Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

Can Sheldon Adelson be the Conservative Answer to George Soros?

April 25, 2012 9:24 am 0 comments

George Soros.

Billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson recently made another super PAC donation of $5 million. This time the recipient was the GOP establishment run Congressional Leadership Fund, and the gift brought his family’s total super PAC contributions this election cycle to over $21.5 million.

In a February interview with Forbes Magazine, Adelson implied that his activism was in part spawned by a rival on the far opposite side of the political spectrum; financier, post-American globalist, patron of myriad liberal causes and anti-Israel groups, George Soros. “As long as it’s doable I’m going to do it. Because I know that guys like Soros have been doing it for years, if not decades,” he said.

On the surface, the two behemoth givers appear to be mirror images of each other. Both Jewish, of European descent, born just three years apart and listed 8 spaces away from each other on this year’s Forbes Billionaires List, each with fortunes estimated at more than $20 billion. A Fundrace search covering the current election cycle shows $103,000 in contributions from Soros, solely to Democratic candidates and $117,400 from Adelson exclusively pledged to Republicans. According to some estimates the 2003-4 and 2005-6 record Soros set in investing $27 million in liberal get-out-the-vote and media campaigns was topped by Adelson in the 2007-8 cycle in which he spent over $30 million.

When it comes to super PAC’s however, the contrast between the two men’s respective modus operandi couldn’t be starker. Whereas Adelson has splurged, Soros has remained on the sidelines and according to Jane Mayer writing in the New Yorker, “an informed source placed the probability that Soros would donate to a pro-Obama Super PAC at no more than ten per cent.”

It is true that Soros’ lack of engagement may be influenced by other factors, but this marked dissimilitude also appears to be indicative of the polar extremes by which the two men view the ‘exercising of influence,’ and there is much that Adelson can learn from his Hungarian counterpart.

Soros is a thinker and consummate strategist. He has authored 9 books, and stated that when starting a private investment firm in 1973, he hoped to earn $500,000 after five years to support his ambitions as a writer and philosopher. Since 1979 his funds have distributed $8 billion to liberal causes through his Open Society Foundations, described by the New York Times as “a sprawling constellation of more than 30 organizations that operate in places as diverse as Baltimore, Jakarta, the Kremlin and Congress.”

Soros understands well the power of media influence and has placed a high priority on acquiring it, but he has also demonstrated an understanding of its subtlety. While he is not the outright owner of any media outlet of note, his influence extends to over 30 major news organizations and, according to the Business and Media Institute of the Media Research Center has included funding of over $48 million. Vehicles for this influence include groups such as ProPublica, Media Matters, The Center for Public Integrity, The Center for Investigative Reporting, The Columbia Journalism Review, the Organization of News Ombudsmen and the Investigative News Network.

Adelson is an American patriot and is certainly no fool, but his approach is at times more impulsive and gung ho. His most ambitious political projects were risky and are now largely defunct or close to it, most notably the advocacy group Freedom Watch founded to counter the influence of Soros and others, and the current presidential campaign of Newt Gingrich. When asked by Forbes about his political plans should Gingrich’s campaign fail he said, “I just haven’t decided that yet and will wait to see what happens,” further indicative of his lack of strategic planning.

A champion of America’s pro-Israel community his philanthropic successes include the founding of the pivotal Birthright Israel program, the building of an educational campus in Las Vegas and investments in medical research. He owns the most circulated Israeli daily Israel Hayom but has no media interests in the United States. To put things in perspective, the world’s most read online news outlet, the Huffington Post was founded and financed to the point of its sale to AOL with less capital than Adelson has donated to super PACs so far this season. In truth Adelson is a newcomer to a game Soros has been playing for over 30 years.

The super PAC option is an investment in firepower, a shock and awe, short term strategy. Soros however understands the long term viability and effectiveness of building a well networked ‘insurgency.’

If Adelson is to be potent in his efforts to counterbalance Soros’ meddling, he needs to consider a radical remaking of his strategy. First and foremost he would do well to seek and employ the assistance of those able partners and capable foot soldiers that share his ideals and have walked the road before him. Grassroots groups would unite behind his infectious bravado and he can leverage his giving to direct their efforts in concert. Together with additional investment in cutting edge media platforms, watchdogs and journalism programs he would be well on the way to establishing a lasting infrastructure of inspired influence.

The author is the Editor of the Algemeiner Journal and Director of the GJCF and can be e-mailed at

The Algemeiner is the fastest growing Jewish newspaper in America. Your one stop source for all news, commentary and analysis from Israel and Jewish communities around the world. Be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.

