To the editor:
In 2016 Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson paid $10 million to get a foothold in Congress. Recently, he tripled down on his bet to control the House of Representatives by paying $30 million to a Super PAC, the Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF). CLF will use those funds to open field offices in hotly contested Congressional Districts to assist Republican candidates win in November.
Two weeks ago, House Speaker Paul Ryan flew to Las Vegas to meet with the Adelman at his Venetian Hotel, along with Norm Coleman (who chairs the Republican Jewish Coalition) and Corry Bliss (who oversees the Super PAC Congressional Leadership Fund). As a federally elected official, Ryan is not permitted to solicit large donations, so when Ryan left the room, Coleman made the request and secured the $30 million for CLF.
Among those Congressional districts to benefit from Mr. Adelson’s largesse is New York’s 19th. Congressman John Faso’s claim that he is working for middle class working families in his district rings hollow when he accepts the patronage of billionaires who don’t even live in his district. While he may defend himself by stating that he has no say in what a Super PAC does to help his election campaign, he can publicly decline the support of Super PACs funded by billionaires like Adelson, and show that he is truly independent. Until he does, it is difficult to believe that the Congressman has the best interests of his constituents in mind.