Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg has come under fire recently for his association with Harvey Weinstein
Weinstein has stood trial over the past several weeks facing multiple allegations of rape sexual assault and is currently waiting the jury’s decision.
Bloomberg has also been in hot water himeslf in the past over sexual harassment allegations made by employees who then signed non-disclosure agreements.
The Mail Online reports: Just before Michael Bloomberg scored his first electoral triumph after spending more than $74 million to become the Republican mayor of New York in 2001, he won the backing of Hollywood movie mogul and major Democratic donor Harvey Weinstein.
Just days earlier, Weinstein had been supporting the campaign of Bloomberg’s Democratic rival, former New York City Public Advocate Mark Green. In fact, Weinstein had hosted a party for Green at the Grand Hyatt for more than 1,000 people that brought in $100,000.
‘Both Clintons were there. Both Cuomos were there. Jon Stewart and Jimmy Fallonwere the emcees. It was a thing,’ Green recalled about the Democratic unity event to DailyMail.com, on a day when Bloomberg’s political star was on the ascent and Weinstein was on trial for alleged rape and assault.
But soon afterward, Weinstein suddenly bolted from Green and threw his support to Bloomberg – kicking off a political relationship that would last for years.
What set the mogul off, according to Green, was that the liberal public interest advocate rejected his attempt to broker a peace with defeated Democratic primary candidate Freddie Ferrer, who was being zealously backed by Rev. Al Sharpton, in a race that featured racially charged posters and fliers.
‘This infuriated Harvey, who knew me well,’ Green recalled this week. ‘And the next morning he endorsed Bloomberg.
‘This is not done … He had endorsed me, hosted this event but because I didn’t do his bidding he announced his support for Bloomberg. Which of course had no effect, that day,’ said Green, who recently published a book about Donald Trump with former Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader.
‘I believe he had good intentions. But his vanity got the best of him,’ Green said of Weinstein. ‘Of course Bloomberg had to appreciate what he did and of course they go to some similar events,’ he said.
Weinstein’s sudden flip to Bloomberg puzzled seasoned New York political observers.
‘I was thinking at the time who the hell is he to mediate anything?’ New York political consultant Jerry Skurnik told DailyMail.com. At the time, Weinstein was a ‘contributor, a rainmaker, a bundler. Someone who could raise money and as far as most people working in the campaign, someone you tolerate and listen to his ideas and let it go in one ear and out the other while you take his money,’ he said.
‘Weinstein got involved trying to mediate between them and he didn’t like the way Green responded to his attempt to mediate. And he switched his support from Green to Bloomberg,’ he recalled.
Weinstein also had the stature at the time to at least try to present himself as enough of a player to try to broker a meeting that would bring together former President Bill Clinton, Al Sharpton, and the Democratic mayoral nominee at New York’s Four Seasons hotel.
The Bloomberg-Weinstein political relationship would continue for years, and would come to include a series of high-profile public events in Manhattan, as well as a joint push for a lucrative tax break that benefited the film industry and helped draw attention to the city.
Bloomberg is one of many famous figures who have come to regret their connections to Weinstein, who has been accused by women of rape and assault and is on trial in New York.
It is a tie that is particularly sensitive for Bloomberg, who has been accused by women of overseeing a hostile work environment and has been accused of making inappropriate comments – a topic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts hammered him over at Wednesday’s Demoratic debate.
Once in office, Bloomberg teamed with Weinstein at events to promote New York City, his charity, and his own election efforts.
Weinstein made last-minute phone calls on behalf of Bloomberg’s 2001 election when the then-Republican took City Hall, according to press accounts at the time.
He was behind the mayor again for his reelection in 2005, when the former filmmaking powerhouse reportedly made automated phone calls to boost the billionaire’s campaign. (Bloomberg spent $85 million on that successful effort).
Weinstein helped lend Democratic credibility and Hollywood cache to the then-independent Bloomberg’s reelection, speaking at a Democrats for Bloomberg event. ‘I haven’t heard this many Democrats saying nice things about me since I was one,’ the mayor quipped at the time.
In other instances, the two teamed up in efforts meant to promote New York and the film industry, as they did in 2002 in a brash effort to lure one of Hollywood’s biggest nights – the Oscars – to Manhattan. The idea began with a Weinstein pitch to get the entire show, then morphed into an effort by Bloomberg, Weinstein, and former New York Gov. George Pataki to bring part of the annual show to the city as a tribute to its glory days.
The association between the two men would extend through Bloomberg’s three terms of mayor – before Weinstein was accused of sexual misconduct in a downfall that made him a key figure in the #MeToo movement.
Bloomberg spokesman Stu Loeser said of the two men: ‘They were never close – when Weinstein wanted to call Mike the before the election, he didn’t have Mike’s number. Someone who worked for Miramax figured out that they knew someone on the campaign, which is the only way they connected.’
He continued: ‘When Mike was Mayor, New York’s film industry almost tripled in size and employed over 100,000 people a year as film companies and film production came back to New York.