Talk:Republican Jewish Coalition

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The Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) is the Republican Party's "leading outreach group for Jewish voters," according to the New York Times.[1] It is backed in part by is billionaire Sheldon Adelson, Chairman and CEO of the Las Vegas Sands casino corporation.[1][2]

In addition to advocating for a strong military, small government, and low taxes, the RJC includes in its "basic principles" a "pro-Israel foreign policy." Its website states, "The RJC is a Jewish organization; we recognize and support the importance of Israel as a Jewish state to Jews and non-Jews worldwide."[3]

In 2012, ProPublica wrote that the RJC "in many ways epitomizes the new breed of political-minded social welfare nonprofits. The group's initial IRS application said it would not engage in politics, yet its 2010 tax return says it gave almost $3.8 million to other groups for political activities."[4]

Koch Wiki

The Koch brothers -- David and Charles -- are the right-wing billionaire co-owners of Koch Industries. As two of the richest people in the world, they are key funders of the right-wing infrastructure, including the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the State Policy Network (SPN). In SourceWatch, key articles on the Kochs include: Koch Brothers, Koch Industries, Americans for Prosperity, American Encore, and Freedom Partners.

Ties to the Koch Brothers

The RJC appears to have received funding from organizations with links to the Koch brothers. The Center to Protect Patient Rights gave the RJC $20,484 in 2012, and Freedom Partners made a $700,000 donation in 2012.

Background

The Republican Jewish Coalition founded in 1985 as the National Jewish Coalition "to be a permanent Jewish presence in the Republican community and a credible Republican presence in the Jewish community," its website states. The RJC is "the sole voice of Jewish Republicans to Republican decision makers and the Jewish community ... committed to building a strong, effective and respected Jewish Republican voice in Washington and across the country."[5]

"Pro-Israel" Position

The RJC includes in its "basic principles" a "pro-Israel foreign policy." Its website states, "The RJC is a Jewish organization; we recognize and support the importance of Israel as a Jewish state to Jews and non-Jews worldwide."[3] The group has been critical of those who criticize Israel, particularly with respect to the Israel-Palestine issue.

When New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie mentioned taking "a helicopter ride from the occupied territories across" Israel during a March 2014 speech to the RJC, "his use of the term “occupied territories” set off murmurs in the crowd," according to Politico. Christie apologized to Sheldon Adelson, who Politico described as "a "conservative Zionist" opposed to the term.[6]

As reported by The Guardian, Ron Paul was barred from participation in a 2011 forum for Republican presidential candidates due to his views on Israel, which include eliminating US aid to the country. Paul has also criticized Israel's blockade of Gaza.[7]

Election Activities

The New York Times has reported that the RJC has been part of Republican efforts to attract Jewish voters. In 2012, the Times reported that while Democrats saw the RJC's efforts to encourage Jewish voters to support Mitt Romey as "wishful thinking," then-executive director of RJC Matthew Brooks "said the coalition was not interested in winning over liberal voters, only a more conservative slice of the community. “We’re not trying to appeal to the hard-core Democratic voters,” he said."[8]

2014 election cycle

As of March 31, 2014, the RJC PAC had reported $105,285 in funds raised and $72,009 in spending for the 2014 election cycle to the FEC. This spending included $62,000 in donations given to Republican candidates.[9]

Las Vegas Retreat

Sheldon Adelson hosted a four-day retreat in Las Vegas in late March, 2014, referred to by some as the "Sheldon Primary."[10] Attendees included Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, all Republicans. According to Politico, "GOP stalwarts hoped it might mean the megadonor was committing to get behind one of the establishment favorites for 2016," but RJC board member Ari Fleischerclaimed that "If anybody tells you what Sheldon is going to do, or how or why he is going to do it, they don’t know Sheldon."[11]

2012 election cycle

In its FEC filings, RJC PAC reported $161,497 in spending for the 2012 election cycle. This included $125,500 in donations to Republican candidates, a $25,000 contribution to the National Security Victory Committee, and no donations to Democrats.[12]

The New York Times reported that the RJC's total spending on the presidential race was $4.6 million.[13]

Adelson Willing to Spend $100 million Against Obama

In June 2012, RJC backer Sheldon Adelson "told Forbes in a recent rare interview about his political giving that he had been willing to donate as much as $100 million to his initial presidential preference, Newt Gingrich."[14] An investigation by ProPublica in December 2012 found that Adelson had spent "at least $98 million" by the end of the election cycle, including $30 million to Restore Our Future, $20 million to Winning Our Future, and $23 million to American Crossroads.[15] According to fundraisers who spoke to Huffington Post, RJC received "the bulk of its $6.5 million budget" from Adelson in that year.[16]

Ad: My Buyer's Remorse

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Starting in late July 2012, the RJC ran a "multimillion-dollar advertising campaign" in Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, with "the largest share" being spent in Florida, according to the New York Times.Cite error: Closing </ref> missing for <ref> tag

