28 Days: Dole supporter broadcasts smears, ships NC jobs overseas

DAY 28

Freedom’s Watch is a conservative group founded and funded by Sheldon Adelson and staffed by numerous Bush White House alums. Who is Sheldon Adelson? The Chairman and CEO of Las Vegas Sands, he has referred to himself as the largest investor in China – ever. He has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars lobbying our federal government, including disgraced Rep. Tom DeLay, to enact trade policies that hurt hardworking families and ship North Carolina jobs overseas. Adelson and his family gave nearly $40K to the NRSC when Dole was chair, and now he’s spending his money here, too, smearing Kay and her record of working on behalf of middle class families.


Sheldon Adelson Is A Major Backer Of Freedom’s Watch.
USA Today reported that, “of the top six donors to Republican- and Democratic-leaning groups since 2003 found only one new major donor among the top dozen: Sheldon Adelson. Adelson, the chairman and chief executive officer of Las Vegas Sands, is a major backer of the conservative group Freedom’s Watch, founded by former Bush White House officials such as press secretary Ari Fleischer to act as a counterweight to liberal groups such as MoveOn.org.” [USA Today, 7/22/08]

Most Of The $30 Million Freedom’s Watch Spent Up Until April 2008 Came From Sheldon Adelson.
The New York Times reported that, “although the organization was founded by a coterie of prominent conservative donors last year, the roughly $30 million the group has spent so far has come almost entirely from the casino mogul Sheldon G. Adelson, the chairman and chief executive of the Sands Corporation, who was recently listed as the third-richest person in the country by Forbes magazine.” [New York Times, 4/12/08]

Adelson Has Provided ‘Vast Majority’ Of Freedom’s Watch’s Funding. The National Journal reported that “several sources have confirmed that Adelson has furnished the vast majority of Freedom’s Watch funding.” [National Journal, 5/10/08]

Adelson Enjoys Decision Making Ability at Freedom’s Watch. According to the New York Times, “Mr. Adelson has insisted on parceling out his money project by project, as opposed to setting an overall budget, limiting the group's ability to plan and be nimble, the Republican operatives said. Mr. Adelson, who has a reputation for being combative, has rejected almost all of the staff's proposals that have been brought to him, leaving the organization moribund for long stretches, the operatives said. ''What has happened here is pretty much you had a single donor who essentially dictates the way things occur or do not occur,'' said one of the Republican operatives.” [New York Times, 4/12/08]


Adelson: “We’re the Largest Investor of Any Kind in the History of China.” "The floating of the yuan would be like a grand slam home run, World Series, Super Bowl, and the NBA championship game all packed in one for us," Adelson told the Associated Press. "We're the largest investor of any kind in the history of China. Certainly we're going to use any influence we have to see that the U.S. policy and the trade representative policy is implemented." [Associated Press, 1/8/08]

Asia Today Called Adelson one of the Single Largest Investors in China.
Asia Today said Adelson was one of the single largest investors in China. Speaking about the $12 billion investment he planned to make, he described the Chinese market as an opportunity. “Asia is a sure thing as far as I am concerned,” he said. [Asia Today, 2007]

Editorial Claimed Adelson is Largest Investor in China – Ever. According to an editorial written by George Will, Adelson’s company the Las Vegas Sands Corp. is the largest investor in China, ever. [Editorial, Wire Services, “Builder of fortune on the hope of making a fortune,” Byline: George Will, Via The Record, 4/5/08]

Adelson First American to Open Casino in China, Recouped Investment Within One Year.
Adelson was the first American to open a gaming facility in China, recouping his entire $265 million investment in the Sands Macau one year after it opened in 2004. [Las Vegas Review-Journal, 10/4/07]

Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands Planning To Invest $12 Billion In Largest Casino In China.
In August 2007, the Las Vegas Sands opened the largest casino in the world on Macau, an island off of Hong Kong. It is the only place in China where it is legal to gamble. Sands president William Weidner said the Sands has already invested $6 billion in the casino, with another $6 billion planned to add convention facilities. [National Journal, 5/10/08]

Adelson Said Developing Macau was a Dream Come True. Speaking to the Associated Press about his new 10.5 million square foot casino Adelson said he hoped the complex would transform Macau from a gambling pit stop for Chinese tourists to a vacation and business convention destination, where visitors could spend a few days shopping, watching shows and rolling dice. "Today is the beginning of what has been a dream of mine for some time to reproduce the capital of entertainment in Asia for Asians," Adelson said. [Associated Press, 8/27/07]

