Thursday, September 11, 2008

LVW Column: Is Adelson a closet lib?

Here's this week's Weekly column...

Not (quite) so right?

Sheldon Adelson has -- gasp! -- a little bit of liberal in him


As the election cycle heats up and money flies in every direction for the political parties and their causes, several members of the media have branded our own Vegas billionaire Sheldon Adelson the right-wing version of financier George Soros.

The comparison is an easy one to make when you don’t dig much deeper than the superficial similarities. The Hungarian-born Soros is a known lefty billionaire who hands over shocking amounts of cash to, to the Center for American Progress, to groups pushing marijuana legalization, physician-assisted suicide, abortion rights and gun control. Adelson, too, gives away eye-popping amounts of cash to certain conservative groups and is known to vehemently support many Republicans, including President George W. Bush and Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons.

Except here’s the big flaw in the analogy: Adelson is actually a liberal. No, really. He said so. I know because, last January while I was interviewing the CEO of the Las Vegas Sands Corp. in advance of the opening of the Palazzo, he said so. We were talking about his efforts to build a casino in Massachusetts, and he spoke highly of his interactions with Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick. When I remarked that the Democratic governor with strong ties to Barack Obama seemed an unlikely bedfellow for a man like Adelson, he pushed back.

“I’m a social liberal,” he told me. “I’m socially very liberal. Too liberal.”

Read the rest HERE


VegasTeaRoom said...

The only time Sheldon Adelson could have come close to having a little bit of liberal in him is if Barbra Walters ever fucked him with a strap on.

mike_ch said...

I think the poster above meant Streisand.

I mean this in the most complimentary way, you gave the GOP a more respectable coat of paint profiling Adelson than they did at their own convention. I would sooner see a party of Adelson than a party of the people who showed up in St Paul.

You almost make me rethink my lazy opposition to LVS' places for political reasons, though by boiling down his political opinions to Israel and unions you ignore the other aspects of his lobbying that carry less sizzle, such as the whole convention centre war. I suppose it's no shock that the nation's third richest man is a supporter of hands-off free market ideas, but it's something important to him nonetheless.


Mike_ch - I did think about discussing the convention center issue as well but I had to cut for space anyhow and I kind of thought that was also a relatively benign, specific matter that also doesn't reflect that much of a broader Republican ideology. I mean, clearly he's a less-government kinda guy, although so is Terry Lanni and Steve Wynn and they're not at war with the convention center. But my aim was just to show he's more complex figure than we usually think.