I wonder how many of Newt Gingrich’s family values voters are aware that Gingrich is beholden to Sheldon Adelson, billionaire casino owner. According to these reports, Adelson recently gave Gingrich’s SuperPac $5 million.
In the Philadelphia Inquirer article, Gingrich is called a “close friend” of Adelson. A conversation between Adelson and his right hand man, Michael Levin indicates how the gambling mogul cast Romney as a ruthless money man. Apparently it takes lots of money to criticize someone else who has lots of money.
According to the Washington Post, the lion’s share of Gingrich’s financial support comes from Adelson who also counts on Gingrich for policies favorable to Israel. The Post article provides some important background to understand how necessary Adelson has been for Gingrich’s career after he left Congress.
According to an anti-gambling website affiliated with the Institute for American Values, Gingrich’s friendship with Adelson involves more than common ground on Israel:
When he was House speaker, Gingrich helped Adelson combat union organizing efforts at his gaudy Venetian casino in Vegas. Gingrich also backed legislation in 1998 to preserve tax deductions beneficial to the industry, The Times reported. Adelson has donated millions to Gingrich in the past and let him use his corporate jet.
At least one social conservative, Richard Land, editor of the Christian Post and prominent Southern Baptist leader was quoted back in April, 2011 as indifferent to Gingrich’s ties to Adelson.
Gingrich’s tight ties with Adelson could cause heartburn for some social conservatives who oppose gambling. Land, of the Baptist group, said “Gambling is a nefarious industry that corrupts everything it touches.”
But Land said that thus far he is not concerned about the ties, unless Gingrich decides to back the expansion of gambling or Internet gambling or if the criminal investigation leads to charges against the Sands.
I wonder how many religious conservatives even know about these ties? Gingrich is taking money derived from an industry which Land says “corrupts everything it touches.” Via Adelson’s donations, it certainly has touched Gingrich.
Land is certainly in a position to write about Gingrich’s ties to the gambling industry as editor of the Christian Post. However, I don’t recall seeing any articles there or in any evangelical news source about these matters. I think these matters might be relevant to evangelical voters.