Adelson Owns Billions in Las Vegas Sands Corp; Operates Two Massive Casinos in Macao. Adelson holds $26 billion worth of stock – a controlling interest – in the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, which owns two massive casinos in Macao. According to a report by The New Yorker, “Mr. Adelson, 74, still holds $19 billion worth of stock in the Las Vegas Sands, which operates the Venetian here and also a pair of giant casinos in Macao, the Chinese territory near Hong Kong that has surpassed the Las Vegas Strip as the world’s top gambling market.” [New York Times, 1/17/08; The New Yorker, 6/30/08]

Adelson Planning Additional Thirteen Macao Hotels. As of January 2008, Adelson planned an additional 13 hotels in Macao, at the cost of several billion dollars. According to the New York Times, “He already runs two resorts in Macao (one has a casino three times the size of Las Vegas’s biggest gambling floor), and his company, the Las Vegas Sands, is in the midst of spending another $7 billion to $9 billion building an additional 13 hotels there.” [New York Times, 1/17/08]

Adelson Set To Open $4 Billion Casino In Singapore In 2009, And Looking At Opening Casinos In Japan, Philippines, South Korea And Taiwan. The National Journal reported, “Adelson’s opulent Venetian Macao, which is named after one of his big properties in Las Vegas, is his second casino complex on the booming island. Next year he is set to open a $4 billion casino in Singapore, and he is also eyeing new markets in Japan, the Philippines, South Korea, and Taiwan. Some of those countries permit casino gambling, but some don’t.” [National Journal, 5/10/08]


Adelson Appointed To The Advisory Committee For Trade Policy. The National Journal reported that, “the Bush administration has recognized Adelson in other ways, too. In January, he was appointed to a four-year term on a major panel--the Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations--which makes recommendations to the president on trade initiatives.” [National Journal, 5/10/08]

Adelson Parlayed Massive Investments in China into USTR Appointment. According to the Associated Press, “Billionaire casino executive Sheldon Adelson has parlayed his company's massive investments in China into a four-year presidential advisory position with the U.S. Trade Representative office.” [Associated Press, 1/8/08]

Appointment Came as Adelson was About to Invest Some $13 Billion in Macau. According to the Associated Press, “The appointment to the Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations comes as Adelson's Las Vegas Sands Corp. is following through on plans to invest some $13 billion to transform the Chinese gambling enclave of Macau into a casino resort that mimics the Las Vegas Strip.” [Associated Press, 1/8/08]

2001: Adelson Sought DeLay’s Assistance to Block Congressional Action on Resolution Against China’s Bid to Host 2008 Olympics. Adelson and his top executive, William Weidner gave conflicting testimony – under oath – of the Las Vegas Sands’ effort to stop Congress from voting on a resolution in 2001 that would have asked the U.S. Olympic Committee to vote against China's bid to host the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing. Legislation was in Response to China Holding 24 Members of Military for 11 Days. The legislation was in response to China holding 24 members of the U.S. military for 11 days after their plane crashed on Chinese soil earlier that year. According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, “Adelson, on behalf of the Beijing mayor, contacted House Majority Leader Tom Delay to ask about the legislation. Following the call, Adelson was told the bill would not come up for a vote. Weidner then contacted the company's Washington, D.C.-based lobbying firm with instructions to tell the Chinese embassy that Las Vegas Sands was involved with keeping the vote from happening. He said Beijing officials were grateful. [Las Vegas Review Journal, 4/22/08]

Sands Took Credit with Chinese Leadership for Killing Resolution. According to the Los Angeles Times, the Las Vegas Sands took credit with the Chinese leadership for killing the resolution -- instructing its Washington lobbyists to "suggest that we were involved in the process," a high-ranking Sands executive said. [Los Angeles Times, 6/16/08]

Adelson, Wife Donated $695k to Republican Candidates, Committees Before Calling DeLay.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Adelson was a leading financial backer of the Republican Party. Public records showed that Adelson, his wife Miriam and his corporation had contributed a combined $695,000 to Republican candidates and committees over the 12-year span before he pulled DeLay out of a Fourth of July barbecue in 2001 with a cell phone call from Beijing where he inquired about a 2001 resolution opposing the Beijing Olympic bid which later vanished from the House calendar days before the International Olympic Committee was scheduled to vote on the site of the 2008 Summer Games. [Los Angeles Times, 6/16/08]

Same Year, Adelson Donated $3,500 to DeLay. In 2001, Adelson donated $1,000 to Tom DeLay’s campaign and $2,500 to his leadership PAC – American’s for a Republican Majority. [FEC: 10/4/01; 10/17/01]

