What gambling industry money has done on Newt Gingrich's behalf
No single person, outside the candidates themselves, has had more raw impact on the presidential election than casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson, via his donations to a pro-Gingrich 'super PAC.'
Wall Street executives and hedge fund managers are so far the most conspicuous donors to "super political action committees," followed by titans of energy. But for raw impact, no one beats casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson, whose extended family has contributed $11 million to a super PAC backing Newt Gingrich.Skip to next paragraph
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Recent financial disclosures from super PACs give insight into which people, corporations, and unions are writing big checks in hopes the super PACs can succeed in influencing the 2012 presidential race. Mr. Adelson's contributions, say political analysts, helped Mr. Gingrich to get back in the race after fourth-place showings in Iowa and New Hampshire.
The Adelson-Gingrich connection dates from the candidate’s tenure as US speaker of the House in the late 1990s, when the two men conferred over legislation in support of Israel. Those ties are especially on display in Nevada, which holds its presidential caucuses Saturday.
As of Feb. 2, the Gingrich campaign itself had yet to buy TV, cable, or radio ads in the Las Vegas media market. But the Adelson-funded Winning Our Future super PAC did give Gingrich a radio presence in the run-up to the Nevada caucuses, running 203 pro-Gingrich ads and 62 anti-Mitt Romney ads, according to Media Monitors, based in White Plains, N.Y. The Romney campaign and Restore Our Future, a super PAC backing Romney, otherwise dominated TV, cable, and radio in the Las Vegas market, producing 1,116 spots overall, compared with 277 for Gingrich, 256 for Ron Paul, and seven for Rick Santorum.
Typically, the Nevada caucuses begin at 9 a.m. and end at 3 p.m. But in an 11th-hour decision, the Nevada Republican Party, with support from Mr. Adelson, added a special caucus venue at the Adelson Educational Campus, a private school in Las Vegas, to encourage participation by Orthodox Jews after sundown. This caucus begins at 7 p.m. As a footnote, Gingrich is staying at the Venetian resort, a subsidiary of Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands.