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Forum Post: GOP Moneyman Sheldon Adelson is becoming a clear liability to Romney. Dershowitz joins the threats against Jewish Democrats.

Posted 11 years ago on Aug. 14, 2012, 3:47 a.m. EST by fiftyfourforty (1077) from New York, NY
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(From NYT online today) Scrutiny for Casino Mogul’s Frontman in China This is a detailed expose of Adelson's dealings in and with China. It shows some of the legal problems looming set to break out in the very near future)


Jewish Democrats stand up to Adelson legal threat regarding comments on his prostitution strategy - refuse to back down to daddy whorebucks.

Sheldon Adelson Sues Jewish Democrat Group For Alleged Defamation

Thursday, August 9, 2012


Sheldon Adelson's $60 million defamation lawsuit against the National Jewish Democratic Council describes extensive efforts by his representatives, including Alan Dershowitz, to talk the group into apologizing for intimating that the casino magnate approved of prostitution.

The 16-page lawsuit was filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in New York.

Lawyers for Adelson, one of the worlds' wealthiest men, a major Republican donor and among the largest U.S. givers to Jewish and Israeli causes, had sent a warning letter to the NJDC and to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee last month after each body quoted news reports alleging that Adelson had approved of prostitution at his properties in Macau, China.

The allegation appeared in a lawsuit filed by a former Adelson employee, Steven Jacobs, who had managed Adelson's Macau business until he was fired in 2010. The DCCC apologized last week for referencing the allegation in news releases sent June 22 and July 2.

Under pressure from Jewish groups, the NJDC removed an online petition calling on Republicans to stop accepting money from Adelson -- but it would not apologize.

"We don’t believe we engaged in character assassination," said the July 11 statement announcing the petition's removal and signed by NJDC President David Harris and Chairman Marc Stanley, who also are named in Adelson's lawsuit. "We stand by everything we said, which was sourced from current, credible news accounts." Instead, Stanley and Harris said, they were removing the petition in the name of "shalom bayit," the Hebrew term for peace in the home. The original NJDC petition had cited an Associated Press story quoting parts of the Jacobs lawsuit. Nothing in the AP story aside from the quote from the Jacobs lawsuit validated the prostitution claim.

The AP story notes that federal investigators are interested in claims by Jacobs in the lawsuit that Adelson's business authorized bribes to Chinese officials. In addition to the prostitution allegation, the NJDC petition cited the bribery investigations as well as Adelson's clashes with unions to bolster its claim that Adelson's money was "dirty."

Adelson's publicist, Ron Reese, had no immediate comment, but the lawsuit suggests that the NJDC's non-apology made matters worse. The lawsuit cites not just the July 3 petition but the July 11 statement removing the petition to make its case. The claim by Harris and Stanley that they "stand by" what they described as "credible news accounts" was in itself "false and defamatory," the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit details how, through an interlocutor, Adelson tried to show Harris that Jacobs was lying. It quoted what it said was a 2009 email from Jacobs to Michael Leven, Adelson's chief operating officer, asking whether Adelson had approved of prostitution. The lawsuit does not quote the email at length or explain why Jacobs would make such a query, but it does quote him as saying that allowing prostitution would "seem at odds with what I know to be Sheldon's 'no tolerance' policy."

Leven responds the next day, May 12, 2009, and says "there is no evidence that can be found that anyone here supported in anyway (sic) a different policy than we have in las vegas (sic)."

The lawsuit says that Harris was contacted after the July 3 petition was posted and that the email exchange between Jacobs and Leven was described to him.

Alan Dershowitz, the prominent First Amendment lawyer and Harvard professor, told JTA on Wednesday that he was the interlocutor who reached out to Harris on Adelson's behalf.

"I had a conversation with David Harris in which I personally told him the same man whom they quote as having made the allegation in an email had said he doesn't believe the allegation to be true," Dershowitz said.

Jacobs' email, at least as quoted in the lawsuit, does not address the veracity of the prostitution allegation; it only notes that the allegation would seem at odds with Adelson's stated policies. Harris would not comment on his conversation with Dershowitz. Dershowitz, a Democrat who was among the notable Jewish individuals who had called on Harris and NJDC to rescind the petition as soon as it appeared, said Harris' refusal to apologize disqualifies him to represent Democrats or Jews.

