WASHINGTON - Senator John McCain said in an interview posted online Friday that “foreign money’’ was helping fellow Republican Mitt Romney’s presidential hopes and singled out one of his ally’s most generous supporters.
McCain, the GOP’s 2008 presidential nominee, suggested casino developer Sheldon Adelson’s $10 million contribution to a pro-Romney super PAC, Restore Our Future, was a conduit for Adelson to use profits from properties in Macau to shape American elections. McCain also criticized the Supreme Court ruling that allows individuals and corporations to make such unlimited donations to nominally independent political action committees.
“That is a great deal of money. And, again, we need a level playing field and we need to go back to the realization that Teddy Roosevelt had: that we have to have a limit on the flow of money and that corporations are not people,’’ McCain said in an interview with PBS’s NewsHour.
The comment about corporations was a direct shot at Romney, who last year told a heckler at the Iowa State Fair that “corporations are people, my friend.’’ Romney’s critics seized on the comment as proof the wealthy candidate favored businesses over individuals.
McCain, a Romney rival in 2008 and now one of his top supporters, said the Supreme Court got it wrong in Citizens United, the court case that paved the way for super PACs. He called the decision “the most misguided, naive, uninformed, egregious decision of the United States Supreme Court, I think, in the 21st century.’’
“I just wish one of them had run for county sheriff,’’ McCain said of the justices.
McCain said Adelson earns his money through a global casino empire, and “much of Mr. Adelson’s casino profits that go to him come from this casino in Macau. “Obviously, maybe in a roundabout way, foreign money is coming into an American campaign,’’ McCain said.
Foreign citizens cannot make political contributions to US campaigns.
Adelson is head of the Sands Corp., which owns three casinos in Macau. His company also runs Las Vegas’s Venetian complex. Forbes has estimated that he is worth $24.9 billion.
Lawmaker willing to put off contempt vote against AG
WASHINGTON - Representative Darrell Issa said he is willing to postpone a contempt of Congress vote against Attorney General Eric Holder if the Justice Department turns over additional records as promised in the congressional investigation of a flawed gun-smuggling probe on the Southwest border. However, Issa still has concerns that the number of documents the department says it will deliver may not be sufficient to end the investigation by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
On Thursday, the attorney general said the department is prepared to turn over documents detailing how Justice Department officials came to the realization that federal agents in Arizona had used a controversial investigative tactic that resulted in hundreds of illicitly purchased guns winding up in Mexico, many of them at crime scenes.
35 years after his death, pilot awarded Silver Star
WASHINGTON - Captain Francis Gary Powers is being posthumously awarded the Silver Star at the Pentagon for his loyalty while being held captive by the Soviet Union in the 1960s. Powers served in the CIA as well as the Air Force. His U-2 airplane was shot down in 1960, and for more than 100 days, he was held in a Soviet prison. Secrecy clouding Powers’s service meant that he was not quickly recognized for his duties when he returned to the United States.
The Silver Star is the third-highest military decoration. Powers had received the Distinguished Flying Cross, among other honors. He died in a helicopter crash in 1977.