WASHINGTON (JTA) — Norm Coleman, the former Minnesota senator who now chairs the Republican Jewish Coalition, brokered a $30 million donation by Sheldon Adelson to GOP efforts to keep their U.S. House of Representatives majority.
The casino magnate’s donation last week to the Congressional Leadership Fund, a political action committee aligned with the House GOP, is three times as large as the amount he gave in 2016, Politico reported Thursday. It also comes much earlier in the election cycle. Republicans are concerned that Democratic enthusiasm, spurred in part by anger at President Donald Trump, points to Republicans losing the House in November.
According to Politico, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., the House speaker, visited personally with Adelson and his wife, Miriam, at his Las Vegas casino, the Venetian, and explained the party’s dire straits. Ryan, who as a sitting congressman is barred from asking for donations of this magnitude, left the room, and Coleman, who was present, made the ask for $30 million. Politico quoted “two senior Republicans” in reporting the donation.
Adelson, a major giver to Jewish and pro-Israel causes, is also a leading backer of Republicans. He was among the biggest givers to Trump’s campaign and his inauguration. A Washington Post reporter said on Twitter Wednesday that Adelson was in a White House meeting with Trump.
Trump has made good on two of Adelson’s main requests: moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and pulling out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.