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Sounds like John Sununu threatened Sheldon Adelson

Sounds like John Sununu threatened Sheldon Adelson

John Sununu pretty much threatened Sheldon Adelson, who is funding a pro-Newt SuperPAC running ads about Bain, with retribution (emphasis mine):

This went under the radar in the crush of primary day activity yesterday, but former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu — who has been among Mitt Romney’s most outspoken surrogates in recent weeks — lambasted casino magnate Sheldon Adelson in an appearance on Fox News for giving $5 million to the super PAC supporting Newt Gingrich.

Referring to Adelson as “not so bright” as he led into the discussion, Sununu noted that Adelson tends to woo the financial community to invest in his projects — and that many of them are Romney backers.

“Does he think people don’t remember when you attack them and pay for the attacks in the primary? Especially when one of the parties receiving that attack is the same investment community that he likes to go to to finance his expansions,” Sununu railed. “There’s just no common sense in this process, and you kind of feel sorry for people that aren’t that bright.”

The message is clear.  Anyone who attacks Romney on Bain is going to get payback from Wall Street. When that message is conveyed by the leading candidate’s spokesman and confidant, it is a lot more than a casual observation.  And if Sununu is so bold on television, you can only imagine what is going on behind the scenes from Romney supporters in the financial community.

Sounds like Adelson is feeling the pressure:

A source close to wealthy donor Sheldon Adelson, who is under fire for giving $5 million to a pro-Newt Gingrich super PAC that began running TV ads attacking Mitt Romney’s careerin private equity, distanced the Las Vegas casino magnate from the ads on Thursday.

“Some people have made this leap that Sheldon Adelson gave $5 million and every penny of that is being used to hit Mitt Romney over Bain Capital,” said the Adelson source, who asked not to be identified in order to more frankly discuss Adelson’s thinking on the subject. “Aren’t people getting in a tizzy here about something that maybe isn’t completely accurate?”

Sununu is right out of Chicago City Hall casting.


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Wow, Romney and his campaign are so corrupt. Between bribing endorsers to these strong arm tactics, it really is just amazing how they are trying to steal this election.

    The Romney campaign isn’t try to steal an election, they’re trying to buy the GOP nomination. Mr. Jacobson’s observation that Sununu is acting like he belongs in Tammany Hall is spot-on. But it’s worse than that. When Sununu sends the message that, “Anyone attacks Romney on Bain is going to get payback from Wall Street,” he’s basically giving the Obama campaign another tool to cast Romney as the 1% against Obama being the 99%.

    This is the latest in a number of unforced errors that will play right into Obama’s reelection campaign strategy.

      Awing1 in reply to McCoy2k. | January 13, 2012 at 10:50 am

      Actually the message of Mr. Sununu was pretty clear, anyone who attacks the private equity industry can expect a cold shoulder from the private equity industry. That seems pretty reasonable, doesn’t it?

        imfine in reply to Awing1. | January 13, 2012 at 11:11 am

        I hope you know, that when people read what you just wrote, they think even worse of Romney and they harden their opposition. It sounds almost like a crime syndicate threatening to take away someone’s living for voiding their support for the guy who isn’t on the dime. It sounds like these PE firms are dangerous and their candidate will in fact be their puppet.

          Awing1 in reply to imfine. | January 13, 2012 at 11:37 am

          So in your mind, it’s wrong to refuse service to someone who denounces your industry? If someone ran around denouncing gambling, I wouldn’t let them sit at my craps table.

          LukeHandCool in reply to imfine. | January 13, 2012 at 11:54 am

          You don’t sit at craps tables.

          You sit on the crapper.

          imfine in reply to imfine. | January 13, 2012 at 11:57 am

          Do I think its wrong to threaten people for having a different point of view? Umm yeah. this is just a debate, they are not even arguing over whether PE is bad. Its over a few specific cases where wrongdoing is apparent. Honestly this almost sounds like a crime syndicate where they basically take over the government and continue looting like they have been doing over the past 3 years.

          Awing1 in reply to imfine. | January 13, 2012 at 12:09 pm

          CoolHandLuke, I noticed that as soon as I pushed submit, definitely my bad.

