Dec 7, 2013
Winning Our Future, Gambling With Democracy
Posted on Jan 27, 2012
Bruck reported that at a Chinese groundbreaking ceremony for one of his casino projects in 2007, Adelson said that although many members of Congress criticize China for human rights violations, he thought that: “People seem to be living a good life in China. Look at the incredible progress China has made. How can someone say they’re doing the wrong thing?” He added that those who don’t approve of the way China is governed “need not go to the country.” Adelson once made a phone call from China to his friend, then-House Republican Whip Tom DeLay, asking for the defeat of a human rights resolution opposing China’s 2008 Olympic Games bid. The resolution never made it to a vote because of the press of other legislative business, and China hosted the games.
Their mutual hostility to unions brought Adelson and Gingrich together, reported Nicholas Confessore and Eric Lipton in The New York Times this month. Adelson opposed the culinary workers trying to organize his Venetian casino in Las Vegas. He also helped finance a campaign for state anti-union legislation. As the dispute intensified, Confessore and Lipton reported, Adelson turned to Gingrich for advice for his campaign. Gingrich backed the measure.
The Adelsons, in a statement reported by Bloomberg, said “Our motivation for helping Newt is simple and should not be mistaken for anything other than the fact that we hold our friendship with him very dear and are doing what we can as private citizens to support his candidacy.”
I’ve never heard a big contributor say anything different. But that’s not the way the world operates. Such donors win special access to presidents, members of Congress or anyone else who has received their money. Too often, they get special favors—consideration when it comes to legislation or policy.
As the campaign continues, becoming more expensive, there will be more super PACs with big donors who have their own favors to seek or causes to promote.
There is a saying in casinos like Adelson’s: All debts must be paid.
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