M J Rosenberg, May 16 2012
This Sep 30 1986 memo from AIPAC’s deputy political director Elizabeth Schrayer directs her assistant to call several Israel political action committees across the US to channel funding to AIPAC favored candidates. The PACs, operating under nondescript names such as “Gold Coast” and “ICEPAC” along with suggested contribution amounts are handwritten on the Schrayer memo. This internal AIPAC memo was leaked to the WaPo and published in 1988. During the 1986 election cycle, Israel PACS donated more than $7m to candidates according to the WSJ. Public revelations of AIPAC’s efforts to set up and coordinate PACs touched off a decade-long court battle over election law enforcement that rose to the US Supreme Court.
As someone who worked at AIPAC for six years (two as an unpaid intern and four as a top staffer), it always amuses me when its defenders say that AIPAC does not intimidate Members of Congress by threatening to direct money to their opponents. They do. Back in the 1980′s, I actually sat in the room with the guy whose job was to work to defeat Sen Charles Percy of Illinois. Back then AIPAC’s efforts to direct money to its friends and against those who would not follow its directions was so blatant that 60 Minutes did a whole segment on it. The reporter (Mike Wallace, Morley Safer?) actually had papers in hand in which AIPAC’s political director assigned amounts of money to be distributed. The documents 60 Minutes had were provided to them by a young staffer who worked in AIPAC’s political department. After the segment aired, she was fired and left the country.
There really is no secret about AIPAC’s directing of campaign contributions. At its annual conference in Washington, side rooms are set up where invited donors can meet the chosen candidates and commit financially. This part of the AIPAC conference is by invitation only. No reporters! Since then AIPAC has gone to tremendous lengths to keep its activities secret. Its eight-story office building in Washington is an armed camp and NO ONE gets near it who isn’t invited. Its staffers get thorough background checks. The place is hermetically sealed! But nothing has changed since the old days, which is why I am running the following. This is a transcript from 1992 of David Steiner, the AIPAC president, caught on tape describing the political shenanigans that are the heart of its power. Of course, he was canned for doing what he was supposed to be doing. Like Steve Rosen, indicted under the Espionage Act, he was relieved of his post for doing what he was expected to do. Remember, this is how AIPAC operated then and how it operates now. This just happened to have been caught on tape. The original scanned phone calls are here.
DAVID STEINER: Haim.
HAIM KATZ: Hello, how are you?
DAVID STEINER: Where are you located?
HAIM KATZ: I’m located in Queens, New York.
DAVID STEINER: Queens. Far Rockaway?
HAIM KATZ: Belle Harbor.
DAVID STEINER: Belle Harbor. I’m trying to get this list together. Would you ever get into the city?
HAIM KATZ: Sure, I do. Sure, you come frequently?
DAVID STEINER: Well I come in from time to time. I have an office there, at AIPAC in the city. You know, I want you to understand. Where did you get my name and phone number?
HAIM KATZ: Oh, I, um, I called AIPAC.
DAVID STEINER: Yeah.
HAIM KATZ: And ahh, I know you’re the president of AIPAC.
DAVID STEINER: You should understand that, the political information that I gave you, those are personal choices.
HAIM KATZ: Sure, I understand.
DAVID STEINER: AIPAC does not rate or endorse candidates, does not solicit money.
HAIM KATZ: Yeah, look.
DAVID STEINER: I want you to understand that the choices I would give you are personal choices.
HAIM KATZ: I understand.
DAVID STEINER: I wonder if before … I want to get together with you next week.
HAIM KATZ: Next week would be fine.
DAVID STEINER: But in the meantime, I wonder if I can have one of my people get together with you and talk to you about it. They’ll want to meet you and know who you are and all this. I have a … maybe if I can have Seth Buchwald call you, my New York director.
HAIM KATZ: That would be terrific.
DAVID STEINER: And we have a guy out there, Joel Schnur. And, are you orthodox?
HAIM KATZ: Ah, yes.
DAVID STEINER: Okay, Joel is orthodox too. I am not.
HAIM KATZ: You’re reform or?
DAVID STEINER: I’m reform.
