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Letter: The man who would be king
6/21/2012 1:01:00 PM
Two hundred and thirty six years ago, the United States of America declared independence from Great Britain. The Declaration of Independence justified the independence of the United States by listing colonial grievances against King George III, and by asserting certain natural and legal rights, including a right of revolution.
The Declaration has come to be respected as an important statement on human rights. Its second sentence reads: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Though it may be self evident that we are all created equal, and though we now are generally free to pursue our happiness; it is doubtful that even Thomas Jefferson could have envisioned the likes of Sheldon Adelson. In freely pursuing his happiness, Mr. Adelson has become a tremendously wealthy international casino magnate and political puppet master. A major source of his income flows from the Chinese gambling district of Macau where he has been a major investor. With respect to this investment, his company, Las Vegas Sands, is currently under investigation by the SEC and the Justice Department for possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
Mr. Adelson is also up to his neck in Israeli politics and is a backer of Republican Jewish organizations. In 2007, Adelson made an unsuccessful bid to purchase the Israeli newspaper, Maariv. When this failed, he proceeded with plans to publish a free daily newspaper to compete with a newspaper he had co-founded in 2006 called, Israeli. The first edition of his new newspaper, Israel HaYom, was published on July 30, 2007.
Fortunately for us, foreign citizens are prohibited from making direct contributions to candidates and political committees participating in U.S. elections. Unfortunately for us, Mr. Adelson holds American citizenship.
Mr. Adelson has already donated more than $30,000,000 this year to super PACs backing Newt Gingrich, who dropped out of the race (after promising he wouldn’t); and to Mr. Romney who apparently isn’t yet wealthy enough to finance his own campaign without the help of someone much wealthier than he. (Sheldon’s net worth approaches $25,000,000,000; while middle class Mitt has only around one hundredth that amount - $250,000,000 - to his name.)
Mr. Aldelson has committed $10,000,000 to the Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies, founded by Karl “the brain” Rove (who sold us George II); and he is rumored to be considering donating another $10,000,000 to 501(c)(4) “issue groups” aligned with billionaire oil and chemical executives, Charles and David Koch. Unlike super PACs, these groups are not required to disclose their donors. Mr. Adelson has also contributed $5,000,000 to Young Guns, a super PAC tied to House majority leader, Cantor, and $5,000,000 to the Congressional Leadership Fund, another Republican super PAC.
Mr. Adelson has suggested that he alone is willing to spend up to $100,000,000 to defeat Mr. Obama. Since there are roughly 30 million Independent votes up for grabs in this very partisan election; and since Mitt will need about half of those to win, Mr. Adelson has calculated that he may need to pay as much as $100 million for those crucial 15 million Independent votes. That pencils out to $6.66 per vote. But that’s not all...Sheldon, if you purchase the 15 million votes now, we’ll throw in the political influence for free! This chills my all-American spine.
But not all Republicans are on board with this rule bending. In an interview by Judy Woodruff of PBS, Senator John McCain said, “Much of Mr. Adelson’s casino profits that go to him come from his casino in Macau, which says that obviously, maybe in a roundabout way foreign money is coming into an American political campaign. That is a great deal of money, and we need a level playing field and we need to go back to the realization that Teddy Roosevelt had that we have to have a limit on the flow of money, and that corporations are not people.”
Senator McCain commented further, “I guarantee you, Judy, there will be scandals. There is too much money washing around political campaigns today. And it will take scandals, and then maybe we can have the Supreme Court go back and revisit this issue.”
Until then, All hail! King Sheldon!
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