Robert Zimmerman’s work with Las Vegas Sands a conflict with values

Robert Zimmerman’s work with Las Vegas Sands a conflict with values

Got a phone call from Robert Zimmerman, who might have been distressed about my calling him out for lobbying for Adelson’s Casino putsch.

I do what I always do. Laughed, bid him good day, and hung up.

Just as a note to politicos: I don’t want to hear your rationalizations. One, I’ve already heard them and two, I don’t write this stuff because I think it will affect your positions. I write this stuff because I know that it won’t.

But a deeper dive into Mr. Zimmerman’s position revealed a truly incoherent stance. Stumbling on a Huffington Post article from February 2023, Mr. Zimmerman opined thus:

“Asked to reconcile his work for Las Vegas Sands with Miriam Adelson’s status as a Republican megadonor and his past comments about her husband, Zimmerman told HuffPost that there was no conflict between his work for Las Vegas Sands and his views on the Adelson family’s political giving.

“My firm’s work in no way compromises my integrity and principles,” he said in a statement.

You have to be a complete chump to believe one word of that. One, no one can simply “silo” these interests, nor is it possible to reconcile them.

To quote Don Corleone, “it makes no difference to me what a man does for a living.” But a man doing this for a living immediately disqualifies himself from running for public office.

In case anyone’s forgotten, (in Nassau, no one has ever learned it in the first place) being a representative for the citizen body means no conflicts of interest.

The article continues:

“As a public relations consultant rather than a lobbyist, Zimmerman is not required to disclose the compensation his firm is receiving for its work on behalf of Las Vegas Sands.

HuffPost asked a spokesperson for Zimmerman how much his firm is earning from the arrangement, but Zimmerman did not provide a response. “

Now there have been hundreds of people who have served in office and then leveraged their careers as lobbyists.

Eric Cantor and Paul Ryan have made millions doing it. Major law firms and defense contractors are loaded with former officials from the Department of Defense and the Department of Justice. Some even work at the behest of foreign governments.

But to be an advocate for a private interest first and then run for public office? I’m sorry, but that negates any claim to having any principles.

It means you don’t believe in anything.

The blame for all this lies with a leadership that is more interested in fielding candidates from their network of connections instead of those who might have a genuine interest in public policy, serving their constituents and the national interest.

Apparently, this has been reduced to mere self-interest. Whether it’s a judge’s wife getting a no-show job with the town or millions of dollars gifted to U.S. senators from foreign interests, nothing is sacred. No one seems to be able to say “no.”

And the New York State “Legislature” is loaded with fixers whose sole purpose is to foam the runway for local private interests.

Time was when people avoided doing certain things to avoid the mere appearance of impropriety. Today, they practically advertise it.

We have normalized what shouldn’t be tolerated.

You may not like Representative Ocasio-Cortez’ politics, and that’s your right. But you’ll never find her taking money from pharma companies to block pricing reform or use her office to do certain “favors” for people. She can’t be bought, and that is why the New York Democratic Party establishment fears her.

Years ago, I read “The Woman Behind the New Deal,” a biography of Frances Perkins, FDR’s Secretary of Labor, from whom we get the term “Madam Secretary.”

Towards the end of the book, with WWII over and FDR’s passing, what was striking to me is how none of the former members of FDR’s cabinet leveraged their experience for personal gain or influence on behalf of others.

Some retired, some wrote histories of their experiences, others taught at colleges, and not even prestigious ones. No one gave a thought to monetizing their positions. And they had practically saved America and western civilization.

Today, that’s all been boiled down to the sight of a fat gibbering oaf sitting on a gold toilet bowl. This is what our public ethic has been reduced to. I can think of no better metaphor for the trajectory of this country.

Donald Davret



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