GOP Cleveland organizers beg Adelson for $6m
Alex Isenstadt, Shane Goldmacher, Politico, Jul 16 2016
CLEVELAND — Millions of dollars short and running out of time, organizers of the Republican National Convention have written an urgent request for $6m to Las Vegas billionaire couple Sheldon and Miriam Adelson to cover the bills for next week’s festivities. The convention begins Jul 18. In a letter to the Adelsons, obtained by Politico, the Cleveland 2016 Host Committee revealed the names of more than two dozen prominent corporations and individuals who have reneged on a collective $8.1m in pledged donations. The letter represents the most public acknowledgment to date that Donald Trump has directly cost convention organizers millions of fundraising dollars. The letter says, which was dated Jul 12:
Over the past couple months, negative publicity around our potential nominee resulted in a considerable number of pledges backing out from their commitments. We would greatly appreciate if you would consider a $6m contribution to the Cleveland 2016 Host Committee to help us cross the finish line. Your support will allow our community to meet its obligation to the RNC, and will ensure our Republican nominee has the best possible platform to lay out his conservative case for our nation. Thank you for your consideration and please let us know if you need any additional information.
It goes on to list the companies and wealthy individuals who have withdrawn their financial commitments. Among those who have cancelled their donations, according to the letter, are David Koch ($1m), FedEx ($500k), Visa ($100k), Pepsi ($500k) and Coca-Cola ($1m). The letter says the RNC has raised $58m, putting the party $6m below the $64m that was promised to bring the convention to Cleveland. They ask the Adelsons to single-handedly close the RNC’s shortfall. The letter is co-signed by David Gilbert, CEO of the Cleveland 2016 Host Committee, Christopher Connor, executive chairman of the Sherwin-Williams Co, Alexander Cutler, chairman and CEO of the Eaton, Christopher Kelly, a partner at Jones Day, and Beth Mooney, chairman and CEO of KeyCorp. Sheldon Adelson, who has an estimated net worth of $25b, is one of the few Republican mega-donors to come out strongly in support of Trump. It has been reported that Adelson could spend more than $100m to back the presumptive GOP nominee, matching his financial investment in Mitt Romney’s campaign four years ago. Dating back to January, convention organizers, the Republican National Committee and its chief strategist, Sean Spicer, have denied that Trump would cost convention organizers money. There have been previous reports of individual companies that have chosen not to participate in this year’s convention, but this is the most comprehensive listing of corporations that have pulled back on previous commitments. Other corporations listed in the letter as having withdrawn earlier commitments include Apple ($250k), as previously reported by Politico, as well as BP ($50k) and United Health ($500k). Spokespersons for the convention host committee and Adelson did not immediately respond to requests for comment.