Adelson gets apology, retraction from DCCC
August 2nd, 2012
07:22 PM ET
10 years ago

Adelson gets apology, retraction from DCCC

Washington (CNN) - Facing the threat of a lawsuit from Nevada billionaire and Republican donor Sheldon Adelson, an apology and a retraction was issued Thursday evening by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

The DCCC said in its retraction:

"In press statements issued on June 29 and July 2, 2012, the DCCC made unsubstantiated allegations that attacked Sheldon Adelson, a supporter of the opposing party. This was wrong. The statements were untrue and unfair and we retract them. The DCCC extends its sincere apology to Mr. Adelson and his family for any injury we have caused."

Adelson's lawyer had previously sent a letter to the DCCC – obtained by CNN at the time – calling libel statements the organization made that tied the magnate to a "'Prostitution Strategy' in China."

The letter sent by Adelson's lawyer, Lewis R. Clayton, to DCCC press secretary Jesse Ferguson accused the Democratic House fundraising arm of "maliciously branding Mr. Adelson as a pimp who has given 'Chinese prostitution money' to your political opponents."

In June the Associated Press reported Adelson approved and was aware of prostitution at his company's properties in Macau, a story cited by Adelson's attorney. Although a Las Vegas Sands spokesman and attorney for the company denied the allegations, made in court documents by a former chief executive fired from the Macau casino, the DCCC jumped on the report.

"Breaking: House Republicans' Biggest Donor Approved 'Prostitution Strategy' in China" was the headline of a June 29 statement from the DCCC, and a July 2 statement asked what House Republicans will do when their "Chinese prostitution money comes from billionaire Sheldon Adelson."

Politifact, an independent fact check organization, delivered a "Pants on Fire" for the DCCC point that recipients of Adelson donations were receiving dirty money, a fact seized upon in the attorney letter.

"As you and the DCCC surely knew when you spoke, the charges you made are outrageous and completely untrue," Clayton wrote in the letter. "Mr. Adelson does not tolerate prostitution – let alone, as you have said, make money from it. The fact is that Mr. Adelson has consistently objected to and maintained a strong policy against prostitution, a commitment that extends to his personal life."

Reacting to the DCCC action, the Sands Corporation said in a statement:

"We are gratified that the DCCC has acknowledged it error. More broadly, this should serve notice to those who would attempt to smear Mr. Adelson by repeating the false and inflammatory statements of a fired employee – that this is a very slippery slope."

Reacting to the DCCC action the Sands Corporation said in a statement:

"We are gratified that the DCCC has acknowledged its error. More broadly, this should serve notice to those who would attempt to smear Mr. Adelson by repeating the false and inflammatory statements of a fired employee – that this is a very slippery slope."

- CNN's Kevin Bohn, Jessica Yellin and Gabriella Schwarz contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2012 • DCCC • Fundraising • Mitt Romney
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. California Gary

    I'm sure this will be followed immediately with his apology for financing all the untrue and unfair statements being made by the super pacs he is supporting. No?

    August 2, 2012 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  2. John C

    Sounds like money won again. so what's new with the rethugs!!

    August 2, 2012 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  3. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I don't think that getting the bulk of your money from Chinese Commies makes Adelson dirty.

    August 2, 2012 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  4. Four and The Door

    Bravo. It is clear now who took the moral low road and it was not Sheldon Adelson. His only crime was supporting candidates of his choice. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee needs to re-evaluate what they stand for.

    August 2, 2012 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  5. eanmd

    Ouch! The truth Hurts !! – doesn't it , Mr. Adelson ?

    August 2, 2012 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  6. textee

    Is there anybody stupid enough to be surprised that America-hating, leftist, freakshow freak, fringe, extremist Super PACs like the execrable Associated (with terrorists) Press and the Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee fabricated smears against Adelson? Anybody?

    August 2, 2012 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  7. george of the jungle

    adelson is a quack and to bad they had to apologize. So tell us about your overseas casino and the deals you have with china?

    August 2, 2012 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  8. CBR

    Mr. Adelson backed Newt Gingrich. When he dropped out then Mr. Adelson thought it best to back another candidate. Now Mr. Romneyu is the recipient of Mr. Adelson's funds. Although Mr. Adelson can do whatever he wishes with his money is putting all this money into a campaign perhaps some of the money could be used to help feed hungry children and to help food pantries and kitchens across the country who are trying to help as many people as possible.

    August 2, 2012 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  9. Woman In California

    He's still a dirty, sneaky, low-life who can't get enough money only to lose it on his way out of this life.

    August 2, 2012 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  10. Ed1

    That had to hurt the DCCC to admit they were wrong. More people sould do the same thing when they are wrong but it will not happen unless someone calls them out.

    August 2, 2012 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  11. Larry L

    Adelson is getting exactly what he wants – time in the spotlight. He's just another right-winger trying to buy politicians. I noticed he had Romney celebrating his new Jewish Faith – until the old Etch-A-Sketch gets another shake...

    August 2, 2012 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  12. concerned citizen

    Good. Romney should take the same threat against the Obama campaign in terms of its Bain attack and outsourcing.

    August 2, 2012 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  13. edpeters101

    There's something you'll never hear from the GOP side of this fight! Admitting that they said something that could not be substantiated! Of course if they did, there wouldn't be enough time for anything else. Thanks Dems, for owning up to an error...

    August 2, 2012 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  14. Sarah

    I still don't see how it was an "error." The properties are huge, giant casinos, and are major tourist hubs for south-east Asia. I think the DCCC may have backed down too readily on this. And of course Adelson is fair game – he's practically bankrolling the Romney campaign singlehandedly (and according to Maddow, that may be because of an ongoing DOJ investigation that Adelson bribed foreign officials to get his largest casino built).

    August 2, 2012 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  15. Keeping it Real

    More dirty politics by the Democrats. This time, they went way too far. Such is the desperation of DCCC!

    August 2, 2012 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  16. What?

    The Democrats have been on a slippery slope for years. Problem is: they want to pull the whole country down with them.

    August 2, 2012 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  17. T'sah From Virginia

    Case closed!

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward! For Real Ya'll!!

    August 2, 2012 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  18. aaron

    Still doesn't mean the story isn't true.

    August 3, 2012 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  19. Anne P

    This guy should be sucker punched....apology? Are you kidding? He owes America an apology!

    August 3, 2012 01:20 am at 1:20 am |
  20. Mike

    Would it make the guy any worse? Really?

    August 3, 2012 02:05 am at 2:05 am |
  21. obama is Out Of Touch with reality

    sue them anyway and destroy them with their own lies, it is just like the lieing obama, reid and pelosi, worthless humans.

    August 3, 2012 06:53 am at 6:53 am |
  22. Jerry

    Wow wee! My fellow Democrats apologizing for lies and stupidity, this is a first (in a while). I know, I know, it was done under threat of a lawsuit. But...

    Hey, at least they had the decency to retract the unfounded and stupid statements. Can we say the same for the man at the head of our party?!

    I opine, NOT!!!

    August 3, 2012 06:57 am at 6:57 am |
  23. FedUp

    I would sue them anyway. Apologies are cheap. They only mean "I'm sorry I was caught."

    August 3, 2012 07:28 am at 7:28 am |
  24. The GOP need to pack up and leave

    Now just get the GOP to retract all the lies they've told over the years.

    August 3, 2012 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  25. Steve- Illinois

    That's what dems like Harry Reid considr facts, stories from an unknown source, with no ability to verify as true! No wonder nothing gets done in Congress! How can anyone compromise with people who make statements based on nothing?

    August 3, 2012 08:32 am at 8:32 am |