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March 3, 2011 / J. Shaw

Gingrich Has Ties to Gambling Group Under Probe

Without judging Newt Gingrich on his ties to the Sands, SHAW has problems with Gingrich as a presidential candidate. Gingrich has other skeletons in his closet. He also has been around DC too long. He is involved with too many groups.Gingrich is part of the OLD GOP even though he is a conservative. I couldn’t vote for Gingrich for presodent. SHAW

The investigation into Las Vegas Sands, a big US gambling company with operations in Macao, could cast a cloud over former Republican Speaker Newt Gingrich’s expected announcement that he is exploring a presidential run.

The Sands, which is headed by Sheldon Adelson, the conservative activist, is listed as the single largest donor to a non-profit organisation headed by Mr Gingrich and has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars more to other Republican candidates, according to federal records compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.

On Tuesday, the company announced it had received a subpoena from the US Securities and Exchange Commission over its compliance with anti-bribery laws and that the Department of Justice, which examines potential criminal allegations, was conducting a similar investigation.

Mr Gingrich’s organisation, called American Solutions for Winning the Future, has received $6.5m from Sands since the 2006 election cycle. The Center for Responsive Politics said the funds might have been from the organisation, individual members or employees.

One person familiar with the matter said the donations came from Mr Adelson, a longtime supporter of Mr Gingrich, and not corporate funds.

American Solutions, which is known in Washington as a 527 group – Mr Gingrich also runs a political action committee with the same name – spent $12.9m on fundraising activities in the 2010 election and $3.2m to pay for private chartered aircraft for Mr Gingrich and others.

The former Republican Speaker was expected to become the first in a long list of potential Republican candidates to announce his interest in a possible run for president on Thursday, although his aides suggested the announcement could be delayed. Fox News, the conservative news channel, announced on Wednesday that it was suspending its contract with Mr Gingrich in light of the expected news.

The former Georgia congressman is regarded as a champion of conservatism among many activists for his role in leading the Republican takeover of the House in 1994 and his opposition to then-president Bill Clinton.Mr Adelson made an appearance at a two-day planning meeting Mr Gingrich held in Washington in January to discuss the creation of a exploratory committee, the first step politicians take when they are considering a run for president. Mr Adelson is also a big supporter of Eric Cantor, the current Republican majority leader in the House.

Mr Gingrich’s office did not reply to several requests for comment on his ties to Mr Adelson or the Sands.

A Sands spokesman said: “Mr Adelson doesn’t comment on his political contributions or political endorsements.”

The company said it believed the probe was related to allegations contained in a Nevada lawsuit against the company by a former employee who ran the company’s Macao operations, Steven Jacobs, who has been called “disgruntled” by Sands.

The company denies allegations in the lawsuit and said it was co-operating with authorities.

Mr Jacobs claims in the lawsuit that Mr Adelson, whom he calls “mercurial” and “notoriously bellicose”, demanded, among other allegations, that he use “improper leverage” against senior government officials in Macao in order to obtain permits to sell certain ­properties.

MORE…     By Stephanie Kirchgaessner


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