RSN Fundraising Banner
FB Share
Email This Page
add comment

Reich writes: "Forget the Lincoln Bedroom. The Adelsons and their kids will have the run of the White House, including the Oval Office. Hey, they'll take over the Old Executive Building next door and turn it into a casino."

Portrait, Robert Reich, 08/16/09. (photo: Perian Flaherty)
Portrait, Robert Reich, 08/16/09. (photo: Perian Flaherty)

Who Is Sheldon Adelson, What Has Newt Promised Him?

By Robert Reich, Robert Reich's Blog

25 January 12


heldon Adelson, the billionaire casino owner, is now the poster boy for what's terribly wrong with our campaign-finance system. Adelson, you may recall, had, before the South Carolina Republican primary, donated $5 million to the pro-Gingrich Super Pac "Winning Our Future" - giving Newt a pile of money for negative advertising against Mitt Romney in South Carolina.

Adelson has done it again. He and his wife Marian have cut another $5 million check for Gingrich to go negative on Romney in Florida. The money won't go as far as it did in South Carolina - TV ads cost a lot more in Florida - but it's enough to give the Grinch a solid footing.

And, who knows? The Adelsons are billionaires. They might decide to put in another $5 million or perhaps $20 million into Gingrich's Super Pac. The point is, there's no limit.

Do you know who Sheldon and Marian Adelson are? Do you know what Gingrich has promised them, or what they think they'll get out of a Grinch presidency? I don't. But if Newt becomes President of the United States, they'll be singularly responsible. And we better find out, because Newt will owe them big time.

Forget the Lincoln Bedroom. The Adelsons and their kids will have the run of the White House, including the Oval Office. Hey, they'll take over the Old Executive Building next door and turn it into a casino.

Never before in the history of American politics has a single couple given more money to a single candidate and had a bigger impact - all courtesy of the Supreme Court and its grotesque decisions that speech is money and corporations are people under the First Amendment.

Robert Reich is Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. He has served in three national administrations, most recently as secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton. He has written thirteen books, including "The Work of Nations," "Locked in the Cabinet," "Supercapitalism" and his latest book, "AFTERSHOCK: The Next Economy and America's Future." His 'Marketplace' commentaries can be found on and iTunes. your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+135 # fredboy 2012-01-25 13:12
Newt just spoke in Southwest Florida before 6,000 wild-eyed, drooling hyper right wing nuts. Most seemed to be cautiously protecting their wives and daughters from his glare, fearing Newt's third wife had become ill and he was shopping. The frenzy sort of made me feel like I was in Germany in 1933.
+30 # Muffy787 2012-01-25 14:36
You are so funny, sadly maybe too much of it is true.
+36 # bugbuster 2012-01-25 14:53
As bad as things are for some of us these days, I think they're not as bad for as many as they were when Hitler rose to power.

If they were and Newt was in the spotlight, I would be looking for refuge in some other country.

A man like that would loose the dogs of war on his people like an Assad or a Gadaffy at the slightest provocation.
+18 # Majikman 2012-01-25 23:45
um..Bug, those in Nazi Germany who waited found it impossible to get out. I've been telling my nieces & nephews for some time, "Learn Spanish, keep your passport updated and head south or get active and be prepared to risk all".
+102 # bugbuster 2012-01-25 13:18
Some (not all) drug users become addicts. Some (not all) casino users become addicts.

Therefore, drug dealers and casino owners are morally equivalent.

We are known by the company we keep. I've been following Newt Gingrich's public career since the Clinton era. He has no moral compass.
+53 # Buddha 2012-01-25 13:48
Notice Newt now that his PAC is getting so lavishly funded isn't whining about Citizens United like he was when he lost Iowa because he was out-funded.

