Daily Kickoff

Daily Kickoff: Iran talks likely extended past June deadline | Miriam Adelson profile | In first campaign, Chuck Schumer ran as a ‘shtarker’

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FIRST LOOK: “The Most Important Republican Donor That You Don’t Know — Miriam Adelson — Is Married To One You Do” by Rosie Gray: “In the late 1980s, Miriam Ochshorn was living in New York. Already a successful Israeli doctor, she had come to the United States for a fellowship in addiction medicine in 1986. She was divorced, and the mother of two daughters. One day, she got a call from a childhood friend, who was also now living in the United States. The friend, Sara Aronson, had just run into a man Sara knew in a Brookline, Massachusetts deli. He was also single and was looking to meet an Israeli woman. Could Sara give him her number? Miriam said yes. The man was Sheldon Adelson.”

“The pair began talking on the phone. They did this before ever meeting, getting to know each other over the telephone line before starting to go on real dates. He proposed a few months later, and they were married shortly thereafter in two weddings — a religious ceremony at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, and a party in Las Vegas, where 10 years later Adelson would open the huge Venetian Hotel and Casino…. Much less attention has been paid to his wife — she’s hardly been written about, except for a handful of interviews over the years. But for those competing for Adelson cash, she’s just as important as her husband. The Adelsons make their giving decisions together. When Sheldon Adelson meets with prospective recipients, Miriam Adelson is often there, too.”

2016: “Many believe that Marco Rubio is the early favorite — he’s been featured several times on the cover of Israel Hayom and associates have told reporters that this is the case. Except one other thing must be considered: The Adelsons are still distinct people. According to people familiar with her comments, Miriam told people at the RJC conference that she likes Cruz, not Rubio. Miriam “loves her some Ted Cruz,” one person familiar with her comments said.” [BuzzFeed]

TOP TALKER: “Bill Clinton company shows complexity of family finances” by Stephen Braun: “State Department officials approved Bill Clinton’s consulting work for longtime friend Steve Bing‘s Shangri-La Industries and another with Wasserman Investments, GP, a firm run by entertainment executive and Democratic party donor Casey Wasserman. The ethics officials turned down Bill Clinton’s proposed work with a firm run by entertainment magnate and Democratic donor Haim Saban because of Saban’s active role in Mideast political affairs.” [AP]

Fortune Profiles Hillary Aide Mandy Grunwald: “When Mandy Grunwald was an honor student at Harvard, her mother—who would die of breast cancer shortly after at age 57—sent a note of encouragement that the media strategist keeps framed today: “Don’t let them get you down. Never compromise. Love, Mommy.”… Close Clinton watchers see Grunwald’s Elizabeth Warren-influenced fingerprints in the candidate’s emerging populist rhetoric.” [FortuneMag]

“It’s Draft Bloomberg o’clock! Why the dream of a centrist outsider will never happen” by Philip Bump: “First of all, the rise of the Super PAC has made being a billionaire candidate less of an advantage. In the modern era of presidential politics, you don’t need to be a billionaire, you just need to point friendly billionaires to the right place to drop off checks… Second, the idea that there is a great thirst for centrist politics is the recurring fever dream of wealthy Democrats.” [WashPost]

SCHUMER PROFILE: “The story behind the Empire State’s power broker” by Ross Barkan:“At the age of 23, the new law school grad launched his campaign for State Assembly, challenging two more experienced politicians in the Democratic primary. He was 25 years younger than a frontrunner, attorney Jerome Cohen. It was a heavily Jewish district, so Mr. Schumer went to work showing people he could out-Jewish Mr. Cohen. “He was a classmate of one of my sons,” Mr. Cohen, 89, recalled earlier this month, noting that his young opponent repeatedly used the Yiddish term for “strong person” to promote himself. “He described himself as shtarker,” Mr. Cohen said. “He managed to call himself the Jewish candidate.”

“Mr. Schumer’s most famous (and infamous) protégé, Anthony Weiner, compared him to hockey’s greatest player, Wayne Gretzky. “Gretzky saw the game much slower than anyone else. Chuck is that way, maybe in reverse. His standard resting speed is twice as fast as most people in Washington.”… Even Republicans have nice things to say about him. His unwavering support for Israel in the face of international hostility has won him many friends in the Senate, pointed out former Sen. Norm Coleman, a former Minnesota Republican, who happens to have been a high school classmate of Mr. Schumer’s at James Madison.” [Observer]

HAPPENING TODAY: “U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel in Jerusalem.”

At 5PM – Jay Zeidman, together with Jeb Bush’s sons Jeb Jr. and George P., will host a Houston young professionals reception for Jeb’s Right to Rise PAC. [RTRSP]

Scott Walker writes on Iran: “As the Israelis rightly recognize, such a bad deal would not only give Iran a pathway to a nuclear bomb, it would empower their broader, destructive agenda. We don’t have to guess that Iran might do with billions of dollars in sanctions relief to funnel to terrorist proxies and an intact nuclear infrastructure. They have said so themselves. They seek the destruction of Israel and — ultimately — of the United States.” [Medium]

Peter Beinart: “While American politicians have become less overtly bigoted against African Americans, Latinos, Jews, women and lesbians and gays, anti-Muslim bigotry is still entirely acceptable, at least in the GOP.” [TheAtlantic]

IRAN TALKS: “Video Exposes Divisions Among Iran Officials On Nuke Talks” by Ali Akbar Dareini: “Iranians have been captivated by a video circulating on social media this week that shows a hard-line lawmaker trading barbs with the country’s foreign minister over the ongoing nuclear negotiations with world powers.” [AP] • French Amb: “Iran nuclear deal unlikely by June 30″ [Reuters] • “Iran says nuclear talks with powers might be extended past June 30″ [Reuters]

