Monday, September 24, 2012

What Happens in Vegas: Meet Sheldon Adelson, Buyer of Democracy

Okay, a couple of things here. First, the man's name is pronounced ADDLE-son, and as a denizen of Las Vegas, it bugs me every time I hear it pronounced AID-elson. Secondly, Sheldon Adelson has done good things in this town, not always using his virtually infinite fundage for evil. Thirdly, the comparison to George Soros (benefactor of many previous Democratic campaigns) fails for more than one reason, chiefly that Soros wasn't helping people get elected for his own personal financial interest.

Adelson is in the game because he can afford to be, because after the Citizens United ruling, he can be, and because he's kind of a bastard. This goes beyond a guy with deep pockets, funding his favorites, and looking for a little quid pro quo. This has--fairly quickly, if you think about it--turned into a many tentacled beast, with Adelson as the head, and Karl Rove as the brain. It's a frighteningly coordinated, full-throttle, take-no-prisoners attempt to purchase political offices from little to the biggest in the land.

The biggest failure of the Supreme Court's decision is in saying that money equals speech. Because by doing that, they've assured that more money equals more speech. Who on earth, short of Bill Gates, could compete with the kind of speech Adelson and the Koch Brothers (who coordinate with Adelson and Rove) can purchase? How could this possibly be what the founders intended?

By all reason, our democracy should be helpless against this assault. You'd think, with no real competing entity like it on the left, that this kind of money would just win now, forever. So far though, it's not working out that way. Things could change in the weeks until the election of course, but even with evil genius Rove pulling the levers, this machine is having trouble driving the polls. And I wonder, can all the money in the world sell a faulty product?

Sheldon Adelson really looks like that. Image from Politico.

Sheldon Adelson: Inside the mind of the mega-donor 

. . .Worth just over $21 billion, and now in the crosshairs of the Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission, Adelson has made history: He is the first person to spend $70 million to sway a presidential election, and he plans to spend more – perhaps as much as $100 million – by Election Day. An estimated $20 million to $30 million of the giving was to groups that do not disclose their donors, and had not been reported before. . .

Read more: Politico


  1. Do you suppose that, if Newt Gringrich had won the presidency, Adelson would be planning to build a casino on the moon colony?

  2. Good question!

    The weird part of the Kochs and Addelson and some of the other sugar daddies is that they're all white, seemingly very grumpy old men. And other than Sheldon's Israel fixation, they just seem hell-bent on get even more obscenely wealthy. Do they think they can take it with them?


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