Hollywood Clinton backer said to threaten Pelosi with cutting off donations

By David Edwards
Thursday, May 8, 2008 8:13 EDT
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Harvey Weinstein, the prominent movie producer and Democratic fundraiser, unleashed his legendary temper in a tirade aimed at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Weinstein, who’s backing Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, threatened to cut off the cash flow to Democratic congressional candidates if Pelosi does not get behind a proposal to fund do-over primaries in Michigan and Florida, CNN reports. Clinton’s diminishing chances to snag the Democratic nomination are essentially dependent on seating delegates from those states at this summer’s convention.

“CNN has learned that this is an explosive conversation,” CNN’s Ed Henry reported Thursday morning. “Three officials say that Havery Weinstein appeared determined to try and buy Hillary Clinton more time in her battle with Barack Obama.”

Weinstein also pressed Pelosi to stop telling Democratic superdelegates that they should support whoever leads in the delegate count once the primaries are over in June.

“Otherwise,” Henry reports, “Weinstein says he would help cut off money to House Democrats, in particular.”

Weinstein’s outburst is just the latest effort from Hollywood heavy hitters backing Clinton to pressure Pelosi on her superdelegate stand. In March, 20 Clinton fundraisers sent Pelosi a scathing letter urging her to repudiate her view on superdelegates. Signers of that letter, who did not include Weinstein, donated $24 million to Democratic causes, according to the Center for Responsive politics.

The Miramax founder who went on to form The Weinstein Co. has donated $400,000 to Democrats and allied causes since 1990, according to a database search.

Pelosi’s and Weinstein’s offices confirmed to CNN that the two had a conversation, but neither would characterize its tone. Henrys’ sources told him that Pelosi was not cowed by the bombastic figure.

“Don’t ever threaten me again,” she reportedly said.

This video is from CNN’s American Morning, broadcast May 8, 2008.

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David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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