Washington Post journos were quick to pick up on the symbolism of an incident in Congress this week in which Sheldon Adelson’s wife Miriam, sitting in the public gallery with her husband for Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech, accidentally nudged her purse, which landed on the shoulder of Nebraska Representative Brad Ashford seated below.
Symbolic, because Ashford had that same day signed on as the fourteenth co-sponsor for the Restoration of the American Wire Act, a federal proposal seeking to ban most forms of internet gambling at the behest of multi-billionaire land casino owner Sheldon Adelson, a man known to splash out large amounts of money to influence politicians and political events.
Washington Post blogger Al Kamen observed:
“The [RAWA] bill, introduced in early February, would ban most online gambling. Adelson – the owner of Las Vegas Sands, the company behind the Venetian casino-hotel in Vegas and others in the United States and abroad – has been wielding his influence to get congressional backers because Internet betting threatens his casino customer base. The federal government has left it up to the states, but, curiously, some Republicans think it should be regulated by the feds.
“Many conservative Republicans, however, say it should remain a states’- rights issue. It’s a complicated area for the GOP, considering that Adelson and his wife contributed almost $6 million to federal candidates and committees in the 2014 midterms and ranked eighth among individual donors, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
“For Ashford, it won’t be purse strings that connect him to the Adelsons. It will just be a purse.”