Adelson to give $25m boost to Trump Super-PAC
Peter Stone, Graun, Sep 23 2016
Billionaire casino owner Sheldon Adelson plans to donate as much as $25m to a Super-PAC supporting Donald Trump, five times what he had been expected to contribute. Adelson will give the money to Future45 for ads attacking Hillary Clinton and backing Donald Trump, the Guardian has learned. The commitment by the Las Vegas mogul will bring the total raised by Future 45 to $30m, according to a donor briefed on the Super-PAC’s fundraising. But even with the bigger check, Adelson’s support for Trump amounts to much less than the $100m that a few months ago he was reportedly looking to give to help his fellow billionaire win the election. Not long after Trump won the nomination, Adelson offered a strong endorsement in an op-ed in the WaPo, and the two men had the first of a few private meetings over the summer. Adelson’s decision to give considerably less than he had earlier contemplatedstems from his concerns with the candidate’s political gaffes, incendiary rhetoric, mixed poll numbers and other issues, according to two allies of the casino owner. A Future 45 spokesperson didn’t respond to several queries about the $25m commitment by Adelson.
Future 45 also has pulled in a $1m check from Joe Ricketts, the founder of investment firm TD Ameritrade and the owner of the Chicago Cubs. Future 45, which the Ricketts family was instrumental in launching last year, is poised to begin an ad blitz in battleground states that also have key and very competitive Senate races. According to CNN, the states include Florida, Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio and Pennsylvania. For Ricketts and his family, the $1m check is a big about face. During the primaries Ricketts family members gave $5m, more than any other donor, to another Super-PAC aiming to stop Trump from winning the nomination. Adelson’s $25m to Future 45 comes on top of two other eight figure Super-PAC donations the 83-year-old mogul is making to help keep Congress in GOP hands. He has donated $20m to the Senate Leadership Fund, a Super-PAC with close ties to majority leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. This Super-PAC is run by Steven Law, a former chief of staff to McConnell and is part of a quartet of outside groups that was co-founded by GOP strategist Karl Rove, with whom Adelson is close. On Monday, the Senate Leadership Fund hosted a fundraiser in Dallas that was slated to feature McConnell and Bush 43, according to two donors who had invitations to attend. The Guardian reported a few weeks ago that Adelson had earlier this year given $10m to One Nation, a politically active nonprofit run by Law which doesn’t have to reveal its donors. Adelson also has kicked in $20m to the Congressional Leadership Fund, a Super-PAC that is chaired by former senator Norm Coleman of Minnesota, who is also close to the casino owner.
The $65m that Adelson has committed to Super-PACs so far make him the biggest donor in either party this election cycle, but is less than the $93m that he and his wife Miriam gave to Super-PACs in 2012 to help Mitt Romney and congressional candidates. Adelson also gave roughly $50m in 2012 to several politically active nonprofit groups which can keep donors’ names secret, including Pindostanis for Prosperity, which is part of the sprawling advocacy network led by the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch. Super-PACs are independent groups that are allowed to raise unlimited sums of money but are not permitted to coordinate directly with candidates.