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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Democrats' Attack Republican Donors Again- Defamation of Sheldon Adelson

By Susan Duclos

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has sunk to a new low, not only attacking Republican donors, but this time making direct accusations against Sheldon Adelson that can get them sued for defamation and libel.

Via Andrew Malcolm over at Investors Business Daily:

When Jesse Ferguson showed up for work yesterday as a Democrat press secretary on Capitol Hill, he found a three-page FedEx letter waiting.

It was from someone named Lewis R. Clayton. But the heading was more compelling: "Defamation of Sheldon Adelson."

Adelson is probably Nevada's most politically active casino owner, whose most prominent property is the Venetian. He's a multi-billionaire with global investments (Forbes estimates his fortune as $21 billion, give or take $100 million). Adelson backed Newt Gingrich with some $20 million during this cycle's Republican primary season.

He recently dropped lunch money of $10 million into the account of a super PAC supporting someone named Mitt Romney.

The defamation comes from a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, titled "DCCC: Congressman Ribble's re-election funded by Chinese prostitution money?" - PolitiFact has already rated the claims as "pant's on fire" lies.

From the original DCCC press release:

Foreign Chinese prostitution money is allegedly behind the groups funding Congressman Reid Ribble’s (WI-08) Republican Majority.

The Associated Press reported that Sheldon Adelson – the single largest donor to Congressman Reid Ribble’s House Republicans – allegedly “personally approved of prostitution and knew of other improper activity at his company's properties in the Chinese enclave” of Macau, China. Recently, Senator John McCain said that Adelson is “injecting millions of dollars in Chinese ‘foreign money’” by contributing to Republican campaigns.

“What will Congressman Reid Ribble do when his Chinese prostitution money comes from billionaire Sheldon Adelson?” said Jesse Ferguson of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “House Republicans like Congressman Ribble are fighting tirelessly to protect billionaires like Sheldon Adelson who make fortunes overseas and Adelson is now the largest single donor to Congressman Ribble’s Republican Majority. It’s past time for Congressman Ribble to reject the support of these groups funded by foreign money from a Chinese prostitution strategy.”

Billionaire Adelson has given $5 million to Speaker Boehner’s Congressional Leadership Fund Super PAC, pledged $5 million to Leader Cantor’s Young Guns Network Super PAC, given $70,800 to the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), and has committed at least $20 million into Karl Rove’s American Crossroads. Earlier this year, ABC News found that Adelson’s company “has been under criminal investigation for the last year by the Department of Justice and the Securities Exchange Commission for alleged bribery of foreign officials.” 

Via PolitiFact:

As our Ohio colleagues point out, the allegation that Adelson allowed prostitution at the Macau comes from a fired employee. The DCCC takes that claim and says money from prostitution was included in Adelson’s campaign contributions to GOP congressional incumbents -- including Duffy.

There’s no evidence that Duffy received contributions from Adelson, and he has no control over contributions to groups that support him.

"The claim that Adelson’s donations to these other groups amount to ‘Chinese prostitution money’  is dubious enough that inserting the word ‘allegedly’ can’t save it," PolitiFact Ohio wrote in its assessment.

That holds no matter what name is inserted into the cut-and-paste news release.

You can repeat a claim, but the smell of smoke remains the same. Pants on Fire.

Embedded below is the letter from Adelson's lawyer to DCCC press secretary Jesse Ferguson, subject line "Defamation of Sheldon Adelson".

Letter to J. Ferguson- Defamation of Sheldon Adelson