Seriously, this says so much about the GOP. Their two top candidates, one the poster-boy for "Gordon Gekko" SuperRich vulture capitalism, and the other the SuperRich's lobbyist.
+3 # bobby t. 2012-01-25 13:51
adelson was first to open casinos in machow. he asked win to help him and win thought it was a stupid idea. last time i looked, machow (i know can't spell)was making more a year than vegas. win is in there now. so shelly makes lots of money and is playing his cards right about the need to protect israel. obama will get money too if he seems to want to protect israel too, as he said last night in his state of the union speech. money talks and bs walks.
+37 # Todd Williams 2012-01-25 13:53
I suggest some big time investigative reorting on the Adelson family. Like all roaches, they hate bright lights and will scuttle into a dark crack.
+30 # brianf 2012-01-25 13:56
Sheldon Adleson used to be a Democrat, but after he became rich, he became a Republican. Why? He didn't think he should have to pay more taxes than people who made less than him. Money is everything to him, and he thinks Gingrich will help him make/keep more of it.

He initially got rich by helping found Comdex and now owns the Venitian in Las Vegas, among other things.
+53 # artful 2012-01-25 14:06
Never forget. Newt is a delusional sociopath.He might well represent the ultimate nightmare for US President.
+70 # Elroys 2012-01-25 14:07
I have 2 very simple questions. What will it take for the American people to wake up, smell the pungent odor of this deeply corrupt system and change it?
Is it even possible for conservatives to understand that their country is being sold off to the highest bidders, and it's not them?
+47 # ABen 2012-01-25 14:13
To say that Newt is a person of questionable moral and ethical would be at the extreme end of understatements .
+63 # Todd Williams 2012-01-25 14:14
I took my own advice and did a preliminary web search for the dude and boy oh boy, was I shocked. This is one bad billionaire.
He is in big trouble over bribes for Asian casino licenses. He's apparently trying to manipulate Israel's government by starting up his own newspaper to extole Bibi's right wing politics. He's also very anti-union having fought with unions years ago in Law Vegas. He's also a very good pal of Tom Delay. This guy sure knows how to spread his cash around. He's found the perfect lab dog buddy in Newt.
+22 # Douglas Jack 2012-01-25 14:18
For those interested in knowing who our new master is,
For those interested in becoming respectful masters of our planet.
+34 # lcarrier 2012-01-25 14:20
Maybe the Supreme Court thought that if they allowed unions to contribute to SuperPacs, we'd be tolerant of donations from other sources. Are you kidding me? How many unions can afford to spend $10 million just for a couple of primary elections?
+34 # Michael Lee Bugg 2012-01-25 15:57
Great point! Plus it irks me when Republicans complain that union dues are given to candidates, almost always Democrats, that the union members may not want to support. Through my 401K and other mutual funds I have stock in over 600 American companies induing all of the 500 largest, and they all give money to the Republicans that I despise!!! My money! But that is no problem to the selfative Republicans. And as my 82 year old mother pointed out, if corporations are now the same as human persons why are they not subject to the same $3500.00 limit?!
+17 # MidwestTom 2012-01-25 16:00
Most reports indicate that Obama will have raised over $1.0 BILLION by the election. Five million is 1/2 of 1.0 percent. Not a really big number. Romney apparently has the backing of the big Republican money. I do not believe the Newt stands a chance, which makes me wonder where the GOP is going to spend their money. If we don't see a ton of money flow to Newt soon, you can bet that the GOP, like the last time, is concentrating on Congress.
+9 # jimyoung 2012-01-26 03:55
Seems like Wrestling promoters would be proud of the noise generated distracting people on the Presidential race so they won't notice all the ALEC type crap they sneak in through the depth and breadth (reportedly 2,000 or more) legions of machine-like political offices and supporter/bosse s at all other levels throughout the country.
+51 # Larry 2012-01-25 14:22
Yes, Gingrich has it all: The megalomania, the narcissism, the cruelty, the profound (his favorite word) lack of empathy, the bigotry, the arrogance, the hypocrisy; the unshakable conviction that he is infallible; that his political adversaries are not only wrong, but twisted and evil things to be destroyed.