Current day month ye@r *


  • Arts and Culture Features Opinion Playwrite Iddo Netanyahu: ‘Hitler Always Talked About Peace’ (INTERVIEW)

    Playwrite Iddo Netanyahu: ‘Hitler Always Talked About Peace’ (INTERVIEW)

    Late Friday night, on November 13, I was headed for bed when an ominous news bulletin flashed across my computer screen – something about a shooting in Paris. It wasn’t long before the “small number” of shootings and casualties began to double and triple and quadruple. The locations of attacks seemed crazily disorganized, and the tweets and videos became more and more horrifying. It was a long night for many stunned observers. We tried to understand what was happening, and […]

    Read more →
  • Israel Theater BDS Gives Belgian-Jewish Actress New Lease on Life in Tel Aviv

    BDS Gives Belgian-Jewish Actress New Lease on Life in Tel Aviv

    In an interview with the Israeli site nrg on Wednesday, Belgian-Jewish stage actress Noemi Schlosser recounted immigrating to Israel after her career in Europe was destroyed by BDS. Schlosser said she had enjoyed success in Belgium and international acclaim until she was targeted by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement for her pro-Israel stance during Operation Protective Edge — last summer’s war against Hamas in Gaza. She described watching the theaters where she performed go from packed to nearly empty over a short period of […]

    Read more →
  • Israel Sports In Israel for Champions League Soccer Match, Chelsea Manager Says Team Not Worried About Security Situation

    In Israel for Champions League Soccer Match, Chelsea Manager Says Team Not Worried About Security Situation

    The manager of the Chelsea Football Club said on Monday that he is looking forward to playing in Israel this week against Maccabi Tel Aviv, in spite of the security situation, Israeli news site nrg reported. Jose Murinho, who is already in Israel with his team to compete against Maccabi in the Champions League soccer match, was  asked whether he was worried about the current wave of Palestinian violence sweeping the country. “I have no worries at all regarding the security situation, and neither do […]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Opinion In the Middle East, ‘The Tail Wags the Dog’ (REVIEW)

    In the Middle East, ‘The Tail Wags the Dog’ (REVIEW)

    Blaming the West has become the most pervasive method of teaching for many Middle East studies departments, which are becoming the heart of pop-culture academia. Efraim Karsh, a distinguished professor of Middle Eastern studies at Bar-Ilan University and professor emeritus at King’s College London, in his latest book The Tail Wags the Dog: International Politics and the Middle East, dispels this myth. “Britain’s ‘original sin,’ if such was indeed committed, lay not in the breaking up of Middle Eastern unity but […]

    Read more →
  • Features Spirituality/Tradition With Popularity and Sales up, ‘Mensch on a Bench’ Has Much to Smile About

    With Popularity and Sales up, ‘Mensch on a Bench’ Has Much to Smile About – The Mensch on a Bench is so much happier now than he was a year ago. Look carefully and you will notice that, whereas the previous Mensch had a decidedly worried look, this latest version of the popular Hanukkah toy is flashing an exuberant grin. Is the erstwhile Mensch smiling because he expects to be in some 100,000 homes by year’s end? In truth, the change in visage was suggested last year by the “sharks” on ABC’s Shark Tank […]

    Read more →
  • Music US & Canada Adam Sandler Updates Famous ‘Chanukah Song,’ Includes Hulk Hogan, David Beckham and Scarlett Johansson in Latest Version

    Adam Sandler Updates Famous ‘Chanukah Song,’ Includes Hulk Hogan, David Beckham and Scarlett Johansson in Latest Version

    Actor Adam Sandler unveiled a new version of his famous “Chanukah Song” on Saturday, adding a slew of Jewish celebrities to the ditty’s updated lyrics. The comedian — who released the original song about being Jewish during Christmas in 1996 — performed the latest version of the comedic track during the New York Comedy Festival at Carnegie Hall. Marvel Comics creator Stan Lee, actor Jake Gyllenhaal and “the two guys who founded Google” are among the famous Jewish celebrities now in the line up. Sandler also included lyrics about Star Wars‘ Princess […]

    Read more →
  • Music US & Canada Famed Israeli Violinist Itzhak Perlman to Receive Presidential Medal of Freedom

    Famed Israeli Violinist Itzhak Perlman to Receive Presidential Medal of Freedom – Famed Israeli violinist Itzhak Perlman will be among the 17 recipients of America’s Presidential Medal of Freedom next week. He is the fourth Israeli to receive the highest civilian honor in the US. “A native of Israel, he came to the United States at a young age and was introduced to Americans broadly when he appeared on the ‘Ed Sullivan Show’ in 1958. Mr. Perlman made his Carnegie Hall debut in 1963 when he was 18,” a White House […]

    Read more →
  • Features Spirituality/Tradition Don’t Think Israel is a Luxury Destination? Check Out These 6 Spots

    Don’t Think Israel is a Luxury Destination? Check Out These 6 Spots – While Israel is a common destination for cultural and religious pilgrimages, travelers seeking the best hotels, fine dining, and upscale relaxation less often find themselves in the Holy Land. Yet in recent years, the country’s burgeoning tech scene has attracted a business crowd accustomed to ritzy accommodation. Besides, the permanent summer of Tel Aviv and Eilat makes them prime destinations for European vacationers. Israel’s populace managed to tame the swamps and irrigate the desert — so going luxury should […]

    Read more →