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Right-wing oligarch Sheldon Adelson is ruining politics.

By Derrick Crowe
November 4, 2018

While the nation mourned the horrific, hate-driven mass murder at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Penn., a pro-Trump super PAC was running extremely dark, divisive political ads during the commercial breaks. I captured it on my computer desktop, and I play it in the embedded video below. The group responsible for this ad, Future45, is funded in large part by multi-million-dollar donations from right-wing casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, whose company reported a $670-million tax windfall in the first quarter of this year from the GOP tax scam passed by Trump and the Republicans in Congress last year.

According to Roll Call,

Conservative megadonors Sheldon Adelson and Miriam Adelson have doled out more than $100 million to aid Republicans in the midterm election, far outpacing their giving during the 2016 presidential cycle.

A new $25 million donation puts the billionaire benefactors’ total spending toward helping Republicans hold on to both chambers of Congress at $113 million, Bloomberg reported. The donation was to the Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC with ties to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

That total surpasses the $82.6 million the couple spent on the 2016 cycle.

…Adelson is the chief executive of the Las Vegas Sands Corp. Forbes estimates his wealth is $33.4 billion.

Adelson is not shy about what he wants: more money and power. He’s leveraging his donor status to get special presidential attention on his bid to build a lucrative casino in Japan. Trump even brought it up directly with the Japanese prime ministerHe hates the inheritance tax and employs complex schemes to avoid it. He thinks people who aren’t rich are stupid, literally.

And apparently, he and his political puppets think we’re all stupid as well. Here’s Politico flagging how flagrantly he flouts the spirit of campaign finance laws, from May of this year:

Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson has cut a $30 million check to the House GOP-aligned Congressional Leadership Fund, a massive cash infusion that top Republicans hope will alter the party’s electoral outlook six months before Election Day.

The long-sought donation was sealed last week when, according to two senior Republicans, House Speaker Paul Ryan flew to Las Vegas to meet with the billionaire at his Venetian Hotel. Also at the meeting with Adelson was his wife, Miriam; Norm Coleman, the former Minnesota senator who chairs the Republican Jewish Coalition; Corry Bliss, who oversees the super PAC; and Jake Kastan, Ryan’s No. 2 political aide. They laid out a case to Adelson about how crucial it is to protect the House.

As a federally elected official, Ryan is not permitted to solicit seven-figure political donations. When Ryan (R-Wis.) left the room, Coleman made the ask and secured the $30 million contribution.

Public Citizen’s Craig Holman said, “I would put Adelson at the very top of the list of both access and influence in the Trump administration…I’ve never seen anything like it before, and I’ve been studying money in politics for 40 years.” ProPublica‘s recounting of the inauguration makes this pretty explicit:

In December 2016, Adelson donated $5 million to the Trump inaugural festivities. The Adelsons had better seats at Trump’s inauguration than many Cabinet secretaries. The whole family, including their two college-age sons, came to Washington for the celebration. One of his sons posted a picture on Instagram of the event with the hashtag #HuckFillary.

Oligarchs like Adelson will let absolutely nothing stop them in their drive to take more for the few and cut off hope for the many. No appeal to decency will slow them down. No norm or appeal to morality will stop them. Their vision is simple: They want a right-wing foreign policy abroad, and more and more tax cuts for corporations and billionaires at home. And, they’ll do it while gutting safety nets for the many:

…Democrats on the congressional Joint Economic Committee issued the study, based on calculations by the nonprofit Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, late last week. It shows that the estimated $2 trillion cost of the Bush and Trump-era tax cuts through 2025 is the same amount Republicans have proposed cutting from Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and Obamacare.

“It is a dollar-for-dollar transfer of benefits to those who need help the least paid for by those who need help the most,” said Phil Schiliro, a Democrat who’s served in several government positions including as President Barack Obama’s legislative director.

If we want to stop them, we have to vote their political puppets out of office. Election Day is this Tuesday, Nov. 6. If you haven’t voted yet, make your plan to vote and then make sure your loved ones have a plan to vote.