“Rudy Giuliani travels around the country wooing Bible-thumping conservatives. And he jets around in a plane provided by the king of Sin City. Sound like the Rudy you’ve seen on TV? Sheldon Anderson, a casino billionaire and the third-richest American, has been providing Giuliani with plush corporate jets, and Giuliani save over $100,000 in travel costs last summer alone.””
Rudy Giuliani travels around the country wooing Bible-thumping conservatives.
And he jets around in a plane provided by the king of Sin City.
Sound like the Rudy you’ve seen on TV? Sheldon Anderson, a casino billionaire and the third-richest American, has been providing Giuliani with plush corporate jets, and Giuliani save over $100,000 in travel costs last summer alone.
Until eight weeks ago, candidates could fly on private corporate jets and reimburse the company for the price of a first-class commercial ticket. It was long seen as a back-door way for corporations to donate to campaigns. On Sept. 14, Congress agreed and the Federal Election Commission changed the rules, requiring presidential candidates to pay fair-market prices for corporate planes.
Giuliani wasn’t the only one to use the rules to his advantage. Flying in private corporate planes alongside him were fellow Republicans Mitt Romney and John McCain, as did John Edwards. Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton accepted no private corporate aircraft, instead renting planes at full market cost.
But none of his fellow candidates were in bed with Sheldon Anderson, the ruler of a Las Vegas empire. If Giuliani seems to be the crime-fighting candidate, why is he partnering with a large and growing gambling empire? While the business is legitimate, it is often a magnet for organized crime.
And what does this have to say of the evangelical Christian support Giuliani has received? Most prominent conservative Christian leaders have remained split over which Republican candidate to support. However, Giuliani has received loud support from Pat Robertson, one of America’s most outspoken evangelical leaders.
Giuliani is two-faced. In bed with the devil and the evangelicals, he seems to be the master of disguise.
There are serious problems with a presidential candidate receiving support and large campaign contributions from casino empire.
Campaign contributions are always watched closely, and some candidates refuse contributions from lobbyists and other political groups. But Anderson’s campaign contribution was allowing Giuliani to save a ton of money on travel expenses, and that slipped under the radar.
It’s good that Congress changed the rules, and that candidates can no longer use the back-door to save travel expenses. Congress is doing its job, surprisingly.
But Giuliani needs to reconsider his ties to big business. As Joe Biden put it, Giuliani’s sentence structure consists of a verb, noun, and 9/11. Maybe he should talk about his stance on gambling or his ties to big business.
We’ll see if the evangelical conservatives who support him will change their mind or not.
They probably won’t, and Giuliani probably won’t talk about anything besides Sept. 11. But that’s okay, because that’s what’s relevant and important to the ’08 election.
It’s unfortunate that the media haven’t picked up this story yet. It was reported by the Daily News on Sunday.
Thanks to their reporting, if ever you needed proof that our politicians are too closely tied to big business – even big gambling business – you’ve got it now.