Last month, Jesse Ferguson, a Democratic press secretary, authored a press release in which he tried to skewer Sheldon Adelson, the multi-billionaire casino owner who backed Newt Gingrich with $20 million and then, when Mitt Romney became the presumptive Republican nominee, gave a Romney super PAC $10 million.
Ferguson wrote in the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) release:
“House Republicans are fighting tirelessly to protect billionaires like Sheldon Adelson who make fortunes overseas and Adelson is now the largest single donor to the Republican Majority. It’s past time for House Republicans to reject the support of these groups funded by money from a Chinese prostitution strategy.”
Lewis R. Clayton, a nationally recognized litigator representing Mr. Adelson, noted the above in a letter to Ferguson. He also noted what the DCCC had cited in a June 29 news release: “The Associated Press reports that House Republicans’ largest single donor, Sheldon Adelson, ‘personally approved prostitution and knew of other improper activity at his company’s properties in the Chinese enclave’ of Macau, China.”
Clayton demanded a retraction, saying:
“As you and the DCCC surely knew when you spoke, the charges you made are outrageous and completely untrue. Neither the Associated Press nor anyone else has reported that Mr. Adelson or Las Vegas Sands Corp generates profits from a ‘Chinese prostitution strategy.’ That claim was made up in the hope of generating an illegitimate political advantage for the DCCC … Mr. Adelson has no objection to honest political debate — indeed, he welcomes and fosters it. But he will not tolerate baseless attacks on him and his family. Political differences are no excuse for defamation.”
Of course, for the Democrats, political differences are the perfect excuse for defamation – even if it means defaming collateral damage Democrats like Senate candidate Shelley Berkley, who worked for Adelson. But Adelson doesn’t have to stand for that sort of nonsense. Watch for a DCCC retraction in coming days.