Maverick, indeed. Despite being a prominent Mitt Romney surrogate, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) criticized one of the Republican presidential contender’s super PAC sugar daddies and questioned whether the millions of dollars Adelson is spending on the election is considered “foreign money.”

Yesterday, he told PBS’s News Hour:

“Much of Mr. Adelson’s casino profits that go to him come from his casino in Macau, which says that obviously, maybe in a roundabout way foreign money is coming into an American political campaign… That is a great deal of money, and we need a level playing field and we need to go back to the realization… that we have to have a limit on the flow of money and corporations are not people.”

Donations from foreigners, overseas companies, and governments are illegal and have been since 1966, even in the Wild West world of super PACs. But thanks to toothless disclosure requirements and 501(c)(4) loopholes, foreign donations could easily slip through the cracks. As Trevor Potter, former Federal Elections Commission (FEC) chairman and attorney to Stephen Colbert, told the Huffington Post, “Clearly it is more difficult to enforce the ban on foreign spending when the source of the money is not publicly disclosed.”

After the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court ruling, President Barack Obama warned during his State of the Union speech: “I don’t think American elections should be bankrolled by America’s most powerful interests, and worse, by foreign entities.”

Sheldon Adelson earned a good chunk of his tremendous fortune in China. While he initially bankrolled Newt Gingrich’s doomed campaign, he announced yesterday that he will be giving $10 million to Restore Our Future, the pro-Romney super PAC. His future contributions could be “limitless.”

McCain has long been a critic of big money in politics, calling Citizens United “”the most misguided, naïve, uninformed, egregious decision of the United States Supreme Court in the 21st Century.” Alongside Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), he recently filed a friend of the court brief, urging the Court to let stand Montana’s ban on corporate money, despite Citizens United.

McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign took money from Sheldon Adelson and his family, which, according to McCain’s current logic would also be considered foreign money.

 

Filed under: Elections

Add a comment
  • Notayot

    I wonder if that “foreign” money pays any taxes here?
    If corporations are “people”, why can they morph and merge and take-over other corporations? Wouldn’t that be the same thing as same-sex marriage, slavery and kidnapping? Why aren’t corporations sent to prison or get the death penalty? Why can they get dual citizenship and millions in subsidies for existing while getting to offshore profits and defer taxes indefinitely?

  • bzonline123

    No fair, why only a casino guy donate the biggest money? We should ask England, Germany, Russia, China, Japan and all other rich countries donate big money to both parties. As of many African and South American countries, sorry for your bunch of poor fellows, we gonna kick your bottoms.

  • SILLYWILLYSAYS

    THE ELECTION IS NOT A BOUT WHO WILL BE THE BETTER PRESIDENT, ITS ABOUT WHO CAN SPEND THE MOST MONEY. UNFAIR VERY WRONG. I WISH FOX NEWS AND DONALD TRUMP WOULD JUST USE THE N WORD AND GET IT OUT OF THEIR SYSTEM IJS

  • Coxy196006

    Well those Repubilicans have to find a way to CHEAT.!! REMEMBER FLA. IN 2000.!!!!

  • Bill49259

    Everyone knows this is wrong but to many politicans count on that money, until we get them out of office this will not change.

  • http://twitter.com/eaglesfanintn eaglesfanintn

    Once in a while we get to see the John McCain that I almost could have voted for. The McCain of cap and trade, campaign finance reform, and the Dream Act. Every know and then, the old man screaming at people to get off his lawn remembers what he stood for at one point. Too bad he had to pick the Wasilla Hillbilly as his running mate and too bad he decided that aligning himself with tea partiers and right wing nut jobs most of the time was more important.

  • Repugnatcant

    I almost admire John McCain for his anti Citizens United stance, Romoney is going to be the “death” of America, folks. Citizens U has got to GO!!!

  • CatKinNY

    McCain was engaged in hyperbole to make a point, which sometimes works well, and sometimes comes off as silly. Adelson made a lot of money bilking wealthy Asian tourists in his hotel casino’s in Macau; once they lost it to him, it became his money. Now, the US Chamber of Commerce is a different matter. They collect money from their hundreds of overseas AmChams and spend a ton of money running ads against Democrats and influencing elections.

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