Adelson Invests In Romney

Bibi Netanyahu's biggest American backer, casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson, just invested $10 million in Mitt Romney's presidential ambitions with a contribution to the pro-Romney super PAC Restore Our Future. That's just under half of what Adelson and his family spent to keep Newt Gingrich's campaign sputtering along, but it wasn't enough to save deeply flawed former Speaker of the House. 

This was the biggest single donation from anyone to the pro-Romney PAC, which has already raised and spent more than $41 million, largely on attack ads targeting Romney's GOP primary rivals and will be turning its big guns against President Obama, reported the Washington Post.

For a man worth an estimated $25 billion, a $10 million check is chump change, so look for more to follow from Adelson and his family.  Forbes magazine, which follows such things, said, Adelson could contribute $1 billion  "and not notice."

Adelson is the Israeli prime minister's closest and most generous American supporter, and not just with his money.  Adelson publishes Israel Hayom (Israel Today), the country's largest newspaper (it is distributed free nationwide) that so closely promotes and reflects the right wing views of its owner and his good friend that it is known as Bibi's house organ.

Big money speaks big in politics, and in this case means Romney and his backers can be expected to intensify their pro-Israel/pro-Likud rhetoric and attacks on Obama as unreliable and weak when it comes to protecting and defending the Jewish state. In light of the very tight Adelson-Netanyahu relationship this could further complicate the prime minister's uneasy relationship with the White House.

The Wall Street Journal said Adelson has told friends he intends to contribute at least $100 million to conservative causes and candidates in the current election cycle.  That apparently included a quarter of a million dollars to Republican Gov. Scott Wilson of his Wisconsin for his successful campaign to prevent recall.

 “I’m against very wealthy people attempting to or influencing elections,” he said in a March Forbes interview quoted by the Washington Post. “But as long as it’s doable I’m going to do it.”

He also contributes heavily to other conservative politicians and causes in both the United States and Israel.

As Gingrich's campaign faltered earlier this year, this column reported that Adelson met with Romney and offered his support after the former Speaker dropped out. It looks like the spigot has opened, and when you place your bets at the Las Vegas Sands the odds are you'll be helping Romney.

About the Author
Douglas M. Bloomfield is a syndicated columnist, Washington lobbyist and consultant. He spent nine years as the legislative director and chief lobbyist for AIPAC.