Adelson Dismissed Criticism Over China’s Human Rights Violations. Adelson dismissed a Parade Magazine article which ranked China’s Hu Jintao fourth in their “Who is the World’s Worst Dictator” issue. The magazine wrote, “The U.S. State Department has identified 22 areas of human rights abuses under Hu Jintao, among them torture, forced abortions, forced labor, detention of religious groups, government corruption and restrictions on speech and the media.” Adelson argued that those who don't like how China's totalitarian government runs things just shouldn't go there. “I don't think the U.S. should be the policeman of the whole world,” he said. [Las Vegas-Review Journal, 3/11/07]

Adelson: “If you Don’t Like the Way People Treat Themselves, Don’t Go There.” According to a report in The Age, "There are people in Congress who say there are a lot of arguments with the way China does things," Adelson said. "Well I say, if you don't like the way people treat themselves, don't go there." [The Age, (Melbourne, Australia), 3/3/07]

Adelson Noted Many Like to Criticize China but he Liked the Way the Chinese Ran Their Country.
According to the Associated Press, Adelson, noted that many people, especially Congress members, like to criticize China for its human rights record and other problems. But he said he liked the way the Chinese run their country. 'People seem to be living a good life in China,' he said, adding that he hasn't spent much time in impoverished rural areas. 'Look at the incredible progress China has made. How can someone say they're doing the wrong thing?' [Associated Press, 3/1/07]

Adelson: “Asia is a Sure Thing.” According to Asia Today, Adelson isn’t worried over his decision to invest in China which intrigues many. "I am not losing any sleep says Adelson. People ask me what worries me most. When I say nothing, they look at me as if I have just come off Mars. Asia is a sure thing as far as I am concerned." [Asia Today, 10/07]

Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands Launched Adelson Center For U.S.-China Enterprise When China Hosts The Olympics. In May 2008, National Journal reported that, “As China hosts the Olympics in August, the Sands will launch a nonprofit and complementary organization, the Adelson Center for U.S.-China Enterprise, in Beijing. Occupying two floors of a high-rise, the center will advise and assist small and midsize U.S. companies seeking to enter the China market. The center, which Weidner says will cost about $100 million, will offer rental apartments for visiting executives who come to meet their Chinese counterparts, and it will work closely with a parallel Chinese entity.” [National Journal, 5/10/08]

Weidner: “Our Rationale for the Center is to Improve the U.S – China Trade Relationship.” Weidner said of the centers opening, "We want to demonstrate to the mainland Chinese that we're more than an entertainment company. Our rationale for the center is to improve the U.S.-China trade relationship." The Adelson Center will invite prominent American and Chinese political leaders attending the Olympics to its own opening ceremony. [National Journal, 5/10/08]

US Chamber “The Sands is Placing a Big Bet on China’s Economic Future.”
"The goal is to help companies locate appropriate partners in the marketplace," according to Myron Brilliant, the chamber executive who oversees the organizations China trade work and who serves as an outside adviser to the project, separate from his chamber role. "The Sands is placing a big bet on China's economic future," and the center is a way of "giving back." Brilliant adds that "the more they drive state and local enterprises to use the center, the more they might use their convention business in Macau." [National Journal, 5/10/08]

Las Vegas Sands President Weidner Also Served On The Board Of The U.S. Chamber Of Commerce And Backed Major Chinese Projects For The Chamber. “Over the past three years, for instance, Weidner has served on the board of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce at the same time that the Las Vegas Sands has financially backed major China projects for the chamber,” reported the National Journal. [National Journal, 5/10/08]


77,200 Jobs Have Been Lost In North Carolina Due To America’s Growing Trade Deficit With China. North Carolina has lost 2% of its total state employment due to the United States’ trade deficit with China, the second highest of any state in the nation. [Economic Policy Institute Briefing Paper #188, 10/9/07]

China Admission To WTO Has Negative Impact On North Carolina’s Economy.
According to a 2007 report by the U.S. – China Economic and Security Review Commission, “North Carolina appears to have realized few if any substantial benefits from China’s admission to the WTO, and the net effect of trade with China since its accession appears to be negative overall for North Carolina’s economy.” [Winston-Salem Journal, 5/1/08]

Dole Wanted To Open China To American Trade. Elizabeth Dole said she supported opening China to American trade and supported giving China membership in the World Trade Organization during her presidential campaign in 1999. Dole said her approach would benefit U.S. manufacturing interests and farmers by vastly expanding export markets. [Associated Press, 9/27/99; Manchester Union Leader, 8/17/99]

Bush: Supported And Hailed China’s Admission To WTO. In 2000, George W. Bush’s presidential campaign released a trade policy statement that declared Bush’s support for admitting China and Taiwan into the World Trade Organization. After China was admitted to the WTO in 2001, President Bush said, in a statement, that the United States looks “forward to the great benefits we know that greater trade will bring to all our peoples.” [Associated Press, 4/24/00; White House Press Release, 11/11/01]

---Disclosure: I am Kay Hagan's Online Communications Director---