This horrid man perfectly embodies the unabashed Id of American conservatism. As a dictator, he would be terrifying. As president, he would become a dictator.
+1 # Cambridgemac 2012-01-28 13:33
Small correction: He would become our 3rd dictator. The last one and the current one have the power to put a bullet in your head - and don't need Congress to tell them when or where to wage war or how much to spend on it....
+12 # Chick Dante 2012-01-25 14:23
As I understand it, Adelson has interests in casino gambling in Nevada. I think it reasonable to conclude that Newt has taken the very meaning of "un-lobbying" to a new level by running for president on behalf of his well paying clients. Not even Jack Abramoff went that far.

Actually, I like Abramoff for President better than Newt (who attended my church in Georgia about every two years when his term was about to expire). I think the former has a conscience.
-88 # Robt Eagle 2012-01-25 14:36
Didn't Obama give half a billion to Solyndra, where one of his largest camoaign supporters was a heavy weight owner? Why is it ok for Dems, but the Republicans are bad when they do exactly the same thing...wait Newt hasn't even done anything wrong yet, but he is hung already??? And we have the info beforehand!!!
+34 # BradFromSalem 2012-01-25 15:22
Solyndra was a company that the US government played the role of venture capitalist. This was not a unique occurrence of the US Government taking on this role. And even Mitt Romney will tell you, sometimes the investments don't work out. Overall the investments from this program have panned out.

It is not in any way the same as a company investing in a candidate.
+42 # Michael Lee Bugg 2012-01-25 16:17
My understanding is that Bush started the money flowing to Solyndra as his token gesture to alternative energy development. How many BILLION did Bush give away to contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan for 'no bid' contracts for "reconstruction " (wink wink) of those two lost causes, and do you recall the two occasions that in excess of $8 billion in cash was sent to Iraq and it just disappeared?! At least Solyndra was a real American business that just suffered the fatal combination of bad management in a business with small profit margins. Republicans make it a habit to hand out subsidies to oil companies and corrupt defense contractors and dare anyone to do something about it. And don't forget that Bush's "Medicare reform" of 2003 forbade Medicare from negotiating lower drug prices which will cost taxpayers countless billions! Find a more costly example than these belonging to Bush then get back to us!
+21 # Cassandra2012 2012-01-25 19:02
Hasn't done anything wrong yet? You must be kidding! Aside from the serial adultery (while he was pillorying Clinton over the Monica affair!), pretending to be the poster child for "family values" as he served divorce papers on his first wife as she was emerging from breast cancer surgery!, he was also taken to task for many unethical misdeeds.
Wake up!
+10 # jimyoung 2012-01-26 04:25
How does that compare to the $700 billion given to the banksters in the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (that Bush signed)? How's that little help for his friends working out for Main St? It's only 1,400 times as much for the first bit of help.

Bush was also a bit slow on halting the attempt to stuff the SPR (Strategic Petroleum Reserve) to 99.5% capacity during the summer of 2008 instead of releasing or threatening to release some of it to spoil speculators' plans. (It isn't supposed to add oil at over $40 a barrel but they were still adding oil as it reached $147 a barrel.) The artificial shortage had me paying $5.20 a gallon for Diesel (highest prices in history) and (in my humble opinion) was a major factor in precipitating the financial collapse when people couldn't/wouldn 't try to finance fuel purchases. Then geniuses like Dick Morrison try to promote the $1.98 a gallon gas at the end of the Bush administration (January 20, 2009) as if it wasn't caused by the destruction of the economy that had it jacked up to the highest gas prices in history just 6 months previously.

