Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Ted Cruz Woos New York Jewish Donors

The New York Observer reports:
Last night, Mort Klein’s Zionist Organization of America dinner featured Mr. Cruz, known for his steadfast and aggressive support of Israel, in a prominent speaking role. Attendees included Alan Dershowitz, Pastor John Hagee, and Home Depot founder Bernie Marcus. Those who made the scene at a fancy VIP pre-dinner buffet included billionaire Ira Rennert, Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann, former Westchester District Attorney Jeanine Pirro, Public Relations authority Ronn Torossian, Bernstein Global Wealth Management (and recent Observer subject) Jeff Wiesenfeld, plus Rabbis Avi Weiss and Shmuley Boteach. Reviews of Mr. Cruz were uniformly positive as many New York Jews got their first taste of the tea party darling and discovered, to the shock of some, that the Princeton-educated lawyer was rather well-spoken and engaging...

The Observer can report that Mr. Cruz had a private two-hour meeting with the most highly sought-after donor of all. After sitting next to Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire owner of the Venetian casino who was the single largest donor to Republican causes in 2012, at Sunday night’s ZOA dinner, Mr. Cruz and Mr. Adelson met for two hours this morning at the St. Regis Hotel. While one source close to Mr. Adelson claimed the casino owner liked Mr. Cruz but found the senator “too right wing” and concluded he is a longshot to win the nomination, Mr. Adelson called the Observer after publication of this story to dispute that characterization of his reaction to Mr. Cruz. Mr. Adelson made clear to the Observer that he was the only person in the room with Mr. Cruz and thus the only one in a position to know how he felt about the Senator.
Another surprise is that Mort Zuckerman, the developer and owner of the New York Daily News who usually backs moderate Democrats, hosted Mr. Cruz for a lunch yesterday before the ZOA dinner.
And then a final surprise show of interest in a candidate who would perhaps have appeared outside the usual centrist spectrum of Jewish political giving. Michael Steinhardtthe investing legend and megaphilanthropist who chaired the same Democratic Leadership Council that catapulted Bill Clinton to the White Househosted Mr. Cruz at his investment firm’s office.

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