Cronyism Endemic to Both Parties


On Election Day, Americans sent a clear message to policymakers in Washington — end the corruption and stop the cronyism.  Yet even before the newly minted members of Congress are sworn in, news from Capitol Hill suggests another crony deal to reward a big political contributor is in the works and this time the backroom deal is being supported by the Republicans.

Sheldon Adelson is one of the richest men in the world.  As owner of the Sands Casino empire, he has made billions from gambling from his brick and mortar casinos from Las Vegas to Macau.  When three states legalized online gaming for their residents, Adelson promised to “spend whatever it takes” to outlaw his competition.  Rather than lobby the states, he turned to his allies in the federal government to trample on the Tenth Amendment to get the job done.

The Washington Post reported that Adelson’s DC lobbyist drafted legislation that was quickly introduced by Sen. Lindsey Graham in the Senate.  A number of conservative groups quickly raised red flags over the bill noting that it decimated the Tenth Amendment and opened the door to government regulation of the Internet.  The bill seemed dormant until earlier this week when Adelson’s top lobbyists told the media there had been high level talks between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Speaker John Boehner to move the bill.

Why would the GOP Speaker cut a deal with Reid?  Money.  Addison is one of the largest donors to the Republican Party.  He is the establishment’s primary funder and if given the opportunity to help him, Boehner and the Republican leadership will do so.  Human Events is reporting that Washington insiders fear the fix is in.

No wonder Ron Paul spoke out with a vengeance this week, denouncing the bill noting,  “A federal online gambling ban would overturn laws in three states that allow online gambling. It would also end the ongoing debate over legalizing online gambling in many other states. Yet some have claimed that Congress must pass this law in order to protect states rights! Their argument is that citizens of states that ban Internet gambling may easily get around those laws by accessing online casinos operating in states where online gambling is legalized.”

It would be disappointing to say the least if the GOP started playing the “Chicago Game” we have seen so much of in recent years.  If Adelson wants to keep Internet gambling from being legalized, he should be lobbying the states and their governors.  The federal government has no place outlawing his potential competition.

About Author

Harold Callahan is the pen name of a liberty loving activist who lived in the belly of the beast, Washington, DC, for nearly two decades.