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Sheldon Adelson donates $30 million for House Republicans

Sheldon Adelson

(Steve Mack/Getty Images)

Billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson awoke from his midterm slumber.

In second-quarter fundraising, Adelson donated $30 million to a conservative super PAC supporting House Republicans, infusing hope in vulnerable GOP incumbents this November.

Adelson and his wife spent $82 million during the 2016 presidential election but were relatively quiet lately. As of May, the Adelsons had made less than $350,000 in political contributions this cycle, even with a looming November midterm threatening Republican control of the House.

But Adelson, 84, reappeared in sleeper-cell fashion Sunday on a list of quarterly contributions to the Congressional Leadership Fund. The contributions included two $15 million donations from the Adelsons of Las Vegas.

The Adelson’s $30 million donation to a major artery of outside spending in support of Republican House candidates nearly doubled what the super PAC had raised during the cycle’s first 15 months and accounted for the majority of its $51 million in quarterly fundraising. Adelson’s estimated net worth is $41 billion.

Other significant contributors included Timothy Mellon of Pan Am Systems ($10 million); Houston Texans owner Robert McNair ($1 million); and Joe Craft of Alliance Coal ($750,000).

American Action Network (AAN), a politically active nonprofit with secret donors, chipped in over $4 million in cash and in-kind “research and media optimization,” according to the filing. AAN had already given over $15 million to the Congressional Leadership Fund this cycle, making the “dark money” group the largest donor after Adelson.

Adelson wasn’t the only perennial megadonor whose name appeared on quarterly finance reports.

Richard Uihlein contributed another $500,000 to Americas PAC, a conservative super PAC that has spent $4.9 million targeting three Democratic senators up for reelection in Trump-carried states: Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Jon Tester of Montana.

Uihlein’s contribution added to the $26 million he has already donated to Republican candidates and causes through May. He ranked second among top individual donors at the end of the first quarter.

In March, Democratic donor George Soros gave $3 million to Win Justice, a super PAC created to fund a voter-drive aimed at rallying “infrequent voters to win key elections, focusing on people of color, women and people under 35,” particularly in Florida, Michigan and Nevada, USA Today reported.

In its quarterly filing, Win Justice reported over $2 million in contributions, primarily to three super PACs: Immigrant Voters Win ($910,000); ColorOfChange ($880,000) and Planned Parenthood Votes ($301,500).

The funding is part of a planned $30-million investment to reach 2.5 million Democratic voters.

Geoff West

Geoff West is the money-in-politics reporter for OpenSecrets. Previously, he covered politics and public policy for eight years in Central Texas. He holds a master’s degree with an emphasis on investigative and computer-assisted reporting from the Missouri School of Journalism and was a graduate assistant for IRE and the National Freedom of Information Coalition.


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