Shel Adelson’s Congressional Pets Say, ‘No Agenda Here’
Billionaire casino owner Shel Adelson donates millions of dollars every year to GOP candidates but, according to Senator Marc Rubio (R-FL), that money doesn’t buy any influence when it comes to gambling legislation.
Rubio, who has received money from Adelson and, coincidentally, supports the Adelson-backed Restoration of the American Wire Act (RAWA), spoke on the subject of influence at a recent press conference saying:
People buy into my agenda. I don’t buy into theirs. When I run for office, I tell people where I stand … My stands are not influenced by my contributors; I hope my stands influence my contributors.
Rubio, who is also running for President, says he’s been opposed to gambling in his home state of Florida for a long time. Further he, like Adelson, consider online gambling to be a tax on the poor. His interest in stopping online gambling, however, is a recent development.
While opposing land-based casinos in Florida, Rubio did have some pretty harsh words for Adelson’s home base of Nevada and the impact of gambling there saying:
Nevada is the gambling mecca of the United States and it has a higher unemployment rate [and] their housing market is upside down. They are hurting in Nevada.
Whether Adelson is influencing agendas or not, it’s pretty clear that Presidential candidates like Rubio are tripping over themselves trying to curry his favor.
In April of this year, several of them journeyed to Vegas for meetings with Adelson that were immediately dubbed as the, “Adelson Primaries.”
Most accounts of these meetings agree that Rubio made a very favorable impression on the kingmaker. According to Salon.com, Adelson has been telling friends that Rubio is the future of the Republican Party.
It’s hard to blame presidential candidates for standing in line to kiss Adelson’s ring. He handed out more than $100 million to GOP candidates in 2012.
At the same time, it would be pretty naive to think Adelson gave out all that cash without asking for anything in return.