          Imfine, I don’t think it’s right to threaten someone for having a different view, but I don’t think someone should criticize what I do for a living, and then expect me to still do it for them.

          This is absolutely about attacks on the entire industry, whether you think it is or not. This isn’t picking out deals where something improper was done and highlighting that impropriety, this is focusing on a natural aspect of what happens when private equity firms take over a company, people lose their jobs. That’s the focus of the film, because they don’t have anything else.

        McCoy2k in reply to Awing1. | January 13, 2012 at 11:22 am

        You’ve basically made the same reply three different people. So the real question is, how close are you to the Romney campaign? Are you a volunteer? A paid intern? Or in John Sununu’s inner circle? Or are you John Sununu, Jr?

        It’s already clear you’re trying to walk back what John Sununu (Sr.) said.

          imfine in reply to McCoy2k. | January 13, 2012 at 11:25 am

          I have felt the same thing. He is way too fanatical. If Gingrich did these things I wouldn’t support him.

          Awing1 in reply to McCoy2k. | January 13, 2012 at 11:33 am

          You can ask the Professor who I am, he’ll likely be my professor some time in the next two years when I take the securities law clinic at Cornell.

        raven in reply to Awing1. | January 13, 2012 at 11:33 am

        You can’t be serious.

This looks bad. I hope it gets picked up.

huskers-for-palin | January 13, 2012 at 10:09 am

Just posted it on Free Republic. What a bunch of thugs.

Don’t worry Jim Demint, and some of the other ‘non-aligned’ Republicans will step forward to tell Romney…

Oh, who the hell am I fooling?

This fiasco, top to botton, has been pre-ordained.

Romney is the attenuated mirror image of Obama — the same just not as tough. An Obama-Romney race will be the Bowery Boys vs. the Buchanan Boys. Guess who’ll win.

Sounds like no matter which party wins, we’re still going to get the second term of Obama.

Whoa. Fail to support Romney, or support his opposition, and you’ll suffer later financially for it. This on top of the palm greasing and media control.

    Awing1 in reply to janitor. | January 13, 2012 at 10:46 am

    Actually he pretty specifically said attacking the private equity industry and the industry might not want to work with you. Since you seem to think the PE industry is just a bunch of vultures anyway and that somehow corporations are a government created farce (in a free-market capitalist system, corporations would exist as long as contracts were enforced, unless the government actively banned them), a threat to someone of the PE industry refusing to work with someone should be a good thing, right?

      imfine in reply to Awing1. | January 13, 2012 at 11:05 am

      Lets put this another way:

      I think attacking a particular used car dealer for using some sleazy tactics to make money is not an indictment of the used car industry, but of one particular used car dealer who wants to be president. For his cronies to threaten to ruin someone who buys used cars to run his limo company by refusing to sell them their inventory is pretty sleazy in itself and leads credence to the charge that they are corrupt.

        Awing1 in reply to imfine. | January 13, 2012 at 11:32 am

        What Gingrich and this PAC have done is more akin to making the attack that used car dealers are making enormous profits by paying the individuals they buy from less than what they get when they sell the car. They could afford to sell them for less, but they’re just greedy, and as a result, this person X couldn’t afford to get a car, couldn’t get to work when their old car broke down, got fired and now starves. All for greed.

          imfine in reply to Awing1. | January 13, 2012 at 11:49 am

          Umm again no, thats not what he is being attacked for. Its more like, if the Used car dealer hid damage from a customer, or used bad parts to jerry rig the car to convince the customer that it was in fact worth more than what it was. the Customer puts his family in the car, and it promptly crashes injuring everyone inside. We are arguing about whether there was misrepresentation or fraud and to the extent of the damages that occurred. This goes right to character.

          In these individual cases it looks like this happened on the face of it, especially with DDI and KB. If you are saying that this is how you make money in PE then we are going to lose the debate and Dems wins because you are defending dishonesty and theft. this whole “I’m criticising capitalism” is nonsense.

