Daily Kickoff: Cruz woos Orthodox Jews | Rubio woos Indian Creek Jews | ‘How Israel Hid Its Secret Nuclear Program’ | Holocaust Remembrance Day

cropped-JI_logoCP2.png

Have our people email your people. Share this sign up link with your friends.

IRAN BILL BATTLE: “Congress’s Role in Iran Nuclear Deal Shows Limits of Obama’s Power” by Peter Baker: “In his assertions of executive power to advance his agenda in an era of gridlock, President Obama has been largely on offense. But his latest battle with Congress not only left him on defense, it actually broke the gridlock. Against him. Mr. Obama’s abrupt decision to sign a compromise version of legislation on Iran that he had previously vowed to veto was a bruising retreat in his larger campaign to act without Congress’s getting in his way. In this case, partisanship gave way to rare consensus on Capitol Hill: Both sides agreed that he was wrong to cut them out.” [NYTimes]

Not Over Yet — by Jessica Schulberg: “Now that the bill has survived a committee vote, some Republicans are expressing dissatisfaction with the results of the compromise between Corker and the Democrats.” [HuffPost]

WSJ Editorial: “Now China plans to join Russia in building new nuclear reactors for the Islamic Republic. Oil-rich Iran has little need for the one nuclear power plant it already has, in the coastal city of Bushehr, but it wants five more. The reactors will open more paths to nuclear-weapons capability, with minimal interruption from U.S.-led diplomacy.” [WSJ] • Valerie Jarret on Russia and the Iran negotiations [YouTube]

“Iran Is Raising Sophistication and Frequency of Cyberattacks” by David E. Sanger and Nicole Perlroth: “What I would say is: ‘Listen. You see that desert out there? I want to show you something,’ ” Sheldon Adelson said at Yeshiva University in Manhattan in October 2013. He then argued for detonating an American nuclear weapon where it would not “hurt a soul,” except “rattlesnakes and scorpions or whatever,” before adding, “Then you say, ‘See, the next one is in the middle of Tehran.’ ” Instead, Tehran directed an attack at the desert of Nevada. Now a new study of Iran’s cyberactivities, to be released by Norse, a cybersecurity firm, concludes that beyond the Sands attack, Iran has greatly increased the frequency and skill of its cyberattacks” [NYTimes]

SHELDON PRIMARY: “Billionaire Casino Magnate Sheldon Aldelson’s Israeli Paper Is Obsessed With Marco Rubio” by Sam Brodey: “Israel-watchers on Twitter have pointed out that Israel Hayom, the daily newspaper owned by Adelson, has been particularly interested in the junior senator from Florida.” [MotherJones]

“Rubio off to fast fundraising start” by Sean Sullivan: “One event will involve billionaire businessman and philanthropist Norman Braman, who is expected to be one of Rubio’s biggest financial backers, said the person, who was granted anonymity to describe behind-the-scenes planning. That person also confirmed that Rubio raised about $1.25 million online on his first full day as a presidential candidate.” [WashPostAP] • “Rubio supporter Norman Braman tells the Bushes and Clintons to get out of the way” [BusinessInsider]

“Rubio Gets His Cash From Beyonce Island” by Tim Mak: “The town of Indian Creek Village is home to the one percent of the one percent: fewer than 40 homes—all waterfront properties—exist on this small island. It has a 24/7 armed boat patrol, and its own police force to protect residents. Now, 10 percent of the island has donated money to support Marco Rubio’s political career.The most prominent Rubio supporter on the island is former Philadelphia Eagles owner Norman Braman.”

“Island resident Robert Diener, who founded Hotels.com in the early days of the Internet, was so excited to give to Rubio that he donated more than federal contribution limits allow. In a letter to Rubio’s campaign in March, the Federal Election Commission flagged Diener’s $5,100 in donations as excessive and illegal, reminding the campaign in a letter that it needed to be refunded or adjusted. Florida home construction magnate Itzhak Ezratti, an Israeli immigrant who has travelled with Florida Govs. Jeb Bush and Charlie Crist on delegations to Israel, gave Rubio $3,400 during his Senate campaign.” [DailyBeast]

What Paul Singer is reading… “Rubio opposes gay marriage, but would attend a same-sex wedding” by Elliot Smilowitz: “If it’s somebody in my life that I care for, of course I would,” Rubio said in an interview with Fusion on Wednesday. “Ultimately, if someone that you care for and is part of your family has decided to move in one direction or another or feels that way because of who they love, you respect that because you love them,” he said.” [TheHillFusion

