As Newt Gingrich ‘s poll numbers surge and plummet with the predictability of the Dow Jones, some are making the connection between the two figures as genuine reflections of investor confidence. Several recent exposes reveal how Gingrich has skirted campaign finance rules to raise millions of dollars in unlimited donations from billionaire backers and big industry, with his ability to attract capital showing signs of abiding. But just who are those donors and what do they stand to gain from Gingrich?
Greg Gordon, an investigative reporter for McClatchy Newspapers who has been following the Gingrich campaign’s finances, discussed one of Gingrich’s latest beacons of support: Sheldon Adelson. “Sheldon Adelson is a rabidly pro-Israel donor and he operates two of the most elite casinos in Las Vegas: The Pallazzo and the Venetian. And he is also listed by Forbes as the 16th wealthiest person on the planet. Mr. Adelson is a huge backer of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and he in fact publishes a free newspaper that circulates in Israel that basically is an extra voice to boost the Israeli Prime Minister. … Perhaps it is no surprise, after all these donations from Adelson–totaling 7.65 million–that Gingrich has recently…talked about the Palestinian people as an ‘invented people,’ and he talked about moving the [US] embassy on his first day in office…from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which would be an extremely provocative move to make in the Middle East,” Gordon said. “According to Politico…[Adelson] is planning to put $20 million into these Super PACs that support Newt Gingrich.”
Peter Stone, of the Center for Public Integrity, echoed Gordon’s findings on Adelson and the Gingrich campaign. According to one of his reports, a close friend of Adelson’s confirmed that he would “do whatever it costs to help Gingrich.”
Video link: http://youtu.be/JV_yszQXP6U
[includes rush transcript]
JUAN GONZALEZ: The Iowa caucus is less than two weeks away. The Republican presidential race is still up for grabs. One recent poll in Iowa shows Texas Congressman Ron Paul in the lead, followed by Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Five different candidates have led the Iowa polls in recent months.
We turn now to an in-depth look at the state of politics and money and how last year’s Supreme Court ruling inCitizens United has altered campaign fundraising. The ruling opened the floodgates for unlimited corporate spending on election campaigns.
Several exposés have recently been published looking at how Newt Gingrich has skirted campaign finance rules to raise millions of dollars in unlimited donations from billionaire backers and big corporations. McClatchy Newspapers recently reported Gingrich helped bankroll his resurrection as a candidate by exploiting a gap in federal campaign finance laws to create a political money machine that raised $54 million over five years, including over $7 million from the billionaire Las Vegas casino owner Sheldon Adelson.
AMY GOODMAN: Meanwhile, the Center for Public Integrity has exposed new details on how Newt Gingrich is receiving the backing of two so-called super PACs that raise unlimited donations. Donors can provide unlimited donations to these independent groups that were formed to help Gingrich, but legally must operate independently of the campaign. Earlier this week, one of the super PACs, known as Winning Our Future, released this ad:
WINNING OUR FUTURE AD: Proven conservative leadership: Newt Gingrich. In uncertain times, we need a leader whose commitment to conservative values has been tested. Newt stood with Ronald Reagan. Newt stood up to Bill Clinton. And Newt was there for conservative values. But most importantly, Newt has always believed in the greatness of America, that America’s best days are ahead. The choice: Newt Gingrich, the proven conservative leader. Winning Our Future is responsible for the content of this message.
AMY GOODMAN: Newt Gingrich, of course, is not the only presidential hopeful benefiting from super PACs that take in unlimited donations. A Mitt Romney-aligned group called Restore Our Future PAC recently produced this anti-Gingrich ad.
RESTORE OUR FUTURE AD: And on the issues, Newt’s been on all sides. He supports amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants. Gingrich even teamed up with Nancy Pelosi and Al Gore on global warming. And Newt was a longtime supporter of a national health insurance mandate, the centerpiece of Obamacare. Maybe that’s why George Will called Gingrich the least conservative candidate. The Gingrich record: 30 years in Washington flip-flopping on issues. Check the facts at newtfacts.com. Restore Our Future, Inc., is responsible for the content of this message.