There was a time when politicians ‑ including some in Erie County ‑ enthusiastically sought the backing of entertainment mogul Harvey Weinstein.
He lent fame, panache and money to close Buffalo friends like Daniel J. Ward, the former Amherst supervisor and 2003 Democratic candidate for county executive.
But now Weinstein is under fire from practically every corner of the nation’s political and entertainment world after the New York Times reported he sexually harassed women for decades.
Amid the outcry, some will recall the 2003 fund-raiser Weinstein threw at Manhattan’s posh Four Seasons Restaurant for Ward, attracting almost 200 of the state’s Democratic elite and raking in about $100,000 for the unsuccessful challenge to incumbent Republican Joel A. Giambra.
On that night, the Weinstein affair attracted the likes of then-Sen. Hillary Clinton, then-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, and then-state Democratic Chairman Herman D. Farrell.
Weinstein was Ward’s University at Buffalo pal, along with his brother Dennis E. Ward (now a State Supreme Court justice), and Eugene M. Fahey (now a Court of Appeals judge). Weinstein told The Buffalo News that night that they turned him on to politics as he was beginning to promote concerts and getting his start in the business.
“I’ll tell you why Dan Ward is going to win,” Weinstein told the crowd that night, “because I’ve never lost.”
Suddenly, things have changed for Harvey Weinstein, who was ousted from his own company after the Times' report.
Story topics: Political notebook