HAIM KATZ: Okay, let me just say …
DAVID STEINER: I was raised orthodox but I’m reform.
HAIM KATZ: Okay, let me just tell you that, I’ll just hold you a minute. I’ll be happy to meet with them, I know, I’ve heard the names, I’d be happy to meet with them, as a matter of fact I could, when I’m in Manhattan. Are you ever in Manhattan?
DAVID STEINER: Sure, today I’m going to be there, but I can’t. I’m meeting with the ambassador.
HAIM KATZ: Okay, I’ll just ask you very very quickly. You know, like, in New York, you know, this is your own personal opinion, like in New York we have Abrams against D’Amato.
DAVID STEINER: Well, let me tell you what my personal position is. Okay?
HAIM KATZ: Yeah.
DAVID STEINER: From a Jewish point of view, I believe in political loyalty.
HAIM KATZ: Right.
DAVID STEINER: And if someone has been good for Israel, no matter who, if my brother would run against them, I would support them because they’d been good to Israel because that’s an important message to people.
HAIM KATZ: Right.
DAVID STEINER: What I’m going to be doing for you …
HAIM KATZ: Now D’Amato, has he been good for Israel?
DAVID STEINER: You couldn’t have a better … Listen, I think Abrams would be good too, but that’s not the message.
HAIM KATZ: Yeah.
DAVID STEINER: Ah…
HAIM KATZ: So the message, so the message is that, ah, I agree with you all the way, that if somebody’s been good for Israel, I’ll take D’Amato. But you have no complaints with D’Amato?
DAVID STEINER: I have no complaints with D’Amato.
HAIM KATZ: Uh huh, so and ah, you know, let me tell you, Abrams might be, might be too liberal. I don’t know if Abrams supported, let’s say the ah, the war against Iraq.
DAVID STEINER: Yeah, I don’t know, and ah, I don’t know. But all I know is if I have a guy who is there and he’s doing it, then I don’t want to change, you know?
HAIM KATZ: Right. Let me ask you this very quickly and then I will …
DAVID STEINER: I’m going to have Seth call you because in the meantime I’m going to be preparing this list, what I’m doing is, I’ve asked my friends in the various campaigns, I’ve made about 30 calls, what I’m trying to put together who needs it the most, you know? Because you could dissipate a million dollars, but the point is to put it where it’s going to do the most, I know Bob Kasten, who’s been an outstanding friend and needs it, I know …
HAIM KATZ: Excuse my ignorance. Bob Kasten is what state?
DAVID STEINER: From Wisconsin.
HAIM KATZ: Okay, is he Jewish?
DAVID STEINER: He’s for loan guarantees, he happens to be a Republican.
HAIM KATZ: Okay, and but, he’s good? He’s …
DAVID STEINER: You couldn’t have better.
HAIM KATZ: Is Kasten, Kasten’s been very, very good and he’s in trouble?
DAVID STEINER: He’s in big trouble. Les Aspin, who’s the Chairman of the Military Appropriations, a Democrat also from Wisconsin is really …
HAIM KATZ: You mean, Les Aspin is in trouble?
DAVID STEINER: In big trouble.
HAIM KATZ: I can’t believe it. I mean, I don’t, I don’t follow.
DAVID STEINER: Well, see, what happened was, you know ah, when you get to know me, I’ll put you on my list and I’ll be sending all these things. A wealthy businessman decided to run, using all his own money. Aspin, ’cause they sit on the finance committee for Aspin …
HAIM KATZ: Right.
DAVID STEINER: … programmed the last two weeks of, well the last month of the campaign, for TV. This guy came in two months early and we didn’t have the money budgeted, so we’re out scratching around to raise money for him. So we, heck, I told him, I said that I’d go, I’ll sign on the bank on a loan for you, you know, that’s how important it is.
HAIM KATZ: Unbelievable. You know I read, I won’t hold you long, but I’d just tell you this.
DAVID STEINER: That’s okay.
HAIM KATZ: I’ll just tell you this, I read the New York Post, and I don’t even read the papers too much, I don’t follow politics. Are you ready for this?
