A "Primary Source" report from earlier this week from the Center for Public Integrity about Sheldon Adelson's charitable giving clearly touched a nerve with the casino magnate, the nation's top donor to super PACs in the 2012 election.
Adelson, currently listed as the world's 14th wealthiest man, generally avoids speaking with the press.
The analysis detailed Adelson’s nine-figure financial support for pro-Israel organizations, most notably a foundation called Birthright Israel, which offers free trips to Israel for Jews around the world. An email sent to the Center for Public Integrity reads:
Who made you the prosecutor, judge, jury and hang man on the subject of "Israel's occupation of the West Bank and its economic blockade of Gaza?"
I certainly wouldnt (sic) vote for you...... and are you suggesting that there is something wrong with reporting charitable contributions? I would like to see how mucy (sic) you give.
Sheldon G. Adelson
Adelson’s personal assistant, Betty Yurcich, confirmed by phone that Adelson wrote the message and that she sent it through her email account on his behalf. The Center has requested a follow-up interview with Adelson. Yurcich said Adelson wasn’t immediately available.
Since 2007, Adelson has given Birthright Israel $123 million — fully 40 percent of the organization’s revenue.
Birthright Israel is in part sponsored by the Israeli government. In Gaza, Israel prohibits the import and export of many goods and materials, citing security concerns and rocket attacks originating in the territory.
Adelson and his family contributed more than $93 million to Republican-supporting super PACs last election cycle.
In his most extensive interview since the November election, Adelson in December told the Wall Street Journal that he intends to spend even more during the 2014 election cycle than he did in 2012.