Republican Jewish Coalition Board Member to Host Rubio Fundraiser in D.C. “Sen. Marco Rubio will raise money later this month at the Washington home of Wayne Berman, a prominent Republican donor and senior executive at the Blackstone Group. Guests attending the April 30 dinner will pay $10,000 to be a co-chairman; $5,400 to be a co-host; and $2,700 to be a regular attendee at the reception, according to an invitation obtained by CNN and confirmed by Berman.” [CNN]

“Ted Cruz woos Orthodox Jews: He boosts fundraising while stressing traditional values and support for Israel” by Katie Glueck: ““I share a great many values with the Jewish community and the Orthodox community,” Cruz said in a phone call during his first swing through Iowa as a presidential candidate. And while no one doubts the sincerity of that position, it’s exactly that connection to Israel that has given Cruz entree into the Orthodox donor world. “Sen. Cruz started earlier than everyone else, so he’s probably had more contact in the community than anyone else,” said Phil Rosen…”

“Over the past year, Cruz has also showed up at Sabbath services at swanky synagogues in the Hamptons; in Bal Harbor, Florida.; and in Beverly Hills, California. His deputy chief of staff, Nick Muzin, will often spend the weekend with the community, and Cruz will pop in for a Saturday morning sermon. Muzin’s longtime relationships with leaders in the Orthodox community help explain Cruz’s focus on that segment of the Jewish donor class. For example, Howard Jonas, CEO of Genie Energy, has had Cruz over for Sabbath dinner… That invitation came because Jonas is friends with Muzin.” [Politico] • “Ted Cruz Raised $4 Million in Nine Days, Report Shows” [Bloomberg]

“Marc Lasry Seeking to Raise $270,000 in Clinton’s First Week” by Mary Childs: “Lasry sent an e-mail to contacts saying he would “love to try to raise 270,” he said in a telephone interview. “The big thing here is, let’s just get people involved.” “Everybody has seemed pretty excited,” Lasry said today. “It’s been a long time coming, and now there’s a huge amount of excitement behind her. You will start seeing it in the numbers as people start donating.” [Bloomberg]

“Hillary’s Wall Street backers: We get it” by Gabriel Debenedetti, Ken Vogel & Ben White: “Hillary Clinton sounded like a woman on a mission after her long drive into the heartland: “There’s something wrong,” she told Iowans on Tuesday, when “hedge fund managers pay lower taxes than nurses or the truckers I saw on I-80 when I was driving here over the last two days.”… It’s “just politics,” said one major Democratic donor on Wall Street, explaining that some of her Wall Street supporters doubt she would push hard for closing the carried interest loophole as president, a policy she promoted when she last ran in 2008. “As a CEO and former Wall Street executive, I applaud Secretary Clinton’s remarks and I do not view them as populist nor far left,” said Robert Wolf.” [Politico]

Strategy working for liberal donors: “Many alliance members hail from the Democrats’ left flank, and the group’s treasurer, Paul Egerman, served as campaign finance chairman for Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts senator who has been the subject of a presidential draft movement. But in this heart of the progressive donor world, there was relatively little angst expressed about Clinton’s seemingly clear path to the nomination. Rather, many big money players said they were heartened to see that in the first few days of her campaign she has already pledged to tackle income equality and a “dysfunctional” campaign finance system — two top priorities of alliance members.” [WashPost] • “Clinton Foundation to Keep Foreign Donors” [WSJ] • “Did Hillary steal Hadassah’s logo?” [Forward]

Billionaire Fund Manager: “Legendary hedge fund manager Stanley Druckenmiller said it was “ridiculous” that rich people like him and billionaire Ken Langone get Social Security checks each month from the government.” [BusinessInsider]

“Sen. Menendez’s Legal Fund Raised $431,000 in First Quarter of 2015” by Alexander Burns: “The fund, formally called the Robert Menendez Legal Expense Trust, has drawn support from an array of political interests, including real estate developers, Cuban-American political donors and pro-Israel activists. Listed among the senator’s recent supporters are David Steiner, who was president of AIPAC.” [NYTimes]

LongRead: “How Israel Hid Its Secret Nuclear Weapons Program” by Avner Cohen and William Burr: “For decades, the world has known that the massive Israeli facility near Dimona, in the Negev Desert, was the key to its secret nuclear project. Yet, for decades, the world—and Israel—knew that Israel had once misleadingly referred to it as a “textile factory.” Until now, though, we’ve never known how that myth began—and how quickly the United States saw through it. The answers, as it turns out, is part of a fascinating tale that played out in the closing weeks of the Eisenhower administration—a story that begins with the father of Secretary of State John Kerry and a familiar charge that the U.S. intelligence community failed to “connect the dots.” [PoliticoMag]

