Friday, January 27, 2012
Robert Reich on Sheldon Adelson and Newt Gingrich
Robert Reich is Professor of Public Poicy at the University of California Berkeley. He was secretary of Labor under Bill Clinton but served in three administrations. On his blog he has an entry titled: ""Who is Sheldon Adelson and What Has Newt Promised Him?""
Sheldon Adelson is a rabidly pro-Israeli casino owner. When Gingrich said that Palestinians were an invented people in an interview, the comment was almost universally condemned. However Adelson defended and approved the remark. See this article in the Huffington Post.
Actually the Huffington Post article has much more informatioon on Adelson and his Israeli connectionsl than does the Reich article. Reich does point out though that in defending Gingrich Adelson puts his wallet where his mouth is.
Adelson wrote a check for 5 million dollars to finance a pro-Gingrich Super Pac Winning Our Future. Reich sees this donation as part of what is wrong with U.S. campaigns. They are funded by the rich who no doubt expect to have influence on policies in return.
The decision of the Supreme Court that ruled that corporations are persons and have the right of free speech have opened the way for campaigns to be even more influenced by corporate donations.
The donation to Winning our Future was immediately used to produce an expensive anti big business ad against Mitt Romney. Billionaire Adelson helped fund the ad. A friend of Adelson noted in the Daily Beast:"Sheldon has always loved Newt," "He stuck with him when he stumbled. Newt, I think, is very reflective of Sheldon's mindset. Particularly with Israel." Gingrich obviously will have the support of some in the Israel lobby. For more see Reich's blog entry.