Embracing Sheldon Adelson

Thomas B. Edsall writes: There is a succinct answer to the question of why Romney would take the risk of closely associating himself with the immensely controversial Adelson: 10 million dollars — the amount Adelson and his wife have contributed to the super Pac supporting Romney, Restore Our Future.

The Adelsons are the largest donors to the Romney PAC. They have providing just over 12 percent of the $82.2 million Restore Our Future has raised so far. Romney’s personal wealth is an estimated $250 million, but the former governor is determined not to self-finance his quest for the presidency.

Adelson’s cash is more than enough to persuade Romney to swallow his pride and embrace the man who, earlier in the campaign, spent millions on a different candidate. It was Adelson who financed Newt Gingrich’s populist attack ads, which portrayed Romney, the former C.E.O. of Bain Capital, as a “predatory capitalist.” The Adelson-financed attacks were instrumental in bringing about Romney’s defeat in the South Carolina primary in January and they laid the groundwork for the attacks Obama is subjecting Romney to now.

The source of Adelson’s huge campaign contributions would appear to create a conflict with Romney’s Mormon convictions. The official website of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints states: “The Church opposes gambling in any form, including government-sponsored lotteries.”

What Mormons Believe, an unofficial web site explicating the positions of the Church declares:

The Mormon Church has always opposed gambling in every form, including government-sponsored lotteries. Mormon prophets and leaders have counseled the members over time, to avoid gambling of any type. Doing so, leads one away from righteousness and into the hands of Satan. The Mormon belief is that it is an addictive behavior and leads only to destructive habits and practices. It undermines the value of work and motivates one to think that they can get something for nothing. In time, the gambler will deny themselves, as well as their family the basic needs of life. They will oft times steal from others to finance their addiction, which in turn leads to stealing, robbery, etc.

Adelson is number eight on the Forbes 400, a list of the 400 richest people in America, with a fortune of $21.5 billion amassed largely through an international collection of gambling venues. [Continue reading…]

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