          Awing1 in reply to Awing1. | January 13, 2012 at 12:00 pm

          That may be what happened at KB, but Gingrich and the PAC don’t focus all that much on KB because they realize it’s almost impossible to pin that on Romney, since he left two years before the deal even began. As for DDi, Bain did exactly what any PE firm does, reorganize the company using their management style, increase profits, take some of the profits as dividends to repay the investment, then take it public. There was impropriety with that deal, but Bain was not involved in it, only Lehman was, and they were fined for it. The movie also blatantly lies when it says Bain dumped all it’s stock before the crash, as they still owned a 14% stake in the company when it filed for Chapter 11.

          Watch the movie again, see what it’s really criticizing. It’s not criticizing Bain for lying about anything, or for any actual impropriety. It’s criticizing Bain because people lost their jobs when the company was reorganized, which happens in a fair number of PE deals and is an important part of turning many companies around. That to me isn’t an attack on Bain alone, but on PE in general and it’s focus on buying inefficient companies and making them more efficient.

      janitor in reply to Awing1. | January 13, 2012 at 11:12 am

      Corporations, artificial entities, are creatures of the law. Capitalism by itself can give rise to partnerships and joint ventures, but not corporations.

        Awing1 in reply to janitor. | January 13, 2012 at 11:28 am

        The essential parts of a Corporation can all be created by contract, with the exception of limitation of liability to non-parties. Since that limitation is generally irrelevant to private equity, it still doesn’t explain how corporations amount to a system being gamed.

        As a former lawyer, I would’ve thought you’d know that.

          janitor in reply to Awing1. | January 13, 2012 at 10:16 pm

          That limitation on personal liability is what allows raiders to load up debt on a corporation above its worth, drain it of assets, and then walk away. It also facilitates situations in which an enterprise’s assets or liquidation value can be worth more than its stock. The artificial entity concept also is what gives rise to the public trading, in which there can be so many owners that most of them can take little or no interest in the operation of the enterprise, and employees can make “mistaken” decisions in favor of their outside cronies.

          janitor in reply to Awing1. | January 13, 2012 at 10:24 pm

          Also, classic capitalism assumes that there is added value, investment for a time which facilitates that added value through the creation of product or services, and that profits are the reward of actually investing capital. Loading up loans on a corporation in order to pay faux “management fees” or fleecing out “dividends” in the absence of having invested capital, is not capitalism, but a scheme to transfer wealth held by others to someone else.

Here we are again: more on Romney. He “won” Iowa by 8 votes, not 8 percent. He won the state next door to his convincingly, which if he hadn’t I would have been surprised.

Rick Santorum “lost” Iowa by 8 votes. How about letting at least SOME of the other states have some input, rathan than jumping at this herd mentality, that only wants to talk about the establishment’s candidate?

Rick Santorum has bought $1.5 million worth of ads in South Carolina. Let’s at least NOTICE the man who without any money to speak of, “lost” Iowa by 8 votes.

He’s consistent, sincere, and has actually passed legislation, such as the Partial Birth Abortion Ban, which undoubtedly has saved near full-term babies unimaginable pain. The Wall Street Journal believes his tax plan will induce manufacturing companies to resume building things in America. Isn’t this what we want?

Just because reporters are lazy so they report on the latest hot thing, doesn’t mean we should be as short-sighted as they are. Wake up!

“The message is clear. Anyone attacks the Wall Street process is going to get payback from Wall Street.”

Fixed it for ya.

I didn’t realize John Sununu was a Romney Campaign spokesman, and he did qualify it by saying it’s a personal observation. Even if he really did mean it as a threat though, so what? If Gingrich’s attack video and quotes were more specific to some wrongdoing at Bain that wasn’t just a natural side effect of PE, maybe I could understand the outrage at such comments, but the quotes and the video represent broad attacks on the private equity industry, I agree that people will remember that.

You keep trying to characterize the problem with Gingrich’s attacks as a ban on talking about Bain. That’s not what it is and you know it, the problem consistently has been the broadness of his attacks, how their form and content can be applied to an industry at large and free market capitalism in general. It’s not about Bain, it’s about what he’s actually said.

    spartan in reply to Awing1. | January 13, 2012 at 10:59 am

    “… broadness of his attacks, …”?

