Thursday, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) felt compelled to apologize to one of the Republicans' most deep-pocketed supporters.
The DCCC had accused Republican mega donor Sheldon Adelson of personally approving of prostitution at his company's casinos in Macau, China. Adelson is chairman and chief executive of the Las Vegas Sands Corp, according to a LA Times report published yesterday.
The company owns the Venetian hotel-casino in Las Vegas and casinos in Macao, Singapore and Pennsylvania.
Adelson, according to Forbes Magazine, was estimated in March to be worth a net $24.9 billion.
After DCCC attacked Adelson, his attorneys contacted them and delivered Adelson’s legal rebuttle and absolute denial of the DCCC claims, calling them “false and "scurrilous," according to the Times.
In what must have been a difficult statement to craft, the DCCC took it all back, saying: “We’re sorry," in reference to “attacks on Sheldon Adelson as a supporter of the opposing party."
Those statements accused Adelson of personally approving of prostitution at his company's casinos in Macau, China, according to his lawyers and published reports, reports the Times.
Apparently rattled by the prospect of a potentially huge defamation suit, the DCCC's apology and retraction called their own allegation "unsubstantiated." The entire DCCC apology statement was linked by the Vegas Sun newspaper.
Using particularly defensive phrasing, the DCCC issued a statement that read: "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."
It’s no mystery why the DCCC would hold Adelson in contempt, albeit apparently unjustified. He gave $21.5 million to a “super PAC” supporting former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's unsuccessful Republican primary campaign, and donated about more recently $10 million to a super PAC called Restore Our Future in support of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, according to the report.
For their part, a letter from Adelson’s representatives read: "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."
Adelson, through his attorneys, requested a "prominent statement, in a form approved by Mr. Adelson, retracting and apologizing for your false claims," as quoted in the Times.
Adelson also demanded the DCCC remove such language about him from that organization’s website. An obviously concerned DCCC had removed the remarks by Thursday.