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November 19, 2007

Giuliani and the "Casino Kingpin"

The NY Daily News has a real "gotcha" piece. It seems that Rudy Giuliani spent $122,000 on campaign travel that paid for jets provided by "casino kingpin" Sheldon Adelson.

The piece has two premises: (1) Giuliani is a hypocrite because he's "wooing Bible-thumping conservatives" and (2) Giuliani is a hypocrite because he "wants to be the crimefighting candidate." (Note, there is no question about the legality of the spending.)

Adelson is tarred because of his association with gambling, which in some minds is inextricably linked with immorality and crime. No actual evidence is required. Giuliani is tarred by association.

To be honest with you, as a Catholic I've always been a bit confused by other Christians who insist that gambling is wrong (do many Christians really think that?). Moreover, it's insulting for the NY Daily News to pin that particular belief on all "Bible-thumping conservatives."

The article helpfully reminds us that Clinton and Obama have decided not to use corporate aircraft and instead rent jets at full cost so as to avoid the "appearance of a conflict." I can't tell if I'm supposed to be impressed with how virtuous they are or with how much money they've raised.

No mention is made of President's Clinton's rewarding people with flights on Air Force One, or of Senator Clinton's use of Air Force One during her first campaign. As for the "appearance of a conflict," no mention is made of the Lincoln Bedroom either.

The article concludes with a list of "corporate connections" who are "big-moneyed interests" from who Giuliani has bought air travel. Honestly, I'm shocked that Giuliani hasn't been renting jets from the mom and pop store down the street.

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posted by Gabriel Malor at 02:42 AM

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