    Did Newt say all private equity groups were vultures? I am pretty sure he did not. What you and most conservative pundits have done is extrapolate the argument from Bain to everyone in the Private Equity business. It is a dishonest argument. It is akin to criticizing Obama’s policies and in defense of Obama being called a racist.

    BTW, there is a lot of delusion if you believe the Democrats were never going to use the Bain card in the General Election. Bain was instrumental in helping Obama in the takeover of GM and Chrysler. Bain’s contribution?

    Cutting dealerships.

    Perhaps, you can tell us about Romney’s background in creating jobs.

      Awing1 in reply to spartan. | January 13, 2012 at 11:25 am

      Sound bites from the movie like: “No matter how much they already had, they could never get enough money.” and “What do you get out of treating people like this?” are absolutely attacks on the private equity industry as a whole. Newt Gingrich’s statement “financiers come in from out of town, take over a company, take all the profit and then leave people unemployed behind.” is a morality judgement on the industry.

      A large portion of Private Equity deals involve initial layoffs, that’s part of making a company more efficient. You cannot separate that statement from private equity, you just can’t. That’s absolutely nothing like calling someone who criticizes Obama’s policies racist because race has nothing to do with policy. One is not connected to the other, unlike Newt’s attacks and private equity as an industry. I suggest you look up the fallacy of composition, and pay special attention to the exceptions.

        spartan in reply to Awing1. | January 13, 2012 at 1:13 pm

        Was there a logical argument in your response?

        Okay, you are now using quotes from the movie and making those quotes Gingrich’s. You do realize those quotes are concerning Bain and Bain alone, don’t you?
        You add another quote made by Gingrich which if taken in context with the prior two quotes you cited, still concern Bain. However, if one over parses and extrapolates the quote, they make your argument.

        This kind of sloppy and lazy thinking makes it difficult to have a competent discussion on the issue. We have gone from logic to emotion in discussing this issue and once again Romney gets a pass.
        I will break it down for you:
        Criticize Obama’s deeds and policies gets one a response of “racist”. Criticize Romney and Bain gets one a response of “anti-capitalist”. Neither response is related to the criticism.

        Well …… unless YOU find an exception.

    imfine in reply to Awing1. | January 13, 2012 at 11:08 am

    I find it interesting that you give Romney the benefit of dissociation from his proxy yet condemn Gingrich for his attack that was done by a Super Pac that happens to support him. Seems a little inconsistent there, doesn’t it?

      Awing1 in reply to imfine. | January 13, 2012 at 11:26 am

      Actually this entire post is about people who support that PAC, I find it interesting that you don’t pay attention to what you are reading.

        McCoy2k in reply to Awing1. | January 13, 2012 at 11:35 am

        No, this post is about someone associated with the Romney campaign basically threatening the livelihood of the chief fundraiser of a political adversary.

        It’s no different from Democrat/Liberal/Progressive activist groups trying to starve conservative television, radio, and print media of revenue dollars by going after their advertisers.

        imfine in reply to Awing1. | January 13, 2012 at 11:36 am

        Yeah I clearly didn’t read ” If Gingrich’s attack video and quotes”. IRCC , he didn’t make produce or pay for it.

        BTW I think its fair, I am just saying your unfair by denying Sununu is actually a proxy for Romney

          Awing1 in reply to imfine. | January 13, 2012 at 11:43 am

          I meant the professor’s post. It’s about someone who supported the PAC that made the video, which is the context in which I wrote the original comment. Fair point that I should have written instead “Gingrich’s comment’s and the PAC video”, but I didn’t specifically condemn Gingrich for the video, the comment is a justification of Sununu’s statement, which is about someone who specifically supported the PAC that created the video.

They really believe they are impervious to criticism. It’s funny how Romney SuperPAC can slam any candidate with impugnity but stoops to this nonsense when rational questions are asked about Romney and Bain.
If there were no problems, would they not release all information including tax returns. This response of John (Isuzu) Sununu smacks of desperation.

