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Republican governors’ group returns Wynn Resorts’ $100,000 donation, cancels conference at Wynn property

Posted at 5:08 PM, Jan 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-29 17:08:38-05

The Republican Governors Association is returning a $100,000 contribution from Steve Wynn’s resorts company amid allegations of sexual misconduct on the part of the major GOP donor.

The governors’ group is also canceling its contract with Wynn Resorts to hold its 2020 annual conference at the Wynn Las Vegas casino and hotel.

The organization says it will not accept any future contributions from Steve Wynn or Wynn Resorts, where he is founder and CEO, “unless the allegations against Mr. Wynn are proven to be false.”

The group’s move comes in the wake of The Wall Street Journal’s Friday report detailing numerous allegations against Wynn. Wynn has denied the allegations.

“The allegations made against Mr. Wynn in the Wall Street Journal’s report on Friday are extremely serious,” said Jon Thompson, the Republican Governors Association communications director.

Thompson said the organization had made a $10,000 non-refundable deposit in July 2017 to Wynn Resorts after signing the contract for its 2020 conference. He said the group “will incur a large financial penalty for canceling the contract.”

Steve Wynn made the $100,000 donation in September 2017. The organization, Thompson said, cannot return $2.5 million in previous contributions from Wynn Resorts, donated over the last 18 years.

“That money has been spent over several other election cycles, no longer exists and therefore cannot be returned,” Thompson said. “Those contributions were from the Wynn Resorts company — not personally from Mr. Wynn — as part of our corporate membership program. Wynn Resorts will no longer hold membership in our corporate membership program.”

Wynn, who has a history of donating to both parties but more recently has given heavily to Republicans, had also served as Republican National Committee finance chair. He resigned from that fundraising post over the weekend.