During the Republican National Convention in Tampa, the daughter of pro-Israel billionaire Sheldon Adelson rammed into a Democracy Now producer and a cameraman, grabbing the news team’s camera and dropping it before retreating into her family’s private corporate suite. The altercation began after Democracy Now‘s Senior Producer Mike Burke trailed Sheldon Adelson and Karl Rove asking “Mr. Adelson, your thoughts on the Romney/Ryan ticket?” and “Mr. Adelson how much money are you going to spend on this election?” Adelson, who was in a wheelchair, said “no comment.” Seconds after a women who was later identified as Adelson’s daughter lunged into Burke and then ripped the Democracy Now camera from cameraman Hani Masood.
“After Sheldon Adelson’s daughter took our camera and threw it on the ground,” said Burke today during Democracy Now’s August 30 broadcast, “he was kind of urging us just to leave. And he made a comment saying he [Adelson] is funding all of this, as if that is a reason why we should not be questioning him.”
Later, Adelson’s daughter came out and apologized to the Democracy Now crew. But the use of force from Adelson’s entourage did not end then. Afterward, when Burke starting filing on his Android phone, an Adelson aide tried to take his phone.
Democracy Now also caught up with other critical billionaire backers to Republican leaning SuperPACS. Burke spoke with David Koch, billionaire supporter of Mitt Romney and former presidential candidate and religious-right hawk, Newt Gingrich. The high-ranking GOP officials were asked about the effects of unlimited secret campaign donations via Citizen United v. the Federal Elections Commission in this election cycle. Gingrich, after responding to Burke, proceeded to enter the corporate suite belonging to Adelson, an early donor to the Gingrich campaign.