DAVID STEINER: Yeah.
HAIM KATZ: Get ready for this. I read in the papers this morning, I think it was the Post, Barbara Boxer, in California.
DAVID STEINER: Yeah.
HAIM KATZ: Do you know who she is?
DAVID STEINER: I know who.
HAIM KATZ: She’s originally from, ah, New York I think.
DAVID STEINER: A friend of yours?
HAIM KATZ: No, no, no. She’s not a friend of mine, but she, ah, I think she’s in trouble.
DAVID STEINER: Yean, that’s ah, in that race we’re okay either way, ’cause Bruce Herschensohn, who she’s running against, is Jewish, and he’s very strong on our issues.
HAIM KATZ: Okay, but Herschensohn …
DAVID STEINER: Herschensohn’s a very conservative Republican.
HAIM KATZ: You know, he’s come out of nowhere. He was like 30 points behind.
DAVID STEINER: Right.
HAIM KATZ: He’s come out of nowhere with it.
DAVID STEINER: Because the truth of the matter is, she didn’t always vote for foreign aid. We had a big meeting, I had a program in LA I had all four senatorial candidates there, and he ripped her apart. She has always voted against foreign aid.
HAIM KATZ: What about the one, in ah, the one in, um, what’s his name? I read it in the paper, it’s just a shocker, politics is a crazy game. The black woman in Chicago.
DAVID STEINER: Carol Moseley Braun?
HAIM KATZ: She was going to win by 50 points.
DAVID STEINER: Oh it’s down, she took the money, it’s a big problem.
HAIM KATZ: It’s a big problem with her.
DAVID STEINER: And we have a problem with another good friend. You know Daniel Inouye, from Hawaii, he’s one of our best friends. It was Kasten-Inouye on the loan guarantees, Kasten-Inouye and Leahy.
HAIM KATZ: I heard, I saw it on, I know Inouye’s in trouble because of, he sexually harassed his hairdresser.
DAVID STEINER: We commissioned a poll and got some people, and I’ve got to raise $27,000 to pay for the poll, so I have, so what I’m trying to do is make a priority list, because I don’t know how far you want to go. How old are your kids, by the way? You had three children that could write checks, do they have their own checking accounts?
HAIM KATZ: Yes.
DAVID STEINER: Oh, so that’s not going to be …
HAIM KATZ: How old do they have to be?
DAVID STEINER: They can’t be one year old.
HAIM KATZ: I mean, could they be 18, 17?
DAVID STEINER: Sure, no problem, so they could make, nobody’s going to bother you, but if you had infants, a four-year-old, let’s say, it’s not a contest.
HAIM KATZ: Let me tell you, I was planning, I was planning to, to … Inouye, by the way, is in real trouble? He’s been there forever.
DAVID STEINER : Yeah! Well, we might lose him. There’s been such a sea change, such trouble this year, I can’t believe all our friends that are in trouble. Because there’s an anti-incumbency mood, and foreign aid has not been popular. You know what I got for, I met with Jim Baker and I cut a deal with him. I got, besides the $3b, you know they’re looking for the Jewish votes, and I’ll tell him whatever he wants to hear.
HAIM KATZ: Right.
DAVID STEINER: Besides the $10b in loan guarantees which was a fabulous thing, $3b in foreign, in military aid, and I got almost $1b in other goodies that people don’t even know about.
HAIM KATZ: Such as?
DAVID STEINER: $700m in military draw-down, from equipment that the US Army’s going to give to Israel; $200m the US government is going to preposition materials in Israel, which Israel can draw upon; put them in the global warning protection system; so when if there’s a missile fired, they’ll get the same advanced notification that the US is notified, joint military exercises, I’ve got a whole shopping list of things.
HAIM KATZ: So this is from Baker?
DAVID STEINER: From Baker and from the Pentagon.
