Archive for Sheldon Adelson

GOP woos the Jews: The Awkward Moments

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GOP woos the jews chris christie Sheldon Adelson Jeb Bush

Potential Republican 2016 presidential contenders went out of their way to woo the Jews yesterday, specifically billionaire Sheldon Adleson. The elitest of the elite (read: wealthiest) GOP donors showed up in Las Vegas at a Very Special Event. Members of the Republican Jewish Coalition were holding auditions, and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Ohio Governor John Kasich, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush were strutting their cringe-worthy stuff in one way or another.

Citizens United does it again: How to win buy friends politicians and influence people elections.

Being one of many Jews who would never open my wallet for any of those possible candidates, I tend to find humor in situations like these. And this time I found it courtesy of an article in the Los Angeles Times that included some of the more awkward moments.

Let's begin with how Gov. "Heartbroken" tried to shake off his Bridgegate scandal and how determined he was to rescue his damaged career by kissing Adeleson's ass bank account:

For Christie, Saturday's tryout showed the potential for missteps when governors wade into foreign policy at this early stage. During an otherwise warmly received speech, Christie's mention of a helicopter flight over "occupied territories" — terminology used by Israel's critics — during his trip to Israel sent murmurs and whispers of surprise through the conservative audience.

Oops, "murmurs and whispers of surprise" couldn't have done much to salvage his image. So much for Gov. "Who Moi?" and his efforts to restore some of the credibility he never had.

Scott Walker's anemic overtures to Jews whom he couldn't believably relate to at all went this way:

The candidates' attempts to connect with the audience appeared awkward at times. Walker emphasized that he decorates his house during the holidays with Christmas lights as well as a menorah candle. He also noted that his son's name, Matthew, means "gift from god" in Hebrew.

Via onamatopoeia.wordpress.com

You've heard of Christian Mingle? This "What Happens in Vegas Pays in Vegas Moment" was a little like Jewish Mingle. A speed dating version of courting a roomful of donors. John Kasich's version of flirtation was trying to ingratiate himself by flaunting his first-name basis palsy-walsitude with Sheldon:

Kasich, who had been sitting next to Adelson at the Saturday luncheon, addressed him by name repeatedly throughout his post-meal remarks, as if the conversation was one-on-one.

Allow me to address these opportunists by name: Chris, Scotty, John, Jeb, can we talk? Don't pretend you're BFF with obscenely wealthy Jews when you're not; don't try to impress Jews with embarrassing references to your trip to Israel; and pleaseohplease don't attempt to convince Jews that you, an Evangelical Christian, are "one of them" because your Christian kid's name happens to have a Hebrew origin or meaning.

Seriously, don't.

What next, asking Adelson if he's a Scorpio?

More here.

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Casino company headed by GOP donor Sheldon Adelson says it "likely" broke bribery law

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tick tick boom

As you may recall, Sheldon Adelson and his wife donated nearly $92.8 million to outside political spending groups (including $23 million to Karl Rove's super PAC American Crossroads), per the Center for Responsive Politics. First he backed Newt Gingrich's failed campaign for president, and then Willard Romney's. No one else even came close in terms of trying to buy influence.

And as you also may recall, Adelson is the 12th-richest American, with his wealth estimated at $20.5 billion. So all those donations were a mere drop in the bucket for him. According to this Wall Street Journal report, he plans to spend even more the next time around. If at first you don’t succeed, buy, buy again.

You may also recall that Adelson, who is under DOJ investigation, said President Obama would go after him, but Romney wouldn’t. Why is he in legal hot water?

The Las Vegas Sands Corp., controlled by Romney donor Sheldon Adelson, is the target of a U.S. money-laundering probe.

Company of Newt Gingrich’s big donor, Sheldon Adelson, has alleged ties to bribes, Chinese mob.

Now, per the L.A. Times, the casino company Sheldon McBigBucks heads admits to "probably" breaking the law:

The Las Vegas casino company headed by high-profile Republican donor and billionaire Sheldon Adelson said it probably violated a federal law that prohibits the bribery of foreign government officials.

Las Vegas Sands Corp. said its auditors found that "there were likely violations" of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which bars Americans from bribing foreign officials to secure an advantage. The disclosure was made in a filing Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. [...]

Adelson's company said it did not expect the findings to materially affect its finances or force it to restate financial results.

It must be nice to have enough money to buy your way out of legal problems and into political access and election outcomes.

Rachel Maddow does her usual great job of putting the complicated Sheldon Adelson-related story in context:

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Billionaire GOP donor Sheldon Adelson's motto: If at first you don't succeed, buy, buy again.

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Sheldon Adelson, whose donations to help Newt Gingrich win the GOP primary went toward the 28-minute documentary film, “King of Bain: When Mitt Romney Came to Town,” also did a 180 and spent a whopping $150 million to help Willard M. Romney defeat President Obama. How astute.

That all worked out well for him, didn't it? At least America can be proud that money didn't buy the presidential election... this time.

So what's a loser to do? Well, according to this Wall Street Journal report, spend even more the next time around. If at first you don't succeed, buy, buy again:

"I happen to be in a unique business where winning and losing is the basis of the entire business," said Mr. Adelson, who directly backed one winning and eight losing candidates in the November election, including Mitt Romney. "So I don't cry when I lose. There's always a new hand coming up." [...]

Mr. Adelson's 2012 donations were double what he spent in 2008, and looking ahead, he said, he was ready to again "double" his donations.

