Remember Sheldon Adelson, our poster child for dividend tax reform?
“As CEOs receive more of their compensation in stock, they have a bigger personal stake in decisions about what to do with corporate profits. Should the company reinvest profits by expanding operations and hiring new employees? Or pay profits out to shareholders as dividends? Implement a long-term growth strategy? Or loot the company for as much immediate payout as possible? When top executives own millions of shares, they have a huge personal stake in that decision.”
“Remember how casino mogul Sheldon Adelson pledged to spend $100 million on Mitt Romney’s campaign? Wonder how he could afford it? It was only a fraction of the amount Adelson received this year in stock dividends from his company – even though ‘Dividend payments to shareholders are not standard in the casino industry…’ “
Read the full story here.
Turns out, Adelson spent more than he pledged. According to yesterday’s Huffington Post, Adelson spent about $150 million trying to get Mitt Romney elected.
As [President Obama’s] second term begins, Adelson’s international casino empire faces a rough road, with two federal criminal investigations into his business.
This coming week, Adelson plans to visit Washington, according to three separate GOP sources familiar with his travel schedule. While here, he’s arranged Hill meetings with at least one House GOP leader in which he is expected to discuss key issues, including possible changes to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the anti-bribery law that undergirds one federal probe into his casino network, according to a Republican attorney with knowledge of his plans.
Read more here.
Also yesterday, Politico reported
A week after Election Day, three Republican governors mentioned as 2016 presidential candidates — Bobby Jindal, John Kasich and Bob McDonnell — each stopped by the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino to meet privately with its owner Sheldon Adelson, a man who could single-handedly underwrite their White House ambitions.
Planning a presidential campaign used to mean having coffee with county party chairs in their Iowa or New Hampshire living rooms. The courting of Adelson, a full four years out from 2016, demonstrates how super PAC sugar daddies have become the new must-have feature for White House wannabes.
Read the Politico report here.
Is this what American democracy is coming to? The personal preference of one very rich man is more important than the New Hampshire primary?
Remember, this is the same man who had tax breaks worth $2.3 billion riding on the outcome of the 2012 elections.
And whatever tax reforms Congress makes – or doesn’t make – as it resolves the fiscal cliff…
…well, all those reforms could be changed again, by a new Congress and a new President, depending on the outcome of the 2014 and 2016 elections.
This is a long-term game, folks.
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