"He is now doing more harm to Democrats and the Jewish community than good. They are willfully spreading a 'lashon hora' that they know to be false," Dershowitz said, using the Hebrew term for malicious gossip.

Dershowitz said he could not comment on the freedom of speech merits of the NJDC case because he may be called upon to act as a witness should the lawsuit go to trial.

Organizations associated with Adelson have paid Dershowitz twice: for speaking at the Jewish day school founded by Adelson and his wife, Miriam, in Las Vegas, and as a lawyer helping to represent Adelson's Venetian casino in its efforts to keep union picketers off sidewalks adjacent to the hotel. The Venetian lost that 2001 case, which Dershowitz said occurred before he met Adelson.

"The work he does for Jewish education is unmatched," Dershowitz said.

Adelson seems particularly galled in the lawsuit by the prostitution allegation because of the work he and his wife fund in Israel to rehabilitate prostitutes.

"The Adelson clinics work to support these women, provide them with drug abuse treatment, and end their involvement in prostitution," the lawsuit says.

The lawsuit notes Adelson's continued efforts to have the NJDC stand down, including the July 17 warning letter, and then outreach from Adelson's lawyers to the NJDC on Aug. 3 to note the DCCC apology issued the day before.

The NJDC said in a statement Wednesday announcing the lawsuit that it would stand its ground.

"Referencing mainstream press accounts examining the conduct of a public figure and his business ventures -- as we did -- is wholly appropriate," NJDC said in the statement. "Indeed, it is both an American and a Jewish obligation to ask hard questions of powerful individuals like Mr. Adelson, just as it is incumbent upon us to praise his wonderful philanthropic endeavors."

The statement called Adelson's lawsuit a "strategic lawsuit against public participation," or SLAPP, a term used for legal maneuvers aimed not at obtaining justice but silence.

"We know that we were well within our rights, and we will defend ourselves against this SLAPP suit as far and as long as necessary," NJDC said. "We simply will not be bullied, and we will not be silenced."

Bad blood between Harris and Adelson runs deeper than the usual Republican-Democrat square-off. Harris appeared at the Jewish Federations of North America TribeFest gathering in Las Vegas for young leaders on March 25 as a surrogate in a debate on the merits of the presidential candidates. Adelson walked into the event, which took place at his Venetian hotel, and berated Harris for six minutes, using insulting terms to describe Obama and harrumphing out loud when Harris attempted to respond. Late Wednesday, NJDC blasted followers with an email fundraising off the lawsuit.

"Your support at this moment is more important than ever," said the email, which carried the subject line "We've been sued for $60 million."



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[-] 1 points by frogmanofborneo (602) from New York, NY 11 years ago

http://forward.com/articles/160867/adelsons-ethics/ Adelson's Ethics Editorial

Published August 13, 2012, issue of August 17, 2012. PRINT EMAIL SHARE Writing on The New York Times website, Thomas B. Edsall, a professor of journalism at Columbia University, pointed to the possible religious ramifications of the political and financial relationship between Mitt Romney and his most generous backer, casino mogul Sheldon Adelson.

“The source of Adelson’s huge campaign contributions would appear to create a conflict with Romney’s Mormon convictions,” Edsall wrote. “The official website of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints states: ‘The Church opposes gambling in any form, including government-sponsored lotteries.’”

The reasons for such opposition are clearly laid out in an unofficial Mormon website that Edsall quotes: Gambling “undermines the value of work and motivates one to think that they can get something for nothing.” It is considered by Mormons to be a destructive, addictive behavior that inevitably “leads one away from righteousness and into the hands of Satan.”

Since Adelson is not only a robust supporter of Republican causes and candidates but also the chief philanthropist of many Jewish charities, we wondered whether that same conflict might exist in the Jewish context. The short answer: No. While classical Jewish law certainly frowns upon the professional gambler, who is deemed to be so useless and untrustworthy that he is not allowed to act as a legal witness, it doesn’t share Mormonism’s outright objections to all forms of gambling. You don’t see many synagogues holding bingo nights, true, but that may be because raffling off expensive donated items probably raises more cash.

