Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson has already demonstrated that he is ‘all in’ when it comes to helping to defeat Barack Obama in the November election. Adelson has given tens of millions of dollars to several conservative political action committees this election season and has said he will spend as much as $100 million.
Now he is backing a group that is designed to win over Jewish voters in battleground states like Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio. The group, known as the Republican Jewish Coalition, plans a multimillion-dollar advertising campaign in the coming weeks called “My Buyer’s Remorse.”
The ads uses testimonials from people who say they regret supporting Obama in 2008 because of his economic policies and his posture toward Israel. Most Jewish voters tend to vote for Democrats, but the campaign hopes to sway enough voters to help tilt swing states in favor of Mitt Romney.
If anyone should have buyers remorse it should be the voters and lawmakers that have supported the expansion of casino gambling. Rather than generate wealth and economic spin-off, casinos are a regressive tax that strip wealth from gamblers and leave communities poorer. Adelson, whose business methods are under investigation, is laughing all the way to the bank as he uses some of the gambling profits – much of it from China - from his Sands casino empire to try to buy the presidential election.
Tags: Barack Obama, casino, election, Jewish voters, Republican Jewish Coalition, Sands, Sheldon Adelson, swing states
Here’s some insight into why elected officials go to great lengths to keep voters from deciding whether to allow casinos: Voters in Foxboro, Mass. overwhelmingly backed a slate of casino opponents in the town selectmen’s race on Monday.
The vote was big setback to Las Vegas mogul Steve Wynn’s plan to team with New England Patroits owner Bob Kraft to bring a casino to Foxboro. “Monday’s election was the first time local voters have weighed in on a casino proposal since Massachusetts’ expanded gambling law passed last year,” The Boston Globe reported. ”The voting margins seemed to confirm academic studies that suggest casino opponents are highly motivated voters who turn out in great percentages.”
Elected officials know that most voters oppose casinos because they know the problems outweigh the benefits. That’s why in many states, lawmakers hold late-night votes and cut backroom deals when it comes to casinos. The last thing elected officials or casino operators want is a full, fair, open, honest and independent debate about the social and economic impact of casinos.
In fact, Massachusetts officials essentially crafted the casino law in secret before ramming it through the state House and Senate. The measure was influenced by casino industry lobbyists, and not the public good. A similar playbook has been followed in other states, including Pennsylvania, where lawmakers legalized gambling in a late-night vote that avoided little public debate.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is following the same road map in New York, though voters there will have the final say. Of course, by then the casino industry will have spent millions of dollars shaping public opinion, while the state avoids an independent analysis regarding the true costs of gambling.
Tags: casino, election, Foxboro, Foxborough, Massachusetts, New York, selectmen, Steve Wynn