Sheldon Adelson: Wild card
The guessing game is creating anxiety among Republican Party elites eager to avoid a repeat of 2012, when Sheldon Adelson and his family dumped more than $20 million into a super PAC supporting Newt Gingrich’s long-shot GOP presidential campaign. The Adelsons went on to give even more money to help Mitt Romney, but by the time he was the party’s nominee, the damage was done. The infusion to boost Gingrich roiled and prolonged the primary and hurt the party’s chances of winning the White House. When Adelson summoned Bush and Govs. Chris Christie of New Jersey, John Kasich of Ohio and Scott Walker of Wisconsin to Las Vegas for the annual spring Republican Jewish Congress meeting, GOP stalwarts hoped it might mean the megadonor was committing to get behind one of the establishment favorites for 2016, and not going rogue again. But interviews with Adelson intimates, an analysis of his political alliances and reporting from the Las Vegas retreat suggest that the headstrong billionaire isn’t a new man, but the same gambler he has always been: a true wild card. Politico, 3-31-14. In 2012, Adelson’s corporation came under three different investigations from the FBI, the Justice Department, and the Securities and Exchange Commission, for violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), an anti-bribery statute. Additionally, the Times reported at the time that several of the company’s subsidiaries also “came under investigation by Chinese regulators.” Adelson allegedly attempted to bribe the Chief Executive of Macau, where a substantial portion of his casino business was located, and reportedly instructed Sands Corp. to bribe a Macau legislator with about $700,000 in “legal fees.” (ProPublica reported that “several Las Vegas Sands executives resigned or were fired after expressing concerns” about the fee.) A former Sands Corp. executive also alleged that Adelson fired him after he refused to engage in illegal activity and protested the presence of Chinese organized crime syndicates in Sands’ Macau casinos. Media Matters, 3-31-14.