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Gambling mogul Adelson’s wife used non-profit for political donations/Story retracted by Truthout (updated x 3)

Posted by Charles II on January 18, 2013

Update, 1/31/13. I have received an e-mail from Dina Rasor of Truthout stating that this story has been “retracted.” I asked to have a statement I could link to at Truthout to close this issue. I have not yet received a response. She informs me that Truthout published a retraction but only kept it up for one day. However, our readers should be aware that apparently Truthout does not stand behind the statement that political contributions came from the Adelson Clinic [added: or The Las Vegas Sands Corporation]. Therefore, there is no reason to think that the philanthropic mission of the clinic was compromised or that any laws or regulations are broken.
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Danny Weil, t/o

According to Opensecrets.org, The Adelson Clinic for Drug Abuse Treatment and Research was the fourth largest contributor to right-wing political action committees (PACs), political parties and outside spending groups in the nation in 2012; the organization contributed over $24 million to these groups.

Online news site, influenceexplorer.com reported in 2012 that Dr. Miriam Adelson and the Adelson Clinic contributed $22.5 million to the following political actions committees: $12.5 million to Winning Our Future, $5 million to Restore Our Future, $ 2.5 million to Young Guns Action Fund, and $2.5 million to the Congressional Leadership Fund.

Although the clinic is a stated non-profit organization, it makes massive contributions to conservative political groups that raise questions about its philanthropic mission.

Mrs. Adelson and the Clinic have declined to respond to inquiries about how a non-profit could be a political funding vehicle.
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As discussed in comments below, the story has disappeared from Truthout’s archive. An attempt to contact Truthout has gone unanswered.

As also discussed in comments, OpenSecrets.org does indeed list The Adelson Drug Clinic as the source of millions of dollars of contributions. However, looking at the OpenSecrets data in more detail, I am persuaded that this is a misreading of the data. OpenSecrets lists $24,086,600 of contributions for the 2012 cycle. It indicates that these came from individuals, not from PACs. A search by individual for Adelson, Miriam of Nevada comes up with $42,122,900 in contributions. It looks as if the first query aggregates by organization. So it seems likely to me that Truthout mis-read the OpenSecrets data.

Naturally, this can’t be regarded as fully resolved until Truthout issues a correction or re-affirms the story. And the main thrust of the story–that one individual can pour tens of millions of dollars into political campaigns, thereby making a mockery of American democracy– stands. Regrettably, it is entirely legal for the political process to be corrupted in this manner, or so says the Supreme Court. That doesn’t make it right.

I’ll continue to follow this and add information as it becomes available.
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Update, 1/29: I have again contacted Truthout. As far as I can tell, they have not yet issued a retraction or correction. If and when they do, or when they respond to my inquiry, I will add that information.

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7 Responses to “Gambling mogul Adelson’s wife used non-profit for political donations/Story retracted by Truthout (updated x 3)”

  1. Ron Reese said

    The truthout.org story is completely inaccurate and they are preparing to remove it and apoligize for misleading people. A check of federal election commission records will clearly show that Dr. Miriam Adelson made contributions as a private citizen and the non-profit clinic made no such contributions. This post should be taken down and an apology offered here as well. Irresponsible journalism.

    • Charles II said

      Ron, the minute any of this happens, I’ll correct the story.

      The hell I will apologize for accurately quoting what truthout has published.

      • Ron Reese said

        Charles – the truthout link has been removed, I hope that is sufficient evidence for you.

        FYI – I’m not happy I misspelled apologize either . . .

        http://archive.truthout.org/…/13911-adelsons-wife-used-drug-clinic-to-fund-gop-war-%20chests

        Thank you.

      • Charles II said

        When there is something to report other than a link gone missing, I will do so, Ron. The truth will come out in its own time.

        Really, I don’t have anything against the Adelsons except the fact that they use their extraordinary wealth to push their opinions on the rest of us.

        Like, say, sending an employee of The Sands out to pester a very minor blog.

      • Ron Reese said

        Charles, it’s a Saturday and I’m at my home doing this as an individual. The truth is that truthout published something accusing a private citizen of breaking the law. We can agree to disagree about politics and probably other things, but hopefully we an agree that is not right. Even though it is a “minor blog,” I would think a civic minded individual like yourself would help set the situation straight.

      • Charles II said

        Ron, I take great pains to correct whatever errors I make writing for this blog. But I do so when I have other verifiable facts with which to correct them.

        Now, it is true as you say, that the link to the truthout story has ceased to function.You say it is because truthout has withdrawn the story. You may well be right. But at this moment I have no independent verification of it. Maybe their website got hacked. Maybe the webmaster put a dot where he should have put a dash. This kind of thing happens a lot on the web.

        In fact, if truthout is withdrawing the story, it’s very puzzling that they would simply take it down. Usually news organizations very publicly correct stories. Truthout certainly has done before.

        I can easily find what they the story refers to on OpenSecrets here. Does this refer to donations by an individual aggregated under the employer? Maybe so. I’m sure we will find out soon enough.

        In the meantime, please note that the Internet, functioning properly, is self-correcting. Your comments appear just as publicly as the original blog post. Any reader has access to your statement that truthout will withdraw the story. Surely that will serve until independently verifiable facts emerge?

  2. Let’s try to unpack this:

    – The methadone portions of the Truthout story are based on firmly sourced reporting from a local TV news station: http://www.8newsnow.com/Global/story.asp?S=7328805

    – Here’s what Influence Explorer shows for a search on “Adelson Clinic”: http://influenceexplorer.com/organization/adelson-drug-clinic/f05d4e7e86ea4940b048c304c441f35c $29 million, all of it given to Republicans.

    – Links vanish for all sorts of reasons, which is one reason why I try to quote as much as I can of the pertinent parts of a story (such as when I cited Steve Perry’s City Pages piece, done in the late 1990s, on how he grew up in an Iowa town not far from Charles Murray’s rural hometown). Disappearance of a link, in and of itself, proves nothing, so trying to browbeat Charles for passing on information he picked up in good faith from Truthout is, how do we say it, Adelsonesque bullying.

    Meanwhile, there is a definite double standard at work in American corporate journalism. I’m forcibly reminded of how Paul Krugman’s opinion column that cited in good faith Salon‘s Jason Leopold was held to a higher standard than either Bill Safire’s mendacious opinionating on Atta in Prague or Judith Miller’s Iraq-War cheerleading, and her stuff was supposed to be straight-up journalism and not mere “opinion”. Krugman was made to grovel for citing something Leopold stated, whereas neither Safire nor Miller apologized for anything they wrote no matter how wrong or deceptive, and certainly not for the reams of demonstrably bogus crap they shoveled out in service to the neocon cause.

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