Snap Fact #295
President Obama Has Been Thoroughly Vetted while Governor Romney Hides Under a Shroud of Mystery – Part 2
Yesterday’s Part 1 SNAP-CAP promised to deliver a revelatory expose’ about Sheldon Adelson and his deep relationship with Mitt Romney. You will find the following very interesting and very frightening. We will learn who is the real Sheldon Adelson, and why, besides going against a basic tenet of his Church, is Romney’s taking money from Adelson such a bad thing?
In addition to being an owner of casinos and resort hotels, Adelson is a man who is best known for his hawkish defense of Israel and for his abhorrence for a two-state solution to the Palestinian Israeli conflict, and for whom for whom profits and politics are tightly entwined, co-joined like Siamese twins.
“Mr. Adelson’s other overriding interest is his own wallet. He rails against the president’s “socialist-style economy” and redistribution of wealth, but what he really fears is Mr. Obama’s proposal to raise taxes on companies like his that make a huge amount of money overseas. Ninety percent of the earnings of his company, the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, come from hotel and casino properties in Singapore and Macau. . .”
What is interesting to note, is that while Romney took campaign cash from a casino magnate under Federal investigation by 3 Federal agencies, Hillary Clinton’s 2008 Presidential campaign returned $850,000 in contributions tied to disgraced Democratic fundraiser Norman Hsu, and put in place a more rigorous background check for future donors. Has Romney done the ethical thing like Hillary Clinton did? Absolutely not!
Wherever Adelson builds a casino and resort hotel, he uses his financial clout to win concessions from state and local officials, making what may what may seem like outlandish demands on local and state governments in return for the employment and economic boost offered by his casinos. Barcelona and Madrid Spain are competing for an Adelson casino and resort hotel to be built there, which would be presumed to be an economic boon for Spain’s faltering economy. In return for bringing a casino to Spain, Adelson's company has demanded that labor laws be relaxed, that rules designed to combat money-laundering be eased, that it be freed from paying Social Security and income taxes for its first two years of its existence, and that visa restrictions on foreign employees be relaxed, and that Spain’s ban on smoking in public places be lifted. In essence he’s asking Spain – hard pressed for cash – to violate its own laws to bring in a venture that may very well employ few Spaniards.
When Adelson took operation of Macau’s casinos, those casinos in Macau were a gangster’s paradise, run by a monopoly figure named Stanley Ho who had ties to Chinese organized crime Triad gangs. Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands (LVS) hired executive Steve Jacobs to run its Macau casinos, but fired him when Jacobs refused to expand the corrupt junkets from the Chinese mainland, a system in which high-rolling gamblers were ferried to Macau, and staked with massive amounts of cash to get around China’s strict currency and debt collection laws; junket operators linked to organized crime collected gambling debts in exchange for commission from Adelson’s casinos.
The first allegation in the current Federal investigation of Adelson focuses on possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, a U.S. anti-bribery law, related to the company’s casinos in Macau, China. When Sheldon Adelson, the casino magnate, needed something done in China, he often turned to his company’s “chief Beijing representative,” a mysterious businessman named Yang Saixin who was paid $30,00 a month. Because gambling is illegal in China, except for Macau, Adelson sought to use his financial clout and connections to exert political influence at the highest levels of government. Thus Yang efforts were directed towards the good will of Chinese officials, who mete out approvals and have the power to curtail the flow of mainland visitors. Now Yang along with tens of millions of dollars in payments the Sands made through him in China, is a focus of a wide-ranging federal investigation into potential bribery of foreign officials and other matters in China and Macau.
Thanks to the China investigation a review of more than a thousand pages of corporate records in China, as well as interviews with former Sands executives and others, show that the Sands paid out more than $70 million to companies tied to Mr. Yang for the trade center and for a Chinese basketball team the Sands sponsored. But several million dollars appear to be unaccounted for after the projects were suddenly shut down by the company. What became of any missing money and whether any of it wound up in the hands of Chinese officials are among the questions being examined by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission.