• Are Republicans Engaging In ‘Crapitalism’ Too?

    Jason Mattera’s new book Crapitalism details how liberals have made a mint living off the backs of taxpayers with their crony business schemes and backroom dealings. Unfortunately, the disease of crony capitalism is not confined to solely to the Democrat Party and might become contagious to the GOP.

    Capitol Hill sources are telling me that a Republican billionaire Las Vegas casino owner is on the verge of achieving his goal of putting his competition out of business in one fell legislative swoop and the House Republican Leadership is quietly helping him.

    When Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey legalized online gambling for residents, alarm bells went off at the headquarters of the Sands Casino Corporation. Owned by long-time Republican political giver Sheldon Adelson, Adelson promised to “spend whatever it takes” to reverse the decision of these states and to prevent other states more doing the same. The Washington Post reported that Adelson’s long-time lobbyist drafted the legislation that was shopped around Capitol Hill and introduced by Rep. Jason Chafetz (R-UT) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC).

    The bill was dormant for most of the year but the Lame Duck session has apparently ushered in new life into the matter. According to an industry newsletter called Gambling Compliance, the House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and the Senate’s Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) have had discussions about moving the legislation before the end of the year.

    Why would a Republican be willing to move a bill that tramples on the Constitution’s Tenth Amendment while protecting a billion dollar corporation from legal and regulated competition? Crapitalism. Adelson has given hundreds of millions of dollars to the GOP over the years and he now is looking to cash in and some in the GOP seems ready and happy to oblige.

    Crapitalism comes in many forms. It can come from subsidies, giveaways, bailouts, and tax write-offs. It can also come in the form of restraint of trade designed to protect existing businesses from upstart competitors. That is exactly what Adelson hopes to accomplish by banning regulated Internet gaming.

    The GOP will show itself to be just as vapid and corrupt as their Democrat counterparts if it is willing to turn its back on constitutional principles to help a political contributor. It is no different that the Obama White House spending billions of dollars to help political benefactors in the green energy sector. The GOP and the new Congress should root out crony capitalism and it should start by telling Sheldon Adelson “No.”

    Roberto Escoban

    Roberto Escoban is the pen name of a conservative activist who spent 20 years working in Washington including a decade on Capitol Hill.

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