After days of denying any inappropriate conduct, Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) is taking responsibility for the picture of a man's crotch he tweeted last week and countless other photographs he sent to at least six women in the last few years.
"To be clear, the picture was of me, and I sent it," Weiner said at a highly publicized press conference Monday, when shirtless pictures of him that he sent to women were posted on the conservative website BigGovernment.com.
He had previously maintained that his Twitter account had been hacked and that the picture had not been posted by him.
Weiner, who is married to one of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's top aides, Huma Abedin, also revealed having long-term online (but not sexual, he says) relationships with other women. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Monday called for an ethics investigation of Weiner.
Weiner now stands as one of three New York representatives in the past year to become embroiled in sex-tinged scandals. Rep. Eric Massa (D-N.Y.) resigned last year after being accused of groping male staff members. In February, Rep. Chris Lee (R-N.Y.) resigned after Gawker published shirtless pictures of him that he emailed to a woman he met on Craigslist.
Although Weiner said at the press conference he won't be resigning and his ambitions of seeking New York City's mayoral office are well known, his donors may not be as ready to move on as he is.
During the past few election cycles, money has not been a problem for Weiner's campaign. He has consistently raised much more cash than his competitors. And during the 2010 election cycle, he raised $1.6 million while his Republican challenger, Robert Turner, raised barely $379,000.
Weiner's top donors hailed from his home state and belonged to the real estate and law industries, as well as the securities and investment and television and music industries, the Center for Responsive Politics finds.
Weiner, who first won a congressional seat in 1998, is also heavily funded by pro-Israel special interest groups. Many politically active Jews are already miffed because Weiner did not attend the Israel Day parade in New York City this past weekend. He canceled all public appearances after members of the media kept pressing him for answers regarding the picture he posted on Twitter last week.
Weiner also received some money from leadership PACs and human rights PACs during the 2010 election cycle, but most of his money came from individual contributions.
People and political action committees assoicated with the following coporations, unions and special interest groups have contributed the most to Weiner during his congressional carreer:
Despite having been criticized by many media organization this week, Weiner also actually holds assets in printing and publishing companies, including the New York Times, which has reported heavily on his troubles.