Did Adelson spend nine figures on the election?


The Huffington Post reports:

Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson vowed to spend as much as $100 million to defeat President Barack Obama and help the GOP take control of Congress. According to two GOP fundraisers with close ties to the Las Vegas billionaire, he made good on that promise — and then some. Adelson ultimately upped the ante, spending closer to a previously unreported $150 million, the fundraisers said.

Here are the details:

The two GOP fundraisers, both with strong ties to Adelson, said that the casino mogul dished out close to $150 million, including between $30 million and $40 million to the Karl Rove-founded Crossroads GPS and at least $15 million to grassroots efforts with financial links to Charles and David Koch. Among other major beneficiaries of Adelson’s largess were the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which received almost $5 million from Adelson, and the Republican Jewish Coalition, which got the bulk of its $6.5 million budget from him, the fundraisers said.

All of these are non-profit groups, which — unlike the super PACs that raked in $54 million in funds from Adelson and his wife — are not currently required to disclose their donors. Adelson’s public spending spree, larger than any other donor’s in the last election, was made possible by two high court rulings in early 2010 that allowed corporations, unions and individuals to write unlimited checks to outside groups for political ads and other activities backing candidates.

Adelson’s spending may not have yielded many victories, but the casino tycoon still has the ears of Republicans.


Sources tell The Huffington Post that he’s heading to Washington, where will have meetings on Capitol Hill, including with at least one House Republican leader. The Huffington Post reports that “he is expected to discuss key issues, including possible changes to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the anti-bribery law that undergirds one federal probe into his casino network, according to a Republican attorney with knowledge of his plans.”

Meanwhile, Politico reported that some big-name Republicans who are considered presidential possibilities recently met with Adelson. Govs. Bobby Jindal, John Kasich and Bob McDonnell each visited Adelson’s Las Vegas gambling palace, The Venetian.

Commentary’s Jonathan Tobin argues that while it’s good for candidates to have a deep-pocketed donor like Adelson in their corner, the 2012 election showed that that’s not all it takes to get elected president:

While all of the possible candidates on both sides of the aisle would do well to find themselves a friend like Adelson, one such person or even a few won’t elect a person who can’t attract the support of the voters. If you don’t believe me, just ask president-elect Gingrich or president-elect Santorum.

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