Major GOP donor eyes $100 million in donations
June 18th, 2012
03:05 PM ET
2 years ago

Major GOP donor eyes $100 million in donations

Washington (CNN) – Fresh off a major donation to the pro-Mitt Romney super PAC, Nevada billionaire and major Republican donor Sheldon Adelson is expected to continue his support for some other GOP causes and may donate as much as $100 million this campaign cycle, a source with knowledge of his donations told CNN.

He doesn't want to put all his eggs in one basket, according to the source, and wants to see how the groups to which he contributes perform before deciding whether to give more.

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Among the potential recipients: the advocacy group Crossroads GPS co-founded by Karl Rove and an organization aligned with billionaires Charles and David Koch, who are sponsoring several different groups whose priority is aimed at helping Republicans to get out the vote vs. airing television ads. Crossroads and representatives for Koch have each asked Adelson for $10 million, but he has made no firm decisions about the level of commitment, according to the source contradicting some other reports.

"The requests are coming fast and furious," the source said. After months of speculation Adelson and his wife Miriam donated $10 million to Restore Our Future, the pro-Romney super PAC, making them its largest donors. This $10 million would be included in the $100 million total Adelson is looking to give during this campaign cycle.

The Huffington Post first reported the possible expansion of Adelson's contributions.

The casino magnate, whose worth is estimated at almost $25 billion by Forbes Magazine, is ranked as the 7th richest man in America.

Adelson and his wife contributed $20 million to the super PAC Winning Our Future, which was largely responsible for helping keep Newt Gingrich's campaign alive last winter by airing a series of attack ads aimed at Romney. In an interview with Forbes last winter he talked about possibly supporting Gingrich's campaign to the tune of $100 million.

Once Gingrich's campaign faltered, many political analysts wondered when he would switch his support for Romney and at what level.

Those close to Adelson had said he had always vowed to support whoever emerged as the Republican nominee because associates said his primary goal was to prevent the president from getting re-elected.

"He wants to beat Barack Obama," said one friend of his who requested anonymity.

With the second fundraising quarter coming to a close at the end of June, Adelson felt it was the right time, according to the friend.

"The race is on," said the friend. "He will do everything he can."

What may have also helped Romney's cause is a lunch Adelson hosted for the presumptive Republican nominee at his Las Vegas office lasting for more than an hour last month.

One source also addressed concern criticism by Arizona Sen. John McCain that foreign money was making its way into the campaign because much of the revenue of Adelson's Sands Corporation comes from overseas, including in Macau, an administrative region under the control of China.

The source, who is close to Adelson, fought back saying "it is the same revenue stream from four years ago when John McCain took the money," referencing McCain's 2008 campaign.

Representatives of Adelson have refused to speak about his contributions because the casino magnate prefers his political activities be kept private.

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Filed under: 2012 • Fundraising • Mitt Romney
soundoff (284 Responses)
  1. Steve Lin

    Apparently you CAN buy the presidency. Yes, Romney hasn't won yet but so far he has demonstrated that he could buy the nomination by far outspending all of his opponents combined. 24/7 bombardment of mudslinging advertisements right before election has proved to work for him. Guess I'll have to continue to perform my patriotic duty by paying the federal government 28% of my income while he and his buddies continue to enjoy their less than 15%. How can you argue that there is no aristocracy here?

    June 19, 2012 07:21 am at 7:21 am |
  2. mike

    This is whats wrong with our Country. Enough is enough. We need campain reform now. No more buying our elections .

    June 19, 2012 07:23 am at 7:23 am |
  3. jesse james. take them to street and shoot them like the dogs they are

    Vote for the 1%. Have a nice day.

    June 19, 2012 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  4. switters

    One man – $100,000,000 – god bless freedom of speech

    June 19, 2012 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  5. Anonymous

    Blatant purchase of political influence and the middle-class republicans are ignorant enough to believe a $100 million donation is for the "greater good" of all Americans.

    I'm not a fan of the democrats either but do you really think a man like Mitt Romney has your best interest at heart?

    June 19, 2012 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  6. blackhawkmom

    How can an average income American have equal say on who gets elected to any office? Does anyone else see anything wrong with this?

    June 19, 2012 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  7. jake

    Mitt is owned by the Chinese via Adelson. Money from China goes to Adelson then goes to Romney. This guy has no value, he'll take money from Iran and North Korea if he could too. The only thing Romney has in common with us folks is that he breaths and eats. The middle class? What's that, a new educational level in public schools, said Romney.

    June 19, 2012 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  8. Esteban

    I think people needs to show their names if they want to express what they feel about the president, hiding behind a nickname very coward of you and also no one gives money with nothing in return.

    June 19, 2012 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  9. Curt

    What a shame that someone can afford to give $100,000,000.00 to political campaigns when so many people are going broke. That money could have helped alot of needy people. Am I the only one that thinks this political system is based on corruption? Whoever has the most power and money can buy a politician. Lets not be so critical of other countries like Afganistan accusing them of corruption.

    June 19, 2012 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
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