HAIM KATZ: So, not so, not …
DAVID STEINER: Why did he do it, you know, why did he do it? Last year I was a bum. This year I said look Jim, we’re going to fight on the F-l5s. Israel doesn’t want to fight, I said, but some people on it are going to come up on the floor of the Senate and the House and they’re going to fight. If you’ll do this, I think I can hold them back. But you’ve got to do it right away. They didn’t want to fight. I said, “You don’t want a fight before the election. It’s going to hurt Bush. We don’t want a fight before the election. We don’t want to fight at all. Why can’t we work something out?” So we cut a deal. You can’t repeat this.
HAIM KATZ: You’re right. But you met with Baker.
DAVID STEINER: Personally.
HAIM KATZ: Personally. Because you know, he’s the one who cursed, who cursed the Jews.
DAVID STEINER: Of course, do you think I’m ever going to forgive him for that?
HAIM KATZ: Unbelievable. I said …
DAVID STEINER: Do you think I could ever forgive Bush for what he did Sep 12 a year ago? What he said about the Jews for lobbying in Washington?
HAIM KATZ: Do you think that Baker has a legitimate concern for the Jews? From what I hear, do you think he’s anti-Semitic?
DAVID STEINER: I wouldn’t go so far as to say that. He’s a pragmatic businessman, he’s a very tough lawyer. He does whatever it takes.
HAIM KATZ: And that’s why.
DAVID STEINER: If we didn’t have an election this year, you would get [unintelligible] from him.
HAIM KATZ: Let me ask you a quick question. Just a quick question here. You know Perot, you know, I’m telling you this is scary. I don’t know what you think of Perot, but if Perot hadn’t backed out, I watched the debates. I thought Perot did marvelous in the debates.
DAVID STEINER: He doesn’t know how to govern. He’s not going to make it. And there was an incident where his daughter was going out with a Jewish professor at school and he said, “I wouldn’t have my daughter marry a Jew.”
HAIM KATZ: So Perot, they say that if Perot hadn’t backed out in July, and if he would have gotten himself a good running mate, you know.
DAVID STEINER: He wouldn’t win, but it would go to the House of Representatives. The Democrats would win in the House of Representatives.
HAIM KATZ: So if it goes to the House, the Democrats would win for sure.
DAVID STEINER: For sure.
HAIM KATZ: Okay, let me ask you, last question and then I’ll be happy to meet with your New York people.
DAVID STEINER: You know, you sound like my kind of guy. How old are you?
HAIM KATZ: Forty-two.
DAVID STEINER: You’re a kid.
HAIM KATZ: I’m not a kid, I’m 42.
DAVID STEINER: I’m 63, you’re a kid.
HAIM KATZ: I wish I was.
DAVID STEINER: We’ll have to get you involved. I like you, we have a lot to talk about, about real estate, you know, I have so many great activities going on at AIPAC, you ought to think about coming to some of these things. I’ll have a dinner this fall. I’ll have 18-20 senators there. I run programs in Washington. We just had a, I had at Ted Kennedy’s house last month kosher dinner. I brought foremost caterers down. I had 60 people on the couch for dinner. Last year, I did it in Al Gore’s house.
HAIM KATZ: Right.
DAVID STEINER: Those are the things you should be getting involved in and knowing what’s going on.
HAIM KATZ: Let me just ask you about Clinton. I want to tell you, you may not believe this, but I think that if Perot …
DAVID STEINER: Yeah, he would’ve given us a hard time. What’s the name of your company, what do you do business as?
HAIM KATZ: We do business as Haim Katz Inc.
DAVID STEINER: Haim Katz Inc?
HAIM KATZ: Right.
DAVID STEINER: Do you have a street address?
HAIM KATZ: Sure. 621 Beach 129th Street, Belle Harbor, Queens, New York, 11694.
DAVID STEINER: Yeah, because on my computer you only show a post office box. This is your house? You work out of your house?
HAIM KATZ: Yeah, out of an office in the house. Look, Mr Steiner …
DAVID STEINER: David. My father’s Mr Steiner.
HAIM KATZ: David, let me just ask you about Clinton. Honestly, what do you feel about Clinton?
DAVID STEINER: Well, I’ve known Bill Clinton for seven, eight years. I think he’s got to be a lot better than George Bush. We have a lot of people in there. But he doesn’t need money, he really doesn’t need money. I’m a trustee of the Democratic National Committee. We collected $63m for him so far.
HAIM KATZ: Who’s collected $63m?
DAVID STEINER: The Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign have raised $63m.
HAIM KATZ: So they’ve already raised $63m, so they don’t need money.
DAVID STEINER: No, we need money, like we got a guy, Byron Dorgan, in North Dakota, who’s going to be very good for us and we need money to make sure that he gets in. We’ve got people like that, because [unintelligible], whatever you give them would be a tickle on the elephant’s behind. But when you give $5,000 or $10,000 to Bob Kasten, that’s very meaningful.
HAIM KATZ: Let me ask you, I understand what you’re saying. Clinton, when Clinton first started running a year ago, did he need money at that time?
DAVID STEINER: Yes, he did.
HAIM KATZ: I mean, did you help him out, ’cause that’s the time.
DAVID STEINER: I personally am not allowed, as president of AIPAC, to get involved in the presidential campaign, because I have to deal with whoever wins. You know, I’ve got to go see Bush if he’s there, but I helped him, we raised over $1m for him in New Jersey.
HAIM KATZ: For Clinton?
DAVID STEINER: For Clinton.
HAIM KATZ: And this was when, in the beginning?
DAVID STEINER: In the beginning, yes. After he won, before the convention.
HAIM KATZ: This is before the convention?
DAVID STEINER: Oh sure.
HAIM KATZ: Okay, let me ask you, you know …
DAVID STEINER: We’ve also raised for other guys who are running too, because they’re friends. Harkin, the senator, you know you have to be with everybody.
HAIM KATZ: Let me ask you, [talks about getting cheated in business by Gentiles]. Let me ask you, Clinton, if he becomes, I mean what will he do for Israel, better than Bush, if he becomes, I know Bush gave you a hard time, this and that.
DAVID STEINER: I’II tell you, I have friends on the Clinton campaign, close associates. Gore is very committed to us.
HAIM KATZ: Right. Clinton if he, have you spoken to him?
DAVID STEINER: I’ve known Bill for seven, eight years from the National Governors Association. I know him on a personal basis. I have friends. One of my friends is Hillary Clinton’s scheduler, one of my officers’ daughters works there. We gave two employees from AIPAC leave of absences to work on the campaign. I mean, we have a dozen people in that campaign, in the headquarters.
HAIM KATZ: You mean in Little Rock?
DAVID STEINER: In Little Rock, and they’re all going to get big jobs. We have friends. I also work with a think tank, the Washington Institute. I have Michael Mandelbaum and Martin Indyk being foreign policy advisers. Steve Spiegel, we’ve got friends, this is my business.
HAIM KATZ: I understand, David.
DAVID STEINER: It’s very complicated and the more you get into it, you’ll love it. You sound like a smart guy.
HAIM KATZ: I’m a smart guy, but I have a, maybe because I’m more orthodox than you are, I’ve had bad experiences with Gentiles. Let me ask you, you know what “tachlis” means?
DAVID STEINER: Yeah, sure.
HAIM KATZ: From a practical point of view, if Clinton wins the presidency, and I’m sure he will, I hope so at least, what will be the benefits to Israel better than Bush? From a very practical point, I mean, you just told me that Bush gave you everything you wanted.
DAVID STEINER: Only, not everything, at the end, when we didn’t want the F-l5s, that’s a terrible thing.
HAIM KATZ: Selling the F-l5s? If Clinton is elected.
DAVID STEINER: Let me tell you the problem with the $10b in loan guarantees, right? We only have the first year. We have authorization from Congress, but it’s at the discretion of the president every year thereafter, so if Bush is there, he could say, you know, use it as a club, you know. ‘If you don’t give up Syria, I won’t give you the money. If you don’t give up the Golan Heights.’ It’s at the discretion of the president. And that’s why we need a friendly president and we have Bill Clinton’s ear. I talked to Bill Clinton.
HAIM KATZ: And Bill Clinton has made a commitment that if he’s elected …
DAVID STEINER: He’s going to be very good for us.
