groped them without consent, most lawmakers, including Franken, initially called for an ethics investigation. As more women came forward, Franken’s colleagues implored him to resign.
Franken officially resigned last week, and former Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith, a Democrat, was sworn-in to replace him.