Mehdi Khalaji: “It is not encouraging that Khamenei is unwilling to publicly acknowledge the compromises he is accepting in private. As usual, he does not want to take any firm position that would make him accountable for the outcome of the negotiations or the resultant deal.” [WashInstitute]

“Jason Rezaian Trial in Iran May Be More About Leverage Than Justice” by Rick Gladstone:“If history is a guide, Rezaian’s fate may be tied to Iranian political tensions and calculations in the estranged relations between Iran and the United States that may have nothing to do with the accusations, according to political experts, relatives of prisoners and former prisoners.” [NYTimes]

Behind the Scenes: “US clarifies position on nuclear-free Middle East” by Ben Caspit: “An unusual event took place May 23 when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called US Secretary of State John Kerry and warmly thanked him for the role played by the United States in halting the Egyptian initiative… This conversation represented a timeout and routine-breaking event in the tense reality of almost daily deteriorating bilateral relations between Washington and Jerusalem. Most probably, the Americans — who are not used to hearing Netanyahu say “thank you” — suppressed bitter smiles. Behind the scenes, a true diplomatic drama is taking place, a drama that has been going on for more than six years now.” [AlMonitor]

Inbox: “U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will address the AJC Global Forum 2015 in June”

“Israel’s defense minister Moshe Yaalon is blaming Islamic Jihad — a smaller Palestinian militant group in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip — for the latest rocket fired at Israel that drew retaliatory airstrikes overnight.” [AP]

“Hamas Is Accused of Using Gaza War as Cover to Torture and Kill Palestinians” by Isabel Kershner and Jodi Rudoren: “The militant group Hamas used last summer’s war with Israel in the Gaza Strip to carry out extrajudicial killings of at least 23 Palestinians accused of collaborating with Israel and to torture dozens of others, including political rivals, Amnesty International charged in a report issued early Wednesday.” [NYTimesAmnesty]

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BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT: “Little LionTree Poised to Reap Big Money From Cable Takeovers” by Alex Sherman: “You may not have heard of LionTree Advisors, but they just had the best week on Wall Street. That’s especially true for Aryeh Bourkoff, 42, and Ehren Stenzler, 39, the co-founders of the small investment bank that advised Charter Communications Inc. on its $55 billion takeover of Time Warner Cable Inc., after helping Suddenlink Communications strike a deal with Europe’s Altice SA.” [BloombergBusinessInsider]

BUSINESS BRIEFS: “Chera family buys Olympic Tower for $1B” [NYPost• “Lightstone buys two FiDi properties for $23M” [RealDeal] • Len Blavatnik back in for Israel’s Channel 10 [Globes]

STARTUP NATION: “Location-Based Marketing Startup Ubimo Gets $7.5M To Create Ad Campaigns Using Real-Time Data” by Catherine Shu: “Many brands now rely on location-based marketing, which sends consumers ads based on which stores or venues are nearby. Founded by former Googlers, Ubimo incorporates additional data points, including weather and local events, to make ads more relevant and result in higher conversion rates. Based in Tel Aviv, the startup recently closed a $7.5 million series B led by Pitango Venture Capital, with participation from OurCrowd and Yahoo Japan Capital (this marks the latter’s first investment in an Israeli startup).” [TechCrunch] • “HP buys ConteXtream” [Globes]

“Woman’s fight against genital mutilation, honor killing gets big boost from Google boss” by Brooke Singman: “Ayaan Hirsi Ali is an internationally known women’s rights advocate and a best-selling author, but now she has some Silicon Valley muscle behind her in her battle to end two of radical Islam’s most barbaric practices. Ali, a Somali-born activist who went on to become a member of the Dutch parliament and now lives in the U.S., won over Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, along with his personal pledge of $100,000, in her fight to put a stop to female genital mutilation and honor killings.” [FoxNews]

TALK OF THE TOWN: “A House of Worship, Converted” by Andrew Keh: “In the summer of 2012, the Sons of Israel synagogue [in South Bend, Indiana], which had not housed a congregation since 1991, was repurposed as a souvenir store for the minor league baseball team next door… The synagogue sits just beyond the left-field wall at Four Winds Field and may occupy a singular place in the already colorful landscape of professional sports. Tzvi Novick, a professor of Jewish thought and culture at nearby Notre Dame, described the building, with some wonderment, as a “complex mixture of homage, kitsch, and commercialism.” It is simply, he said, “a very interesting cultural object.” [NYTimes]

“Eli and Edythe Broad Build a Museum for Their Art Collection” by Kelly Crow: “This fall, billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad and his wife, Edythe, will open a namesake museum in downtown Los Angeles, which gathers for the first time their over 2,000 artworks in one place.” [WSJ Magazine]

BIRTHDAYS: Henry Kissinger turns 92… Sumner Redstone turns 92… David Plouffe turns 48… Joshua Fitterman… Jonathan Bendheim…

DESSERT: “Fast-Food Franchises Get Creative When They Go Abroad” by Adam Janofsky:“Nearly a third of the 180 McDonald’s locations in Israel are kosher, meaning they don’t serve milk-based products (some have separate booths for milk-based desserts) and close on Jewish holidays and Shabbat. While falafel was taken off the menu several years ago, customers can still find kebabs and Israeli salad, served with olive oil and lemon.” [WSJ]

That’s all folks; have a great day!

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