Snorkdoodle Whizbang | January 13, 2012 at 10:50 am

… is that crony capitalism I smell??? I do believe it is.

Sununu, Rove, Hewitt, Joyner, Jeb,.., in your corner? No thanks.

Romany will set conservatism back a generation.

Pass the ammo.

    Correct. Rarely does life offer us a real, walking and talking caricature. This is Romney. You couldn’t summon from Central Casting a more fully embodied parody of elitist, oafish, out-of-touch, stiffnecked, corporatist country-club republicanism. Goodnight, Irene.

1. According to Sununu, …you kind of feel sorry for people that aren’t that bright.

Such compassion is the decent, ethical attitude to take, but it’s a different matter when ‘not so bright’ is accompanied by ‘nasty’ and ‘power-hungry’.

2. According to Sununu, The attackers…are not real Republicans.

That’s the spirit! Let’s purge people from the coalition until we have a majority!

3. Why the bleep is anybody listening to Sununu, who, I gather, helped make Bush 41 a one-term President? Why do people heed and fund Karl Rove, the “architect” of the debacles of 2006 and 2008?

4. Too bad Richard Darman is no longer with us. He could have been a honcho on the Romney campaign too.

    McCoy2k in reply to gs. | January 13, 2012 at 11:46 am

    “That’s the spirit! Let’s purge people from the coalition until we have a majority!”

    If the Romney campaign is the future of the Republican party, then the Tea Party will become more than just a grassroots movement eventually displacing the Republicans the way the GOP did the Whigs.

    “Why the bleep is anybody listening to Sununu, who, I gather, helped make Bush 41 a one-term President? Why do people heed and fund Karl Rove, the “architect” of the debacles of 2006 and 2008?”

    That’s the real question. Sununu is the guy that gave the GOP Souter on the Supreme Court, and was the Bush advisor who saw the “No New Taxes” pledge as bad politics.

    raven in reply to gs. | January 13, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    “4. Too bad Richard Darman is no longer with us. He could have been a honcho on the Romney campaign too.”

    I’m surprised they haven’t recruited David Gergen yet.

StrangernFiction | January 13, 2012 at 11:39 am


The establishment on steroids. But important to remember this is all because they’re afraid. They have no real nerve, strength or character. They’re sick and dying royalists. They understand the changing times, they see the many scattered forces arrayed against them — they sense their days are numbered. Romney is their last hope. But he’s doomed, win or lose. They’re all doomed, and sense it, hence the fear and flailing.

Nice casino you got there, Sheldon. Be a shame if something happened to it.

Bring in the talking bears.

Maybe Legal Insurrection’s tentative upcoming summer convention should be held at Mr. Adelson’s Venetian?

LukeHandCool (who, shameless namedropper that he is, can’t believe how almost all his son’s friends are children of the rich and famous. Just found out last week that one of his closest buddies has a famous grandfather known for being very anti-Obama … Steve Wynn. Maybe the LI convention could be at the Wynn? Luke will try to butter up Mr. Wynn’s daughter at one of the boys’ upcoming lacrosse games).

Snorkdoodle Whizbang | January 13, 2012 at 12:34 pm

“he’ll likely be my professor some time in the next two years when I take the securities law clinic at Cornell.”

Ahhhhh…. now it makes sense. You see, our dear Awing1 is apparently pre-law (or perhaps recently accepted into law school). I’ll grant he appears to have some language skills and can throw a sentence together. However, like most of his ilk, his a bit weaker on logic and critical thinking. Now that I know his situation, I’ll make it a point to treat his commentary with the disinterest it richly deserves.

I do hope you are fleet of foot, my dear Awing1. It’s evident what area of the law you’ll most likely practice, and – thanks to advances in technology – ambulances are much quicker than they used to be…

Windy City Commentary | January 13, 2012 at 12:58 pm

I think Newt’s Super PAC has simply been trying to put doubts in the minds of those who looked to coronate Mitt Romney as the nominee before the 1st vote was cast in Iowa.

