Is Gingrich’s Hard Line on Palestine Paid for by Sheldon Adelson?
(The Daily Beast) -- by Wayne Barrett --
Gingrich went from Middle East moderate to saber-rattling hawk after Sheldon Adelson’s millions began flowing into the candidate’s coffers.
The linkage between campaign contributions and compromised candidates has grown so familiar that it no longer shocks, and indeed rarely even interests, most of us. But in the super-PAC era, when a single, $5 million, donation can resuscitate a broken Newt Gingrich, the search for a quid pro quo explanation expands with the enlarged dimensions of the donation. In the case of Las Vegas casino king Sheldon Adelson, Gingrich’s Daddy Warbucks, the size of the subsidy can literally shape a candidate’s views on matters of war and peace, and I’m not talking about a battle for gaming rights.
Adelson uses his money to abuse or anoint Israeli prime ministers (ask Ehud Olmert, on the abuse side, and the still-anointed Bibi Netanyahu) and American presidents (Gingrich versus Obama). He even pulled his money out of AIPAC, the top-pro Israel lobbying group, when it appeared to support a 2007 peace initiative championed by Olmert, President Bush, and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, an effort denounced by Gingrich at the time. “I don’t continue to support organizations that help friends committing suicide just because they say they want to jump,” explained Adelson, who was already spearheading a coup designed to replace Olmert with Netanyahu.
As significant as his 2012 check was to Gingrich’s Winning Our Future PAC, paying for the negative ads now swamping South Carolina, Adelson actually became Newt Gingrich’s biggest donor in 2006, pumping a million startup dollars into an otherwise empty and similarly named Gingrich PAC, American Solutions for Winning Our Future. He gave $7.7 million over four years to this group, widely seen as “the springboard” for Gingrich’s presidential campaign, making him the largest donor over those years to any 527 independent committees, the supposedly issue-oriented precursors to the super PACs that now dominate presidential campaign finance. The PAC spent $8 million flying Gingrich in private jets around the country in anticipation of a 2008 candidacy that he flirted with before abandoning, and in the lead-up to this race. It was during these years, and in recent jolting comments, that Gingrich appeared to begin talking to an audience of one, at least when it came to his Middle East views.
One way to test how this generosity might have influenced the always hardline Gingrich is how these views hardened even more after he climbed aboard the Adelson gravy train, who has so far donated nearly $13 million to Gingrich’s two White House-tied PACS, a record in American politics. In the summer of 2005, a year before Gingrich founded American Solutions with Adelson as the initial donor, the ex-speaker candidate penned a treatise for a right-wing U.S. publication called the Middle East Quarterly. Compared to the views he expresses now, which are a full-blown echo of Adelson’s, the Gingrich of six years ago was a moderate, endorsing Obama-like policies he now condemns...MORE...LINK
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