The ad campaign also included a direct-mail brochure which made the claim that President Barack Obama "refuses to acknowledge Jerusalem as the capital of Israel." PolitiFact rated "mostly true," but noted that this is "a continuation of the position that previous presidents, both Democrat and Republican, have taken. Formally, the United States does not recognize any state as having sovereignty over Jerusalem."[17]

Other Activities

Barred Ron Paul for "Misguided" Israel Views

In 2011, the RJC barred candidate for the Republican presidential nomination Ron Paul from a candidate forum for his "his "misguided and extreme views" on Israel," as reported by The Guardian. Paul reportedly "has rankled Israel's supporters by advocating an end to US aid to the Jewish state" and has "fallen afoul of the RJC for being strongly critical of the pro-Israel lobby in Washington and for comments likening conditions in Gaza to a concentration camp in saying that the US should not support the blockade of the territory."[7]

Took George W. Bush to Israel

Texas Gov. George W. Bush, center, flanked by Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt, left, and Republican Jewish Coalition Executive Director Matthew Brooks, visits the Western Wall in Jerusalem during a 1998 tour of Israel for Republican governors organized by the Republican Jewish Coalition.

The Republican Jewish Coalition took George W. Bush on his first trip to Israel in 1998.[18]

Smeared Howard Dean

In February 2005, the RJC "began running full-page ads in major Jewish newspapers across the country featuring a large photo of militants strapped with explosives coddling a young Palestinian boy. Above that arresting image is a quote by Dean: 'It's not our place to take sides.' Below the photo are quotes by Democrats critical of Dean. The ad effectively equates Dean's election with the appeasement of suicide bombers."[18]

Slandered Jewish Democrats

During the month of September 2006, the Republican Jewish Coalition "deliberately distort[ed] the facts" and "placed ads in Jewish newspapers across the country making the outrageous and ridiculous assertion that Democrats are 'turning their backs on Israel.' At the same time, the accusation [was] made by individuals who ... sent out thousands of e-mails to all those in their inboxes."[19]

Questioned Loyalty of Jewish Democrats

In October 2006, on the eve of the 2006 Congressional elections, the RJC "call[ed] into question the loyalty of Jewish Democrats, and their party's attitude toward Israel" by running ads which "focused on supposedly 'anti-Israel comments' made by prominent Democrats, and the declining support for Israel amongst grassroots Democrats ... in nearly 30 Jewish weekly newspapers nationwide", with plans to expand into "additional publications."[20]

"RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks said, 'The party of Harry Truman and Scoop Jackson has become the party of Jimmy Carter, Al Sharpton, and Cindy Sheehan. Jewish Democrats should take a fresh look and see if they are still comfortable with the growing influence of the anti-Israel radical Left within the Democratic Party.' The Republican party has been winning over more Jewish votes with every election - going from 11 percent in 1992, to 25 percent in 2004."[20]

Bush White House Connections

The following members of the Republican Jewish Coalition board of directors are connected with President George W. Bush and the Bush administration.

  • Sam Fox,[27] the Republican fundraiser from Missouri who was named in an April 2007 recess appointment as Ambassador to Belgium by President George W. Bush. Fox's 2004 funding of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth prevented his Senate confirmation earlier. Fox is also a member of the Libby Defense Trust Advisory Committee.
  • Howard Leach, Freedom's Watch funder, served as Ambassador to France until 2005, Bush Pioneer, funder to Bush 2000 Florida recount, major donor to Republican candidates, and member of the Libby Defense Trust Advisory Committee.[22]
  • Kevin Moley, Freedom's Watch funder, served as U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations (2001-2006), as well as a Senior Advisor to Cheney for Bush-Cheney 2000.

Funding

While the RJC does not disclose its donors, some information about funding can be found through donors' tax filings. According to data collected by Meida Matters, the following groups have contributed to the RJC:

Sheldon Adelson and his wife Miriam each contibuted $1,000,000 to the Republican Jewish Coalition Victory Fund in 2012.[29]

Core Financials

2012[30]

  • Total Revenue: $10,067,507
  • Total Expenses: $10,037,372
  • Net Assets: $2,522,019

2011[31]

  • Total Revenue: $3,489,524
  • Total Expenses: $3,143,053
  • Net Assets: $2,491,884

2010[32]

  • Total Revenue: $13,433,742
  • Total Expenses: $12,409, 886
  • Net Assets: $2,145,413

Grants

2012[30]

  • AO 2006-08 LLC: $10,000 (for "assist in payment of administrative and legal fees")


No grants issued in 2011.