HAIM KATZ: And he’ll go ahead with the loan guarantees?
DAVID STEINER: We didn’t talk about that specifically, listen, I didn’t ask him that, but I have full confidence that we’re going to have a much better situation. He’s got Jewish friends. A girl who worked for me at AIPAC stood up for them at their wedding. Hillary lived with her. I mean we have those relationships. We have never had that with Bush. Susan Thomases, who’s in there, worked with me on the Bradley campaign. We worked together for 13 years. She’s in there with the family. They stay with her when they come to New York. One of my officers, Monte Friedkin, is one of the biggest fund-raisers for them. I mean, I have people like that all over the country.
HAIM KATZ: So, I mean from a practical point of view.
DAVID STEINER: He’s going to be with us.
HAIM KATZ: I don’t say, this business, you say, Bush only went ahead with the loan guarantees for one year.
DAVID STEINER: We only have, it’s mandatory they give us the $2b for one year. After that it’s subject to the discretion of the president.
HAIM KATZ: You mean the other $8b?
DAVID STEINER: That’s correct. On an annualized basis.
HAIM KATZ: Also, I heard that …
DAVID STEINER: They don’t have to give it to us.
HAIM KATZ: But if Clinton is elected …
DAVID STEINER: I feel reasonably certain we’re gonna get it.
HAIM KATZ: He’s made that commitment?
DAVID STEINER AIPAC: Well, he said he’s going to help us. He’s got something in his heart for the Jews. He has Jewish friends. Bush has no Jewish friends.
HAIM KATZ: Right.
DAVID STEINER AIPAC: Reagan had something meshuga, but at least he had a commitment. He knew Jews from the film industry, he was one of the best guys for us. He had an emotional thing for the Jews. Bush doesn’t have it. That’s what it is really, if you have a feeling for our people, for what we believe in. Bush is, there’s a man with no principles. Absolutely no principles.
HAIM KATZ: I heard something about, but I never really understood it, with the scoring. One of my friends told me there’s a difference in the scoring, but I don’t understand.
DAVID STEINER: Scoring is like points that you pay.
HAIM KATZ: So let’s say, if Bush is elected on the loans …
DAVID STEINER: No, we’ve got the scoring arranged, it’s four and a half percent. It’s all done.
HAIM KATZ: That’s all done, even with Bush?
DAVID STEINER: Even with Bush. I’ve got that worked out.
HAIM KATZ: So that’s all done.
DAVID STEINER: It’s in the bill. It’s all passed. He signed the bill. It’s a matter of law.
HAIM KATZ: So it’s already four and a half percent?
DAVID STEINER: We could’ve had it less, but then we couldn’t …
HAIM KATZ: And Clinton, if he was president, he would give …
DAVID STEINER: He could not change it, you cannot change it.
HAIM KATZ: No, but I’m saying, if he was president now, before the bill was signed, he would’ve given you the four and a half percent.
DAVID STEINER: I would’ve gotten less.
HAIM KATZ: I’m sorry?
DAVID STEINER: I would’ve gotten it cheaper.
HAIM KATZ: How much? Even two percent?
DAVID STEINER: Yeah, we thought we were going to get two percent. But Rabin gave it away.
HAIM KATZ: You mean Rabin didn’t bargain as good as he could have?
DAVID STEINER: That’s right.
HAIM KATZ: Unbelievable. So, if Clinton is elected, that will be the best.
DAVID STEINER: I think that will be the best we could do.
HAIM KATZ: You know, I just want to tell you one last thing. Do you have parents that come from Europe?
DAVID STEINER: Yeah, of course, from Glolitzano, near Krakow.
HAIM KATZ: You’re kidding, your parents are from Krakow?
DAVID STEINER: Near Krakow.
HAIM KATZ: Guess what?
DAVID STEINER: You too?
HAIM KATZ: My parents are from Krakow.
DAVID STEINER: Well, we’re not from Krakow, but from near Krakow. My mother’s from Rudnick, my father from Gruns, near Tano. Do you know where Tano is?
HAIM KATZ: Yes. Let me tell you.