Let’s recall, that as we approached mid-December, Newt was up big in Iowa, South Carolina, and Florida. Then, on December 14th, National Review went ballistic and for 2-3 days in big bold letters wrote “Against Gingrich” on their website. Then they published the Newt is Marvin the Martian issue, with the cartoon caricature of Newt as Marvin the Martian. While all this is happening, Romney’s Super PAC and Ron Paul are running one negative ad after another against Newt in Iowa. The media notes how Newt’s numbers are falling in Iowa, the voters in other early primary states take note and his poll numbers fall in those states as well, like dominoes.

And what was the big reason Republican voters started to turn away from Newt? Because his consulting firm invoiced Fannie and Freddie Mac for the 6 years of work it did for them; totaling $1.6 million. Take a look at what consulting firms charge and you’ll see this isn’t outrageous? Take a look at how much Rahm Emmanuel, Jamie Gorelick and other Democrats received for being on the board at Fannie/ Freddie and it looks like Newt received table scraps for his 6 years of consulting.

In addition to these woes for Gingrich, all the big conservative radio guys took vacation over the holidays for 2 weeks from December 19 to January 3, so Rush, Levin, and Hannity, etc. weren’t heard from at all to offer their perspective. Meanwhile, the piranhas at National Review and Fox News were open for business and continued destroying Newt in the conservative media. They all kept saying that Newt was just another not-Romney who was crashing just like the others (Bachman, Perry, Cain); but this was flawed logic and wishful thinking.

One question that I haven’t heard asked is, “If it is illegal for candidates to have any communication with a Super PAC that claims to support the candidate, how can the candidate be responsible for anything the Super PAC does?”

Newt has a lot to offer, so the anti-Bain thing is far from a one-trick pony. Both Romney’s momentum and Newt’s decline in the polls have slowed, and now Newt can go back to being positive and bashing Obama. Conservatives are devoted to capitalism, but Newt and Perry pointing out the negatives of Mitt’s old company, doesn’t threaten capitalism; the voters know this.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to Windy City Commentary. | January 13, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    Another coincidental is that the Get Newt! effort in Iowa coincided with a break in televised debates – the venue that sparked the Newt surge in the first place.

    The NH AG’s office caught some of James O’Keefe operatives (he of the ACORN hidden videos) obtaining ballots by using the names of deceased registered voters, thereby tipping off anyone gaming the system that people are watching. I hope the SC election officials take note of that since SC has an open primary too.

    Good news: Obama is losing virtually all demographics in polling against a generic Republican.

    Bad news: Obama is winning both the Dead Voter and Cartoon Character demographics by a 99/1 margin.

This type of threat may be why the GOP loses the election. If the Newt people feel that Romney is threatening them it sort of stifles their motivation to vote for him if he ends up the actual nominee.

People seem to think that the ABO position allows attack of the opposing candidates without hesitation or negative impact come election day. The uglier the GOP squabbling gets the less that may be true.

Henry Hawkins | January 13, 2012 at 5:19 pm

Having first voted for president in 1976, this year is hardly the ugliest primary I recall. 2008’s Democrat primary run was worse. A nominee eventually gets selected, people forget what went before, and former Arch Enemies end up in the other’s administrations. Go back and revisit what Hilary Clinton and Joe Biden had to say about Obama.

Henry Hawkins | January 13, 2012 at 5:21 pm

Addendum: What was said by the establishment GOP-ers about Reagan in 1976 and 1980 was far worse.

BannedbytheGuardian | January 13, 2012 at 5:23 pm

The Return Of The (Bush snr) Apes.

In the new version of the film they could speak.

Now how to shut them up?

[…] 40 year liberal vote in the Supreme Court! This matters in the election. Already we can see what Sununu is doing for Team Romney. Is this what a Romney Presidency will look […]

John Sununu … isn’t that the rocket scientist who recommended David Souter for the Supreme Court?

    Henry Hawkins in reply to Samuel Keck. | January 14, 2012 at 11:13 am

    The very one. What a nice companion he makes for Romney, who loaded up Massachusetts with liberal judges. At least Sununu/Bush thought Souter would be moderate. Romney purposefully picked out judges he knew were reliably liberal.