Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Sheldon Adelson’s super PAC spending spree shaped GOP politics


01/12/2021 06:35 PM EST

There are Republican megadonors, and then there was Sheldon Adelson.

The casino magnate, who died Monday at 87, and his wife Miriam together accounted for an enormous share of GOP political spending over the last decade, making him a Republican kingmaker.


The Adelsons made $218 million in federal donations in 2019 and 2020 — over three times more than the next-biggest GOP donors, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. They accounted for more than one-quarter of all Republican outside spending on President Donald Trump’s behalf in this election: $90 million out of $353 million in total, per CRP.

And over the last five years, the Adelsons gave $280 million to House and Senate Republicans’ main super PACs, supplying more than one-third of the funding for Congressional Leadership Fund and nearly one-quarter of Senate Leadership Fund’s total during that time, according to a POLITICO review of FEC data. Their total federal giving over the last decade topped a half-billion dollars.

“Sheldon Adelson was the GOP megadonor of GOP megadonors,” said Ken Spain, a former spokesperson for the National Republican Congressional Committee. “He was a deciding factor for dozens, if not hundreds, of races over the last decade. In a world where Democrats can rely on small-dollar donations that can add up to tens of millions of dollars, the loss of a major donor of Adelson’s stature is going to be felt.”


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