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June 26, 2012 7:22 pm

Is Sheldon Adelson Against America’s Interests?

avatar by Ronn Torossian

Dr. Miriam and Mr. Sheldon Edelson at the 2011 AIPAC "Better Together" policy Conference. Photo: Maxine Dovere.

The Sunday edition of the New York Times this week featured an editorial vilifying casino magnate Sheldon Adelson yet again.  It stated that he is pouring money into a political agenda that is “wildly at odds” with the American nation’s needs. An accusation that the NYT hasn’t leveled against George Soros or the Labor Unions who have given similar amounts in support of a leftist agenda.

The editorial states that Adelson is “the perfect illustration of the squalid state of political money, spending sums greater than any political donation in history to advance his personal, ideological and financial agenda, which is wildly at odds with the nation’s needs.”  Does every American – in fact, every person voting in a democratic system not and vote based their “personal, ideological and financial agenda?” Is the Times saying that Adelson can’t express his positions simply because he is a self-made billionaire, and is able to do so to a greater extent then others? Isn’t that what every poor man seeks to become? A self-made rich man? Is that not the essence of greatness in America – where people are allowed to fight for their ideals with all of their resources?

Under the headline, “What Sheldon Adelson wants,” the New York Times suggests Adelson is disgusted by the idea of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He considers a Palestinian state “a steppingstone for the destruction of Israel and the Jewish people,” and says he is “concerned over Obama’s plans to raise taxes for the wealthy.” Continuing: “Mr. Adelson’s other overriding interest is his own wallet. He rails against the president’s ‘socialist-style economy’ and redistribution of wealth, but what he really fears is Mr. Obama’s proposal to raise taxes on companies like his that make a huge amount of money overseas. Ninety percent of the earnings of his company, the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, come from hotel and casino properties in Singapore and Macau. (The latter is located, by the way, in China, a socialist country the last time we checked.)”

Many minority communities, (including one may have thought, that of Mr. Obama himself) encourage their members to display exactly the same values as Adelson – vote on what is best for your people and your pocketbook.  Is that not the American way? As Adelson once told Forbes Magazine, he’s “against very wealthy ­people attempting to or influencing elections. But 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. And they stay below the radar by creating a network of corporations to funnel their money. I have my own philosophy and I’m not ashamed of it. I gave the money because there is no other legal way to do it. I don’t want to go through ten different corporations to hide my name. I’m proud of what I do and I’m not looking to escape recognition.”

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He puts his money where his mouth is – legally and openly. The son of Jewish immigrants, Adelson grew up in a lower-class family, dropped out of City College of New York, and was attracted to the Republican party for a fairly simple reason. As his wealth increased; he asked, “Why is it fair that I should be paying a higher percentage of taxes than anyone else?” And that of course is a damn good reason to oppose Obama. And what exactly is wrong with that?

When the New York Times criticizes Adelson as a man who has “made more money in the last three years than any other American”, and comments on his success overseas, it fails to provide the context of other wealthy Americans supporting the other side of the political spectrum who make money overseas. Major Obama donors like DreamWorks big-wig Jeffrey Katzenberg (who is under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission for bribing Chinese officials to secure exclusive film rights in the communist country), former Google chief executive Eric Schmidt, who is worth $7 billion, and others, all made money overseas.  The NYT isn’t criticizing them.  Yes, people vote and donate to candidates who support their interests.  What’s the news flash here?

Regarding his position on Israel, Adelson and his wife are simply proud and tough Jews whose charitable foundation gives more than two hundred-million dollars annually to Jewish causes. The man simply is standing up for what is right and for his people.  As he has said:  “The two-state solution is a stepping stone for the destruction of Israel and the Jewish people.”  He couldn’t be clearer: “I really don’t care what happens to Iran. I am for Israel.”

Sheldon Adelson is a heroic man who should be recognized as such.  He thinks quite clearly and puts his money where his mouth is – He considers, “Is It Good For America”? and that’s how he makes his decisions.

Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5WPR, a leading PR Agency.  He is Author of PR book “For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations.”

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