Barak Ravid: “The director of the Foreign Ministry on Wednesday sent a letter to Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman warning that Israel “is liable to pay a heavy price” because of the “intense, ongoing, and public” crisis in relations with the U.S. administration. In a two-page letter obtained by Haaretz, Foreign Ministry director-general Nissim Ben-Sheetrit called on Israel to take steps to quickly repair U.S.-Israel ties or face the consequences in the diplomatic and security arenas.” [Haaretz]

Dovid Efune: “In the second of two meetings Obama held with American Jewish leaders… According to a source who was in the room, one J Street supporter told the president that if he decided to back a Palestinian state resolution over Israeli objections, “let us know first, and we’ll do the legwork for you, in the community… so you’re not going to come in cold.” [Algemeiner] • We heard that the AIPAC and J Street leaders ‘coincidentally’ sat on opposite sides of the table during the White House meeting…

“The Pragmatist of Congress” — Lamar Alexander on Bob Corker for Time 100: “Curious about tunnels smuggling supplies from Egypt to Gaza, U.S. Senator Bob Corker hailed a jeep, rode to the border, inspected the tunnels and that afternoon showed photographs to a startled Benjamin Netanyahu.” [Time]

**Good Thursday Morning! Enjoying the Daily Kickoff? Please share us with your friends & tell them to sign up at [JI].  Have a tip, scoop, or op-ed? We’d love to hear from you. Anything from hard news and punditry to the lighter stuff, including event coverage, job transitions, or even special birthdays, is much appreciated. Email editor@jewishinsider.com**

Holocaust Remembrance Day: “Preserving the Ghastly Inventory of Auschwitz” by Rachel Donadio: “To visit Auschwitz is to find an unfathomable but strangely familiar place. After so many photographs and movies, books and personal testimonies, it is tempting to think of it as a movie-set death camp, the product of a gruesome cinematic imagination, and not the real thing. Alas, it is the real thing.”

“That is why, since its creation in 2009, the foundation that raises money to maintain the site of Auschwitz-Birkenau has had a guiding philosophy: “To preserve authenticity.” The idea is to keep the place intact, exactly as it was when the Nazis retreated before the Soviet Army arrived in January 1945 to liberate the camp, an event that resonates on Holocaust Remembrance Day, on Thursday.” [NYTimes]

Scooter Braun: “My grandma “Ma” texted me this today – “Today is the Yam Hashoa 70 years ago today I was freed in Bergen Belson.” Truly puts it all in perspective. #neverforget #neveragain [Instagram]

ON THE HILL TODAY: “The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum holds a ceremony at the Capitol Rotunda, attended by Holocaust survivors and congressional and White House officials.” [FirstDraft]

DEEP DIVE: “A fragile man, political whispers and a pair of suicides in Missouri” by Thomas Lake: “The two suicides stunned political observers far beyond Missouri’s borders and drew attention to the darkest undercurrent of a race that had quickly turned nasty: allegations that one of Schweich’s GOP rivals had made an insidious appeal to anti-Semitism. The rival denied the charge, and a police report released this week found little evidence of a sustained campaign. But Schweich’s friends insist that the whispered bigotry was real and that it devastated the emotionally fragile Schweich.” [WashPost]

BUSINESS BRIEFS: “Ari Emanuel’s WME/IMG Buys Professional Bull Riders, Expanding Live Events Reach” [Variety] • John Hancock Real Estate has agreed to pay about $345 million to Harbor Group International for a 40-story West Loop office tower [Crains] • “Joe Sitt’s Thor pays $36M for Williamsburg development site” [RealDeal] • “Relationship Science raises $31 million from some of Wall Street’s biggest names” [WSJ] • “Sprig raises $45M Series B from Sam Kass, Marc Lasry, Ludlow Ventures, Stewart Butterfield and others to bring healthy, on-demand meals to the U.S.” [Newswire]

“Creating a Social Mission from Scratch: A Conversation with Neil Blumenthal” by Melissa Kushner: “What started as a trend of the 1990s (corporate social responsibility) has become a necessary element of any company that plans to survive the next few decades. It’s also a key part of recruiting and retaining top talent. Millennials have clearly expressed their interest in working for companies whose values align with their own. The decision to build social innovation into Warby Parker’s DNA is an ethical principle, but it also has a strong business rationale. Happily, the two can co-exist.” [HuffPost]


That’s all folks; have a great day!

Free gift idea: Know anyone who might enjoy receiving the Daily Kickoff? Share us with them and they’ll probably love you for it!

**Have a tip, suggestion, or even an op-ed? We’d love to hear from you. Email  editor@jewishinsider.com**


Comments are closed.