Solyndra (and solar companies in Massachusetts, Michigan, etc were undercut by Chinese solar, so they get a bigger advantage in one of the areas we need to catch up to the rest of the world in. What other industries have we subsidized that have paid off in the long run, but had a few failures in along the way (railroads 150 years ago)?
0 # jimyoung 2012-01-28 11:44
I actually do respect your background and what you seem to have done in your life, as well as your children. I believe you should look at what John Reed, former Chairman of Citigroup, had to say on Bill Moyers and Company, though. He was a believer in the principles but saw the people Herbert Hoover would have called "anarchical capitalists" in the likes of Sandy Weill, and the aftermath of the Financial Institutions Modernization Act of 1999 (Gramm-Leach-Bl iley), the act which eliminated Glass-Steagall. A little regulation like the 34 page Glass-Steagall is needed, more so than the monstrous ~2,300 or so pages of Dodd-Frank.

Newt has, as they say, "History" that keeps many of us former Republicans from ever trusting him. I trust Romney more, no matter what he says in the circular firing squad that Republican primaries have become. I just want him to pay at least the same tax rates working people do. (I'd even lower the ridiculously unevenly applied corporate taxes to "compete" with other countries, and even the field with smaller, less tax manipulating companies within the United States, if they restore progressive income taxes no matter where the money comes from.)
+33 # Daveherbs 2012-01-25 14:37
Much remains to be seen. The true believers and racist certainly like him.

He casually tells lies. He offers nothing but hate. He is Penny whistle the clown, a Stephen King character. He even looks like him. This is an evil clown. I can not get the image of Newt as Penny Whistle out of my mind.
+31 # LeeBlack 2012-01-25 14:39
Surely the Supreme's knew this would happen after their decision on Citizen's United.
+45 # BradFromSalem 2012-01-25 14:40
The Adelson's are Right Wing Single Issue Kooks.

Their issue is Israel. They are among those that believe Israel has rights and privileges that trump all other nations. That thee Israeli government is by definition of being the Israeli government beyond reproach and is justified in any action to eliminate any threat, real or imagined from the Palestinians. Note that the money started flowing shortly after Newts' statement that the Palestinians are a fictional nationality?

War against Iran is the minimum payback this guy and his pal Netenyahu (true) want from a President Gingrich.

You thought it was bad that Cheney & Bush started a war to assist American Oil Companies? How about starting a war to sate the blood lust of a paranoid foreign leader?

I am a Jew and a supporter of Israel. Just as I am an American. In both cases I refuse to go along with the concept of blind allegiance, it is the road to Hell.