2010[32]

Personnel

Board of Directors

As of June 2014:[33]

In January 2009, Republican Senator Norm Coleman joined RJC as a consultant, pending the outcome of his contested re-election bid against Al Franken. [34]

Affiliated Organizations

In its tax filings, the RJC lists two "related tax-exempt organizations": The National Jewish Policy Center and the Republican Jewish Coalition Political Action Committee.[30]

Contact information

Republican Jewish Coalition
50 F Street, N.W.
Suite 100
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: 202 638-6688
Fax: 202 638-6694
Email: rjc @ rjchq.org
URL: http://www.rjchq.org/

Resources

Related SourceWatch articles

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named adelsons_latest
  2. Forbes, "Sheldon Adelson, profile, accessed June 26, 2014.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Republican Jewish Coalition, Basic Principles, organizational website, accessed June 26, 2014.
  4. Kim Barker, "How Nonprofits Spend Millions on Elections and Call it Public Welfare," ProPublica, August 18, 2012. Accessed June 26, 2014.
  5. Republican Jewish Coalition, About the RJC, organizational website, accessed June 26, 2014.
  6. Kenneth P. Vogel, "Chris Christie apologizes for ‘occupied territories’ remark," Politico, March 29, 2014. Accessed June 26, 2014.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Chris McGreal, "Ron Paul excluded from Republican Jewish Coalition forum," The Guardian, December 5, 2011. Accessed June 26, 2014.
  8. Lizette Alvarez, "Republicans Intensify Drive to Win Over Jewish Voters," New York Times, September 26, 2012. Accessed June 26, 2014.
  9. Center for Responsive Politics, Republican Jewish Coalition, 2014, spending report, accessed June 26, 2014.,
  10. Matea Gold and Philip Rucker, "Billionaire mogul Sheldon Adelson looks for mainstream Republican who can win in 2016," Washington Post, March 25, 2014. Accessed June 26, 2014.
  11. Kenneth P. Vogel, "Sheldon Adelson: Wild card," Politico, March 31, 2014. Accessed June 26, 2014.
  12. Center for Responsive Politics, Republican Jewish Coalition, 2012, spending report, accessed June 26, 2014.
  13. New York Times, Republican Jewish Coalition, 2012 PAC summary, accessed June 26, 2014.
  14. Steven Bertoni, "Exclusive: Adelson's Pro-Romney Donations Will Be 'Limitless,' Could Top $100M," Forbes, June 13, 2012. Accessed June 26, 2014.
  15. Theodoric Meyer, "How Much Did Sheldon Adelson Really Spend on Campaign 2012?," ProPublica, December 20, 2012. Accessed June 26, 2014.
  16. Peter H. Stone, "Sheldon Adelson Spent Far More On Campaign Than Previously Known," Huffington Post, December 3, 2012. Accessed June 26, 2014.
  17. PolitiFact, "http://www.politifact.com/ohio/statements/2012/sep/24/republican-jewish-coalition/republican-jewish-coalition-says-obama-refuses-ack/ Republican Jewish Coalition says Obama refuses to acknowledge Jerusalem as Israel's capital]," September 24, 2012. Accessed June 26, 2014.
  18. 18.0 18.1 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Berman
  19. "GOP Slanders Dems With ‘Anti-Israel’ Ads," The Jewish Daily Forward, September 29, 2006.
  20. 20.0 20.1 Manila Ryce, "Republican Jewish Coalition to Expand Political Ad Campaign," The Largest Minority Blog, October 18, 2006. Source: Matthew Brooks, "RJC to Expand Highly-Successful Ad Campaign," RJCHQ.org, October 12, 2006.
  21. "Rosner's Guest: Matt Brooks," Haaretz, October 1, 2007.
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 "Libby legal defense trust's advisory committee," Dogspot, April 5, 2007.
  23. Walter Stern, NNDB.com.
  24. Advisory Council, CFA Institute/CFA Centre.
  25. Ronald Weiser, NNDB.com.
  26. Muriel Kane, "Fred Zeidman and the Republican Jewish Coalition," at-Largely Blog, April 14, 2007.
  27. Republican Jewish Coalition, NNDB.com.
  28. Media Matters, [Republican Jewish Coalition], recipient report, accessed June 26, 2014.
  29. Media Matters, [Republican Jewish Coalition Victory Fund], recipient report, accessed June 26, 2014.
  30. 30.0 30.1 30.2 Republican Jewish Coalition, "2012 IRS form 990, organizational tax filing, accessed Jun 25, 2014.
  31. Republican Jewish Coalition, "2011 IRS form 990, organizational tax filing, accessed Jun 25, 2014.
  32. 32.0 32.1 Republican Jewish Coalition, "2010 IRS form 990, organizational tax filing, accessed Jun 25, 2014.
  33. Republican Jewish Coalition, Board of Directors, organizational website, accessed June 26, 2014.
  34. Michael O'Brien, "Coleman gets job, will still continue reelection bid," The Hill, January 22, 2009.
  35. "Privately-Sponsored Travel by Senator Coleman. Republican Jewish Coalition – various," Office of Sen. Norman Coleman, undated.

External articles

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External resources