"I'll spend that much and more," he said in his first extensive postelection interview. "Let's cut any ambiguity."

Forbes magazine estimates Mr. Adelson's net worth at $21.5 billion.

Citizens United, how can Sheldon ever thank you?

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Sheldon Adelson, who is under DOJ investigation: Obama will go after me, Romney won't

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Two recent flashbacks:

The Las Vegas Sands Corp., controlled by Romney donor Sheldon Adelson, is the target of a U.S. money-laundering probe.

And Company of Newt Gingrich’s big donor, Sheldon Adelson, has alleged ties to bribes, Chinese mob.

So with that in mind, Politico's Mike Allen wondered what Adelson's primary motivation is for supporting Mitt Romney. Could it be the federal criminal investigation into his company's business practices? HuffPo's Ryan Grim reports:

In a wide-ranging, two-hour interview with Politico's Mike Allen published Monday, Adelson himself answered the question.

The top reason Adelson gave for backing Romney and opposing President Barack Obama is "self defense," as Allen put it, referencing the probe into Las Vegas Sands Corp. "Adelson said a second Obama term would bring government 'vilification of people that were against him.' He thinks he would be at the top of that list and contends that he already has been targeted for his political activity," Allen wrote. [...]

In other words, Adelson is spending millions of dollars to curry political favor in the United States, hoping to fend off charges that he spent millions of dollars to curry political favor in Asia.

A kajillionaire is trying his best to buy the election for a guy who he believes will go easy on him legally, and for good reason.

And to think there are people out there who still think we don't need campaign finance reform...

H/t: Dan Froomkin

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WSJ: Las Vegas Sands Corp., controlled by Romney donor Sheldon Adelson, target of U.S. money-laundering probe

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Rachel Maddow does her usual great job of putting a complicated Sheldon Adelson-related story in context in the above video.

Prior to that show, back in January, this story came to light: Company of Newt Gingrich’s big donor, Sheldon Adelson, has alleged ties to bribes, Chinese mob in which there was this from ABC:

The casino company run by the principal financial backer of Newt Gingrich‘s presidential bid, Sheldon Adelson, has been under criminal investigation for the last year by the Department of Justice and the Securities Exchange Commission for alleged bribery of foreign officials, according to corporate documents.

In a separate civil lawsuit, a former executive of the company has alleged that Adelson ordered him to keep quiet about sensitive issues at the Sands casinos on the Chinese island of Macau, including the casinos’ alleged “involvement with Chinese organized crime groups, known as Triads, connected to the junket business.” The triads — Chinese organized crime syndicates — are allegedly involved in organizing high stakes gambling junkets for wealthy Chinese travelers. [...]

The Venetian-Macao, a casino owned by the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, was also the subject of a reported “sex-trade crackdown” that occurred in 2010 on the same day Adelson arrived on the island for meetings with government leaders in Macau, according to published accounts in 2010. Chinese press reported that authorities found more than 100 prostitutes inside the casino.

Today, there is this headline over at HuffPo: Las Vegas Sands Target Of U.S. Money-Laundering Probe, WSJ Says (h/t: @Gr8RDH):

CHICAGO, Aug 4 (Reuters) - Las Vegas Sands Corp, controlled by billionaire Republican donor Sheldon Adelson, is the target of a federal investigation into possible violations of U.S. money-laundering laws, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday.

The Los Angeles U.S. attorney's office is looking into the casino company's handling of the receipt of millions of dollars from a Mexican businessman, later indicted in the United States for drug trafficking, and a former California businessman, later convicted of taking illegal kickbacks, the Journal said, citing lawyers and others involved in the matter... The Journal said there are no indications that actions by Adelson, who is the company's chief executive officer and largest shareholder, are being investigated.

Adelson's name just keeps popping up everywhere, doesn't it?

Tick, tick, tick....

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Romney campaign in 2002: Opponent "can't claim to be disclosing anything until she discloses the returns of her husband."

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How many times a day do we ask Willard Romney to release his tax returns?

And how many times a day do we catch Willard Romney being a liar and/or a hypocrite? The quote by Eric "Etch A Sketch" Ferhnstrom in the blog headline is from an April 2002 piece at Highbeam Business. Our buddy Andrew Kaczynski at Buzzfeed found it:

But in 2002, during his first run for Governor Romney attacked his opponent Shannon O’Brien for not releasing her husband’s tax returns. [...]

The Romney campaign accused O’Brien, who released her tax returns every year since 1998, of being disingenuous by releasing her but not her husband's returns, a former lobbyist who had worked with Enron.

Yes, oh yes, they asked what she was hiding. Pot. Kettle.

Meantime, Willard is happy to accept money from a billionaire sugar daddy whose Chinese Macau-based casino fortune is being investigated.

I wonder, though... how many years of tax returns does Romney require from his prospective running mates?

And now, because it's election season and we'll be extra busy, we GottaAsk:

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VIDEO: Cliff Schecter, Mike Papantonio: Mitt Romney mixes offshore money with criminals

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Our own Cliff Schecter was on Ring of Fire with Mike Papantonio:

 3:50, 5:15

Cliff:

"He either lacks the self-awareness or is so greedy..."

"You don't put your money in non-transparent places and expect a) that good things are going to be done with it, and b) you wouldn't do that unless you obviously have something you need to hide and you're trying to get out of paying taxes."

Pap:

"I have concluded the man is a criminal."

Speaking of criminals, once again, Rachel the Context Queen nails it:

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