Sheldon Adelson 370.
(photo credit: Reuters)
NEW YORK – Major Republican donor Sheldon Adelson saw almost all of his
investments falter Tuesday night, after most of the candidates he supported lost
their election races.
The casino mogul, who is also the owner of Israel
Hayom and is estimated to be worth more than $20 billion, allegedly spent close
to $100 million – along with his wife – to elect congressmen, senators and a
president this year, a new record in political donations.
Close to $60m.
of that went to Super PACs, which are required by law to release their donor
It is estimated that the Adelsons gave another $30m. to
$40m. to tax-exempt organizations, which don’t have to publish donor
Adelson gave $1.5m. last month to a SuperPAC supporting
George Allen, the Republican Senate candidate from Virginia. Allen lost the race
to Democrat Tim Kaine, 52.4% to 47.6%.
Rep. Allen West – who got a $1.5m. boost from Adelson – narrowly lost his
reelection bid to newcomer Democrat Patrick Murphy 49.6% to
Adelson also poured $1m. into a bid seen as largely
unwinnable – that of Orthodox Rabbi Shmuley Boteach challenging incumbent
Democratic Rep. Bill Pascrell in New Jersey. Pascrell beat Boteach 74% to
In Florida, Adelson’s $1m. donation supporting Connie Mack
back in July didn’t help her beat two-term Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson, who
won 54% to 42%. Also in Florida, Adelson- supported congressional candidate Adam
Hasner lost 45% to 55% to Democrat Lois Frankel.
Adelson did, however,
pick a winner in Republican incumbent Senator Dean Heller, who held on to his
seat narrowly after beating Democratic challenger Shelly Berkley – who once
worked as an attorney for Adelson’s casino company – 46% to 45%. Heller received
more than $4m. from SuperPAC Crossroads GPS, to which Adelson reportedly gave at
But the biggest loss of the night for Adelson was that of
Mitt Romney, after he and his wife, Miriam, donated at least $20m. to SuperPACs
supporting the Republican challenger.
Romney, of course, lost the popular
vote to US President Barack Obama 48% to 50%.
The 79-year-old also gave
millions to various non-candidate specific Republican groups.
poured money into the primary bid of former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich
for the Republican presidential nomination earlier this year. Gingrich dropped
out of the race in May and endorsed Romney, after receiving more than
$15m. in support from the Adelsons.
SuperPACs – which stands for
political action committees – are independent groups that can receive unlimited
donations and run ads supporting any politician, but without coordinating
directly with the candidate. This is the first presidential election in which
they have played a role, due to a 2010 Supreme Court decision allowing their
Adelson, a Jewish native of Massachusetts and a college
dropout, is considered a strong ally of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, and
gives extensively to Jewish organizations such as Yad Vashem.