And Adelson is hardly the first Jew to make a killing (financial or otherwise) in what must be Satan’s favorite American vacation destination, Las Vegas.

Much as some in the Jewish community, especially those on the political left, fulminate over Adelson’s fortune and the way he has openly pledged to use it to defeat President Obama, the very fact that it was amassed largely through his global empire of gambling enterprises isn’t, in and of itself, ethically problematic. Jews aren’t Mormons, and he hasn’t been convicted of breaking any laws.

But it is fair to question the business practices that led him to an estimated net worth of $25 billion and the 14th spot on Forbes’s list of the richest people in the world. As Adelson’s political profile has grown — he’s the largest contributor by a long stretch to the Romney campaign and its subsidiaries — those practices have come under heightened scrutiny, as they should.

Adelson and his company, the Las Vegas Sands Corp., have acknowledged that they are currently under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice on allegations of foreign bribery. Reporting by ProPublica and other journalists has pointed to the role of Leonel Alves, a legislator and lawyer in Macau who was hired as an outside counsel to Las Vegas Sands. Emails posted by ProPublica show that Adelson’s legal advisers were concerned that large payments of cash to Alves could violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Adelson and his company have denied that they have done anything wrong.

There certainly are other troubling aspects to Adelson’s business practices. He is virulently against unions and organized labor, a position he had championed in Nevada. And his company can make what may seem like outlandish demands on local governments in return for the employment and economic boost offered by his casinos.

Consider what’s happening now in Spain, where Madrid and Barcelona are vying to be the site of a new Las Vegas Sands resort that reportedly will host 36,000 hotel rooms, 18,000 slot machines and three golf courses. The Spanish press says that the company has requested that labor laws be relaxed, that rules designed to combat money-laundering be eased, that it be freed from paying Social Security and all taxes for its first two years of its existence, and that visa restrictions be eliminated for foreign employees. Oh, and that Spain’s ban on smoking in public places be lifted.

For a nation mired in deep recession and burdened by double digit unemployment, there’s little wonder why Spanish officials are eagerly courting this multibillion dollar project, despite the demands. The president of Madrid’s regional council has even pledged to try and overturn the smoking ban if that would help her city’s case.

Whether practices such as these comport with Jewish values is, in the end, an individual judgment. Presidential campaigns have long been a magnet for big money accumulated in somewhat questionable ways. (Think of the bootlegger Joe Kennedy and how he helped his son become president.) What’s different this year is the highly accelerated pace of spending spurred on by the disastrous Citizens United decision, and the legitimate civic fear that a very few, very wealthy individuals, Adelson among them, may determine not only the election outcome, but the shape of policy in the next administration.

At the end of his piece, Edsall wrote: “At a minimum, Romney could tell us how he reconciles the values he says he stands for with the basis on which Adelson’s fortune is built.” For us, the question goes even deeper: How can we reconcile the values of a participatory democracy with an election system that grants such an obscene amount of power to the very rich, no matter how their money was made?

Read more: http://forward.com/articles/160867/adelsons-ethics/#ixzz23VPXKJ9K

[-] 0 points by niphtrique (323) from Sneek, FR 11 years ago

The oligarchs and Jews are fighting among themselves about who gets control over the government for the next four years (note also that about 50% of the oligarchs are Jews). The US is not a democracy:


And treason is what you may get:


The issue is part of an old problem. Hopefully we learn from the mistakes made in the past:


[-] 0 points by fiftyfourforty (1077) from New York, NY 11 years ago

As you note most Jewish people are not oligarchs. In fact there are Jewish people who are not great academics and don't go on to be professionals nor any sort of mover or shaker. I think politically and socially it's a mixed bag. Jewish people were important in the movement against the Vietnam war and for civil rights and other progressive struggles. One can argue that these movements would have been different or more effective without them for any number of reasons but you can't argue that many Jewish people were not selfless in those struggles. I know that to this day thee are many such people.

