Mel Sembler

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Melvin Sembler is a longtime friend of former vice president Dick Cheney and a Republican fundraiser.[1] He served as the Ambassador to Italy 2001 to 2005, appointed by President [George W. Bush in 2001.[2] Sembler primary cause is Israel, and he is involved in funding many projects favored by the so-called Israel Lobby. His funding of right-wing Republican candidates has to do with his Israel advocacy.[3]

In August 2007, Sembler was among prominent conservatives funding Freedom's Watch, a new White House front group[4] which began "a multimillion-dollar advertising campaign to urge members of Congress who may be wavering in their support for the war in Iraq not to 'cut and run'."[5] Selmer, together with Sheldon Adelson, were the founding funders of this front group.[6]

Mitt Romney named Mel Sembler as National Finance Co-chairman in the 2008 Presidential race. [7] Sembler is the millionaire funder behind the "superPAC" funding Romney.[3]

Mel Sembler supported Republican presidential candidate John McCain in the 2008 Presidential race. [8]

On October 2008, Elizabeth Sembler, Mel Sembler's daughter-in-law was appointed to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting board by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the Senate.[9]

Sembler was executive director of Scooter Libby's legal defense fund. Scooter Libby was Dick Cheney's former chief of staff who was convicted of lying and obstruction of justice in the investigation into the leak of a CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity.[10]

In May, 2008, Sembler and his development firm were under federal investigation for an alleged bribery scheme in an real estate development project in Florida.[11]

While a sitting Ambassador to Italy, Sembler was heavily criticized for overseeing the purchase of an Italian palace near the Embassy. Sembler negotiated the purchase of the palace by the U.S. government for $83.5 million, and then named it after himself.[12]

Sembler helped finance the 2000 Florida election recount that gave George W. Bush the presidency.


Sembler had previously served as Ambassador to Australia and Nauru by George H.W. Bush in 1989. [13] "Sembler served as Finance Chairman for the Republican National Committee from 1997 to 2000. He also served as Florida's National Committeeman to the Republican National Committee after his election in 1994 until 2000."[14]

Sourcewatch resources

External resources


  1. Accountable America Mel Sembler, accessed Octoer 23, 2009
  2. Mel Sembler in the Wikipedia.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Max Blumenthal, Israel and the American Elections, TRNN, 1 February 2012.
  4. "Adelson runs attack ads against Porter," Las Vegas Gleaner, August 22, 2007.
  5. "Group to Urge War Support," New York Times, August 22, 2007.
  6. Mark Townsend and Peter Beaumont Brown aide plays down US talk of Iran threat, U.K. Guardian, October 7, 2007
  7. [1] Mitt Romney 2008 Press-Release.
  8. [2] Mel Sembler supports John McCain.
  9. [3]Elizabeth Sembler appointed to CPB board October 2008
  10. Libby copeland, David Montgomery Scooter Libby's Pals, Trusting In Providence Washington Post, July 3, 2007
  11. Tom Dubocq Boynton mayor, lobbyist stir feds' interest, Palm Beach Post, May 31, 2008
  12. Al Kamen Narcissus Is Now Greek AND Roman, Washington Post, March 4, 2005
  13. [4]
  14. Biography: Melvin Sembler, Ambassador, Italy Term of Appointment: 11/16/2001 to present, U.S. Department of State, January 8, 2002.