DAVID STEINER: I don’t have many left. Everybody got …
HAIM KATZ: Let me tell you. The same with me. Let me tell you, my parents were the only ones who came out. Let me tell you, my …
DAVID STEINER: You’re a Holocaust survivor?
HAIM KATZ: Yeah, no, not me, my parents.
DAVID STEINER: That’s some experience, I’ve got two cousins, I’ve got one in Israel and one in France that came out of Mauthausen, I’ll tell you, and everybody else dead on my father’s side, in Russia. I just brought six of them from KosHaim Katzent to Israel last year.
HAIM KATZ: Right. Let me tell you that, you know what my father always says? My father was a rich man in Poland, and he says, he says, “Economic power is very good. You have to have money, but if you just have economic power and you don’t have political power.”
DAVID STEINER: “You’ve got nothing.”
HAIM KATZ: You’ve got nothing.
DAVID STEINER: If we had AIPAC in the ’30s and ’40s, we would have saved millions of Jews. We would have the political power. But Jews were afraid to open their mouths. They didn’t know how.
HAIM KATZ: AIPAC started after WW2?
DAVID STEINER: Oh, sure.
HAIM KATZ: And if you would have had AIPAC in the …
DAVID STEINER: I feel we would’ve saved a lot of Jews.
HAIM KATZ: And Franklin Roosevelt, he could’ve done a lot better?
DAVID STEINER: Sure, he could. The Jews never opened their mouths. They were afraid. We’re not afraid. They can curse me out, I don’t care if they hate me, just as long as I get what we need for our people.
HAIM KATZ: So if you had a little lamp, a wishing lamp and you could wish for either Bush, Clinton or Perot.
DAVID STEINER: Clinton.
HAIM KATZ: Clinton all the way? And in terms of Israel having political power, between the three candidates, the one who will give us the most political power?
DAVID STEINER: Clinton is the best guy for us.
HAIM KATZ: He’s the best one.
DAVID STEINER: I hope you’re serious about what you told me.
HAIM KATZ: I am, I’ll tell you this [tells a long anecdote about David Souter promising to oppose abortion as a nominee and then reversing himself on the Supreme Court]. So I wish we had a Jewish candidate for president.
DAVID STEINER: I don’t think the country’s ready.
HAIM KATZ: If the country was ready, is there any Jewish candidate?
DAVID STEINER:I wouldn’t venture to say anything.
HAIM KATZ: You know who? I don’t know him, I’ve never met him, Joe Lieberman.
DAVID STEINER: Oh, I’m very friendly with Joe. I’m having dinner with him Monday night.
HAIM KATZ: Let me tell you, I think Joe Lieberman would have, uh, would have, if he wasn’t Jewish, that’s the only problem he has. He’s highly respected.
DAVID STEINER: I’d like to see him on the Supreme Court.
HAIM KATZ: If Clinton is elected, has he told you who he’s going to put on the Supreme Court?
DAVID STEINER: We’re talking now. We don’t have no commitments yet. We’re just negotiating. We’re more interested right now, in the secretary of state and the secretary of National Security Agency. That’s more important to us.
HAIM KATZ: If Clinton is elected, who do you think will be secretary of state?
DAVID STEINER: We don’t know yet, we’re negotiating.
HAIM KATZ: Who are you hoping for?
DAVID STEINER: I’ve got a list. But I really can’t go through it. I’m not allowed to talk about it.
HAIM KATZ: But you figure, God willing, if Clinton’s elected …
DAVID STEINER: We’ll have access.
HAIM KATZ: You’ll have access and you’ll have a good input into who’s secretary of state.
DAVID STEINER: I do believe so.
HAIM KATZ: And the other position is?
DAVID STEINER: National security adviser.
HAIM KATZ: Those are the two critical positions.
DAVID STEINER: Right.
HAIM KATZ: Gotcha. Well, David, thanks for talking with me.
DAVID STEINER: And we’re going to get together next week. I hope you’ll have your checkbook ready.
HAIM KATZ: Will do.
DAVID STEINER: Okay, thanks.
HAIM KATZ: And let me ask you about the real estate.