Major GOP donor eyes $100 million in donations
June 18th, 2012
03:05 PM ET
6 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. He won't say

    Lets all be perfectly honest. Someone willing to put 100 million of his money on one group is looking for a favor. Maybe he is the one who bought off the supreme court?

    June 18, 2012 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  2. Mary Nelson


    June 18, 2012 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    If the GOP was so interested in the national debt, they should just say all the donations are going towards paying off the national debt. Instead their wasting it on advertising. Ever think about using the money to put people to work or feed a hungry family?

    June 18, 2012 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  4. Vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    I notice Sen McCain has stopped talking about this billionaire and his donations since it appears most of his money has come form casinos in China and the GOP more than likely told him to HUSH! The SCOTUS has ruined what was once fair elections for all because remember nobody buys something and wants nothing in return.

    June 18, 2012 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  5. snowdogg

    Makes me puke... our country for sale to the GOP 1%.

    June 18, 2012 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  6. t2dela1943

    The Rise and Fall of the American Empire.

    June 18, 2012 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  7. CBR

    Mr. Adelson has the right to donate these large sums of money because there are no laws prohibiting anyone from making these donations. However, the candidates all know that these donations are given to not only buy the elections but to influence the candidates. Mr. Romney knows this very well and his acceptance of these large sums of money for his campaign or for groups which put out ads for his election is a reflection of his character and puts a cloud over his candidacy. It is too bad that Mr. Romney is allowing this to go on. He just has to say "NO" as he plans to do for social programs if he is elected in November.

    June 18, 2012 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  8. LIB

    It;s a shame that the American people vote for people who have the most money but not the most experience. Money gathering does not make you a good business person. It does not mean you have experience. When will this country learn. Money may mean power but it doesn't mean more experience on either side. We are such shallow people

    June 18, 2012 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  9. CBR

    This all is the result of a ruling by the Supreme Court Justices. It is a poor reflection on the men and women of the court.

    June 18, 2012 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  10. Steve

    Adelson is Israel's and AIPAC's bag man.

    June 18, 2012 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  11. Nice to know that the guy who made $25 billion from his Chinese casinos . . .

    is betting those foreign profits on Romney . . .

    June 18, 2012 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  12. Bren

    This is GREAT news!! Thank you sir for doing your part to help to save our economy/country. The sooner Obama is sent back to Chicago-the better chance our economy/country has of recovering from this past 3-1/2 year nightmare known as the Obama Administration. Liberals only have problems with people/groups donating millions to candidates/elections, if they are not giving to Obama and Democrats. If this millionaire was giving to Obama, they would be all for it. They definitely had no problem when Soros, Unions, La Raza, etc-were donating millions to Obama/Democrats!! Watch the polls in about 2 weeks-after Obama's amnesty for illegals is factored into the polls!! Obama's campaign is imploding more and more each day--Romney will win the election!!

    June 18, 2012 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  13. Ben

    YAAAYY!!!!! Now we can buy elections! I got $20 bucks! Maybe I can buy some know nothing teabgger!!!!

    June 18, 2012 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  14. works4me

    US Presidency for sale to the highest bidder...
    Much like the Governorship of Florida was SOLD to the highest bidder, Scott.

    June 18, 2012 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  15. wm Scot

    I would love it if all this money backfired on the GOP and the citizens of this country gave these guys the finger and voted all the moderates in with new faces that they could not control !

    June 18, 2012 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  16. Vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    one thing I found out here is in order to be a TRUE PATRIOT you have to donate to a Republican candidate. LOL and they claim Obama tries to divide people.

    June 18, 2012 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  17. dizzylucy

    That's ridiculous. There is WAY too much money in politics. I wish there could be a reasonable cap on fundraising, no Super PACS, and then the candidates would have to be judged on their policies and debate performances, rather than on who raises the most money and airs the most commercials.
    For all the money Adelson is spending, he's still only got one vote. Same as you and me, so we need to make sure our voices are heard as well.

    June 18, 2012 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  18. merlinfire

    In other words, he wants to see which organizations will dance like puppets on a string, before he gives more.

    June 18, 2012 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  19. Dennis

    Donate 100 million to Republican advertising... How much will he donate to his Las Vegas casino workers? One has to wonder how long his enitre casino employees have to work to be paid 100 million dollars?

    June 18, 2012 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  20. Logic N LA

    The Venetian was once my favorite hotel in Las Vegas. Nowadays I will not stay there or attend any event at the Sands Convention Center in that town. He may have his money to "speak" but my pennies will do my "talking" for me.

    June 18, 2012 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  21. Johnjon

    talk about throwing money down a rat hole.

    June 18, 2012 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  22. Glenn Doty

    I think it's pretty obvious that neither the Adelson family nor the Koch brothers will suffer if they have to pay a few percent more in taxes (a few million dollars), as they are currently willing to spend a few hundred million dollars into government. The only difference is: if they were to spend the money into taxes, that would strengthen the country, instead of tearing it apart.

    June 18, 2012 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  23. Professor

    Dirty money buying America's election?

    June 18, 2012 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  24. mike t

    What movie has this guy starred in?I thought hollywood had all the money in this election.

    June 18, 2012 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  25. tkret

    A few things here.
    First, I agree, Super Pacs should not be allowed. Then again, nor should personal or corporate donations. I would rather the money comes from the Federal Government. A limited amount of money (say $75 million) to each of the 2 major parties, and possibly up to $45 or $50 million to anyone from the next four parties. That is all they are allowed to spend. And, campaigning could last for 90 days only.
    Second, why is it not OK for someone to give a large amount of money to Romney, but Obama can go to over 160 fund raisers to raise money from HIS RICH friends? Seems like a double standard here.
    Third, ALL donations to political parties, or now to Super Pacs, is for the specific purpose of of buying politicians and winning an election. Applies to both democrats and republicans. Is that anymore 'outrageous corrupt behavior' than giving illegal immigrants amnesty for the sake of buying a "block" of potential voters?

    June 18, 2012 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
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