[-] 0 points by niphtrique (323) from Sneek, FR 11 years ago

Every group of people is a mixed bag and most people are not intentionally evil. But why is there unconditional support for Israel? Why are all those wars fought? One reason is that both political parties depend on Jewish money. There are other reasons also. I do not think that there should be a battle between the left and the right as it is a false paradigm. The real problem is charging interest on money:


[-] 1 points by fiftyfourforty (1077) from New York, NY 11 years ago

There is an admittedly small group of people of Jewish heritage (some would reject the label of "Jewish" for themselves) who are most outspokenly anti Israel. Self identified Jews are traumatized and propagandized from the cradle. Imagine believing that the whole world hates you no matter what you do or say. Most American Jews are passive zionists. They don't join or contribute to zionist organizations nor for that matter Jewish organizations even religious ones.


As for interest charged for access to money it's been that way for centuries now. Even Islamic banks use it though with some disguise. I support Occupy efforts to organize debt refusal.

[-] 1 points by niphtrique (323) from Sneek, FR 11 years ago

Every people should have a country so I am not anti-Israel. Despite all you write there is unconditional support for Israel from nearly all Congressmen and Senators.

That is quite extreme and I think it is treason. Obama can never say to Israel: "End the settlement policy otherwise we will stop supporting you."

How can this be? How can the AIPAC have such control? I think it is not a conspiracy but it has something to do with culture. A culture is a disposition that makes certain behaviour more likely. It plays a role among other issues, such as personality and past experiences.

Jews, on average, are better educated than most people and they use this to their advantage. Their traumatised history adds to this, because if you feel insecure, you are more likely to become an achiever. I guess people should be aware of this for their own best interest.

The Neocons conned America into the Iraq war and now they are planning for a war with Iran.

[-] 2 points by fiftyfourforty (1077) from New York, NY 11 years ago

It's ironic that you say you aren't anti Israel but you describe the support for Israel by various politicians as being treasonous. Not every "people" on the earth gets to have a sovereign state. It just works out that way. It's arguable that the Jews comprise a nation to begin with but even granting that, for the sake of argument, it does not follow that therefore they deserve a state. "Israel" as it is could not last long without foreign military support and the sweat of non citizens who give their toil, are at risk of attack, and yet they have no political voice.

It's not for nothing that the Yiddish language or dialect never caught on with the first European Jewish generation born here nor Israeli "Hebrew". The natural course of things is for Jewish people to assimilate where they are. People like Sheldon Adelson strive to stop this trend. They need a cheering section to accuse "anti Semitism" when their misdeeds are uncovered. Foxman and Dershowitz are already up and running.

[-] 1 points by niphtrique (323) from Sneek, FR 11 years ago

It is treason to put the interests of a foreign country before the interests of the US. US politicians have been bribed into doing this. I think they should be in jail for that. America gets into wars because of this situation, soldiers and civilians get killed and trillions of US Dollars are wasted.

I see no problem in Israel being part of NATO if it respects international law and the rights of the Palestinians. Then Israel can be defended if it is attacked. However I think it is quite naive to think this can be arranged easily.

Assimilation is another issue. Gilad Atzmon wrote a book about it. During an interview with Gilad Atzmon, Philip Weiss disclosed that he felt himself an American before he felt himself Jewish and that this was the achievement of his life. This implies that many Jews do feel themselves Jewish first and then American.

I find this rather curious. I do not think Philip Weiss just emigrated from Israel. You do not hear such statements from people from most other ethnic backgrounds that have parents or grandparents that once migrated to the US.

One of the issues that have caused trouble in Europe, was that Jews did not mingle. They were also put into ghetto's so there was mutual exclusion. The same issue exists with Muslims in Europe, and now there is a rise of right wing populism.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 11 years ago

the FED makes low percent loans to certain banks

that in turn loans that to everyone else

that's how we get money into the system

not jews asshole

[-] -1 points by niphtrique (323) from Sneek, FR 11 years ago

"[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (10996) 3 minutes ago: the FED makes low percent loans to certain banks. that in turn loans that to everyone else. that's how we get money into the system. not jews asshole"

I did not write that Jews put money into the system. This is a strawman argument (tactic 12) combined with incredulous and indignant (tactic 11).