Before the South Carolina primary, casino mogul Sheldon Adelson gave $5 million dollars to an independent PAC supporting Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich.
That worked so well that a second $5 million dollar gift was soon on its way to that same pro-Gingrich PAC, Winning Our Future, keeping the former House Speaker in a tight two-man race with Mitt Romney.
There is more where that $10 million came from.
The Forbes 400 list of the wealthiest Americans ranks Adelson as number 8. Forbes' list of billionaires ranks Adelson as the 16th wealthiest person in the world. His net worth is currently $21.5 billion. (Source: Wikipedia)
How does Robert Reich, former Bill Clinton cabinet member, and noted public policy analyst, respond to this pairing of Gingrich and Adelson? He claims not to know what lies behind the Adelson support for Gingrich.
I believe Reich feigns ignorance in his blog posting, rather than admit the obvious -- the linkage of Jewish money to American politics -- which we all know, is a taboo topic for establishment media types.
To be fair to Reich, he could have been joshing his readers when he wrote in his blog:
"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."
Reich is right about the influence a rich contributor like Adelson will have on the President. If he thinks he is being funny, I am not laughing when he feigns ignorance about the tight bond between Gingrich and Adelson on their shared passions of conservative political ideology and devotion to Israel.
If Reich really is in need of some quick background information, here is what Paul Harris, of the British-based Guardian, wrote this weekend:
"It is not just the American right that is Adelson's great political passion. There is also Israel. Always proud of his Jewish heritage, Adelson's activism took a pronounced leap when he married his second wife, Miriam, in 1991. She was an Israeli citizen who had been working in New York.
"The Adelsons are friends of Israel's prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, and Adelson purchased a Hebrew-language newspaper to support him.
"Adelson is an impassioned opponent of an independent Palestine. He has given at least $60m to the charity Taglit-Birthright, which brings young Jewish Americans on trips to Israel. He has established a thinktank in Jerusalem and given large sums of cash to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust research centre.
"In the US he has donated to the lobbying group the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, helping fund the trips of Republican congressmen to Israel.
"All of this dovetails with Gingrich's policies on Israel. Gingrich has vowed that on the very first day of his administration he would order America's Israeli embassy to move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. He has called for regime change in Iran and repeatedly denied that Palestinians are a real people, saying instead they have been 'invented.'"
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