Political recipients of media mogul Harvey Weinstein’s largess say they will donate past campaign donations to charity.

When The New York Times reported Oct. 5 that Weinstein had paid off his sexual harassment accusers for decades, the story became the talk of Hollywood and national politics.

When it comes to Weinstein’s contributions to California’s statewide candidates, he’s only made a handful of donations, according to the Secretary of State’s office.

Now a U.S. Senator, Kamala Harris received $2,500 in her 2014 campaign for attorney general. She received the same amount for her “Harris for Governor 2016” account. GV Wire has learned Harris intends to donate the money to Equal Rights Advocates. The group’s stated mission is to protects and expand “economic and educational access and opportunities for women and girls.”

Other listed recipients of Weinstein donations: Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom ($5,000 for his run for governor account in 2010), Congressman John Garamendi ($1,000 in 2008), Arianna Huffington ($21,200 for her governor account in 2003), and former Gov. Gray Davis ($10,000 for his 2002 re-election campaign for governor).

Newsom’s current gubernatorial campaign office says he donated the contribution to a nonprofit the “moment the news broke.”

Huffington spokesperson Monica Lee says, “Even though the money went to Arianna’s 2003 campaign, she is planning to make a $21,200 donation to a nonprofit supporting women.”

Rental Inspection Update Delayed

The second-biggest story out of Thursday’s (Oct. 12) Fresno City Council meeting, behind Oliver Baines’ response to colleague Garry Bredefeld’s NFL protest remarks, was the delay on the rental inspection update.

Council President Clint Olivier, who runs the meetings, said it was because of timing reasons. Details of Mayor Lee Brand’s rental inspection program should be heard in the next week or two, Olivier said.

BRT Start Scheduled for Feb. 19, 2018

The city’s Capital Projects Oversight Board will receive an update on the Bus Rapid Transit project on Monday (Oct. 16). The $56 million dollar project, which as of now is $3 million under budget, is scheduled to begin service Feb. 19, 2018. That is 13 months behind schedule, with the pushback attributed to rain delays. So far, 48 of the 52 stations are complete.

The transportation project’s goal is to connect northern Fresno to downtown, mainly along Blackstone Avenue.

The same presentation will be made to city council on Thursday (Oct. 19).

Extending Trash Scavenging Ban

The Fresno County Board of Supervisors will hold two meetings this week.

On Tuesday, Supervisor Andreas Borgeas will present a plan to expand the prohibition on scavenging in the Fig Garden Policing District for another year.

The ordinance describes scavenging as “No (unauthorized) person shall open, look into, search through or remove any of the contents of any solid waste receptacle.” According to staff reports, it has the approval of the homeowners association there and Sheriff Margaret Mims.

The penalties include a $100 fine for the first offense, $200 for the second and $300 thereafter.

Splitting the Office

The supervisors will hold their first hearing on whether to move the elected duties of the public administrator from the district attorney to the elected sheriff.

According to staff reports, the rationale is that it “would allow for one chain of command to protect and/or properly dispose of property. A joint office would also allow for after hour referrals to the Public Administrator, which currently is not available. In addition, the consolidation would streamline operations and efficiencies to include the sharing of records and resources.”

If approved, the switch would take effect after the 2018 elections.

The supervisors also will hold a workshop at the Harris Ranch Inn on Thursday in Coalinga to discuss the missions and goals of various county departments.

 

About The Author

David Taub has spent most of his career in journalism behind the scenes working as a TV assignment editor and radio producer. For more than a decade, he has worked in the Fresno market with such stops at KSEE-24, KMJ and Power Talk 96.7. Taub also worked the production and support side of some of TV sports biggest events including the Super Bowl, the NBA Finals and NASCAR to name a few. Taub graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science.

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