My country right or wrong brought the Hell of Viet Nam in the US. Israel right or wrong can only lead to its own destruction.
+33 # John Locke 2012-01-25 14:50
Sheldon Adelson: is the Owner of the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas and other important properties in Vegas, but he is most noted for bankrupting the contractors who built the Venetian after Adelson used the threat of bankruptcy to renogiate his debt forcing many contractors out of business, he is a good partner with the Grinch or even Ramney they will bankrupt and sell of America's assets anyway...
+4 # BobbyLip 2012-01-25 14:55
Robert, I'm totally on your side when it comes to decrying the corrupting impact of private money on what's left of our democracy.
But I think you're a little off the mark here. We cannot blame the Citizens United decision for the Adelsons. They are, presumably, actual natural-born people, not corporations.
Whether they are good people is another question.
+10 # maveet 2012-01-25 15:02
Adelson is also one of Netanyahu's biggest and closest supporters. Get it now???
+10 # buster 2012-01-25 15:10
1. A psychopathologi cal condition characterized by delusional fantasies of wealth, power, or omnipotence.
2. An obsession with grandiose or extravagant things or actions.
+10 # ojkelly 2012-01-25 15:14
Mr. Reich avoids the main point with his sacasm re the EOB, probably concerned about being branded "self-hating".M r Adelson is a major contributor to the Likud party, and is one of Natanyahu's bigest supporters and bankrolls a pro Likud daily in Israel. Bibi stays free in top suites at Adelson hotel suites, and he pushs Likud line with more force than Rupert does the neo cons. eg. No Arabs-No Attacks, Judea and Samaria.
When Newt said he was a closer friend of Bibi's than Mitt, he was being truthful.
Adelson is a special interest and he is trying to buy an election to obtain influence over US foreign policy in the Mid east.
+12 # Sir Real 2012-01-25 15:41
I post this every now and then. It is an excellent portrait of Gingrich and his supposed small government. What he and his constituents want is to cut spending on everybody but themselves. A segment from Michael Moore's 1994 show TV Nation. Hilarious,excep t for the hypocrisy inherent in the GOP.
+3 # Sir Real 2012-01-25 15:44
The GOP, desperate for anyone but Mitt and oh God,not Newt might consider-
+8 # Amir Mashay 2012-01-25 15:50
I don't care if Gingrich is viewed as "unlikely". He's scarier. Of the four remaining Repugnants, at least Romney thought about and implemented a health program. And considering Mitt's background, while I didn't like his father at the time, he seems in retrospect to be decent for a Repug, with his housing initiatives, and putting limits on his pay.
+2 # Martha Luehrmann 2012-01-25 15:52
Thank you, Bob.
+1 # MidwestTom 2012-01-25 16:07
I do not know anything about Adelson, but if he is a serial rapist, and a drug dealer, he is still better than the Wall Street crowd and the Federal Reserve that they own, and with which they are slowly enslaving us all. Wake up fplks. We have been taught all of our lives to buy it now and pay for it later. Look at Europe; Germans went through runaway inflation, and consequently they do not believe buying things on time; and who is the strongest economy in Europe, while paying good wages and benefits. The average German is not feeding his banker 5 to 10% of his pay for interest, like we are.
+12 # tarantilla 2012-01-25 17:08
As I recall, Mr Adelson grew up a poor boy from the lower east side (of NYC). He should know better, and at least be ashamed of his actions. He needs a reprimand from his Rabbi for embarrassing Jews everywhere.
+7 # handmjones 2012-01-25 18:55
With Adelson owning Newt and Ms. Prizker Obama what chance do the Palestinians have?
+3 # Activista 2012-01-26 19:27
"Adelson’s relationship with Netanyahu, and his motives for funding Gingrich, were outlined in detail in Blumenthal’s investigative report for the new Lebanese-based Al-Akhbar English, “The Bibi Connection,” earlier this month. Blumenthal wrote that Netanyahu is waging a “shadow campaign … intended to be a factor in defeating Obama and electing a Republican in his place.”
What Has Newt Promised Him? What Adelson Promised to Netanyahu.
0 # upthecrik 2012-01-28 00:53
Has anyone noticed a drop in the troll population in the past year? I'm not saying they're gone by any means. But their voices are quieter. Obama...landsli de.
0 # Cambridgemac 2012-01-28 13:39
Now that you menton it, things are quieter. My first guess: they got tired. Say more, please.
+3 # ckosuda 2012-01-28 12:06
he is a casino mogul in Las Vegas - having lived and Las Vegas for 8 years (big mistake) (now escaped to a place where people have the capacity to think and reason and are not quite so oppressed as the typical Las Vegas resident) it is necessary to point out that Las Vegas residents are AFRAID / they are oppressed / they can lose their jobs at a whim / they are typically low-wage or mid-wage workers with no guarantees of a future - casino moguls like to say about public education (for the poor, oppressed majority) "why should I pay to educate their children?" (heard this in person from the former Chancellor of UNLV - unions are considered "bad" / and criticism of union-busting efforts are viewed as "negative" -
the Clark County School District (Las Vegas) 5th largest in the country is routinely last place in national ratings / the School Board is predominantly women / directed by male Mormon elders from Carson City / the "Capitol" -
talk about Stepford wives.
racism is an epidemic /
it is a compassion-free zone /
a "company town" / with the casinos the company.
Prisons are another big industry.
that's Gingrich's boy.
0 # Cambridgemac 2012-01-28 13:39
Sounds like you are describing Gingrich's ideal future.

THE NEW STREAMLINED RSN LOGIN PROCESS: Register once, then login and you are ready to comment. All you need is a Username and a Password of your choosing and you are free to comment whenever you like! Welcome to the Reader Supported News community.