GOP campaign committees call on Democrats to return Franken donations

GOP campaign committees call on Democrats to return Franken donations
© Greg Nash

Republican House and Senate campaign committees are calling on Democrats to return donations from Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenFranken targets senators from both parties in new comedy tour Al Franken on another Senate run: 'I'm keeping my options open' Andrew Cuomo and the death of shame MORE (D-Minn.) in light of allegations that he groped and kissed a woman without her consent.

Leeann Tweeden, a radio anchor and sports broadcaster, on Thursday accused Franken of sexual misconduct and provided a photo showing him groping her while she was asleep.

She also said he kissed her forcibly during a rehearsal for a skit during a USO tour. Franken issued a short apology in an initial statement, then followed up with a longer one in which he called for an ethics investigation into himself.

The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), the House GOP campaign arm, has called on Democrats to return Franken's donations and highlighted the seven Democratic candidates and one House incumbent who have received $1,500 each from Franken. The races called out in the NRCC press release are among some of the most competitive in 2018.

“These allegations are disgusting and Democrats who took Senator Franken’s campaign money need to take action,” said NRCC spokesman Matt Gorman. “Return his donations and do it immediately."

The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), the Senate GOP’s campaign arm, is also calling on Senate Democrats who are up for reelection in 2018 and have received campaign contributions from Franken to give back the money.

“Franken has been a longtime supporter of [Sen. Tammy] Baldwin, donating $15,000 to her campaigns. If Baldwin won’t immediately denounce Franken and return his donations, it will be clear she puts partisan politics over basic decency,” one NRSC press release says about the Wisconsin Democrat who faces reelection next cycle.

The series of press releases from the NRSC also highlight Democratic Sens. Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterSenate GOP signals they'll help bail out Biden's Fed chair Senate to vote next week on Freedom to Vote Act Democrats struggle to gain steam on Biden spending plan MORE (Mont.), Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineSenate Democrats ditch Hyde amendment for first time in decades Fill the Eastern District of Virginia  Defense & National Security — Military starts giving guidance on COVID-19 vaccine refusals MORE (Va.), Joe ManchinJoe ManchinOvernight Energy & Environment — Presented by the American Petroleum Institute — Democrats address reports that clean energy program will be axed Overnight Health Care — Presented by Carequest — Colin Powell's death highlights risks for immunocompromised Progressive coalition unveils ad to pressure Manchin on Biden spending plan MORE (W.Va.), Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyBiden to have audience with pope, attend G20 summit Biden taps former Indiana Sen. Donnelly as ambassador to Vatican Republicans may regret restricting reproductive rights MORE (Ind.), Debbie StabenowDeborah (Debbie) Ann StabenowSenate Democrats dial down the Manchin tension Democrats surprised, caught off guard by 'framework' deal Congress facing shutdown, debt crisis with no plan B MORE (Mich.), Bob CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseyDemocrats struggle to gain steam on Biden spending plan Building back better by investing in workers and communities Barletta holds wide lead over GOP rivals in early poll of Pennsylvania governor race MORE (Pa.), Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonNASA adviser quits after request to change name of James Webb telescope denied NASA won't rename James Webb Space Telescope despite controversy FAA unveils new system to reduce planes' times on taxiway MORE (Fla.), Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownAmerica can end poverty among its elderly citizens Senate GOP signals they'll help bail out Biden's Fed chair Building back better by investing in workers and communities MORE (Ohio) and Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillEx-Rep. Akin dies at 74 Republicans may regret restricting reproductive rights Sunday shows preview: States deal with fallout of Ida; Texas abortion law takes effect MORE (Mo.).

Later on Thursday, McCaskill's campaign said it will donate $30,000 she's gotten from Franken's political action committee to a charity in Missouri, according to the Kansas City Star.

Abby Finkenauer, a Democratic House candidate running against Rep. Rod Blum (R-Iowa), will return the $1,500 in campaign cash she's received from Franken, her campaign said. 
This story was updated at 1:45 p.m.