U.S. Sen. Rick Scott continues to dole out the Champion for Freedom Award he invented this year.
Scott, the chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, bestowed that honor on Miriam Adelson, who accepted on behalf of herself and her late husband, Sheldon Adelson, who was a titanic figure in both American and Israeli politics.
“Miriam and Sheldon Adelson have made an incredible footprint on Las Vegas, the United States, and the entire world,” Scott said.
“From his humble roots, Sheldon Adelson built an empire that bettered the lives of many families through new job opportunities and philanthropic commitments. Miriam has been dedicated to important causes that have helped countless people across the globe. True Champions for Freedom, Miriam and Sheldon used their success to help those in-need, such as funding cancer research and substance abuse treatment,” Scott asserted, before pivoting to what Adelson may be best known for in the political sphere.
“Their commitment to bettering the U.S.-Israel relationship is perhaps the cornerstone of their work, and our nation is grateful for the Adelsons’ support of Israel, our strongest ally in the Middle East. While we miss Sheldon greatly, it is an honor to present Miriam with the Champion for Freedom award knowing that she will continue to fight for better communities, a stronger America and a safer world,” Scott noted.
Sheldon Adelson passed in January, and Scott remembered him then as “a giant of business, a man of principle and one of America’s great philanthropists.”
“Over the years, I got to know Sheldon through his work on combatting drug use and his efforts to support and defend Israel, causes that he dedicated his life to. He did everything in his power to make sure the world never forgot the horrors of the Holocaust or allowed the evil of anti-Semitism to go unchallenged. His commitment to freedom, security and opportunity for all was only matched by the passion with which he pursued that commitment. He changed the lives of millions and will forever be remembered as a leader who dedicated his life to the betterment of his country, the nation of Israel and the world,” Scott contended then.
Adelson’s battle against “drug use” manifested itself most clearly in his efforts to stop medical marijuana from becoming legal in Florida. As the Daily Kos noted, he was the prime backer of Scott’s political efforts as well as the campaign against palliative cannabis in 2014.
Sheldon Adelson ultimately also backed Ron DeSantis with enthusiasm that the current Governor courted and reciprocated, with a homage to Ariel University during an Enterprise Florida economic mission to Israel early in his administration. It was a homage to the Adelsons as much as to higher learning.
Miriam and Sheldon Adelson were at that event, with Miriam Adelson calling DeSantis a “warrior.” Sheldon Adelson and the Governor, meanwhile, spent time before the event talking, with a rapt DeSantis’ face showing how important the visit was to him personally.
Meanwhile, regarding Scott’s Champion for Freedom award, the bestowal to the Adelsons likely will be less controversial than the inaugural honor — to former President Donald Trump.
The Senator spent days afterwards defending the selection.
“Since I got up here, I’ve been asking, how can I recognize people,” Scott told the Washington Post. “I’m a business guy and I know people appreciate being recognized.”
Scott also gave the award to conservative radio host and journalist Hugh Hewitt this year.
This article first appeared at Florida Politics.
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