Billionaire casino mogul and one of the GOP’s biggest contributors, Sheldon Adelson, wants the 2016 Republican convention to be held in his town, Las Vegas.
The self-proclaimed richest Jew in the world is a prominent player in a group of Las Vegas civil leaders and Republican donors campaigning hard this week in Washington to convince the Republican National Committee’s winter meeting to pick their city’s famed Strip as its next convention site. Sin City has never hosted a national convention of either party.
The group has hired a high priced team of advisors, lobbyists and politicos to press its campaign.
The GOP’s influential Christian conservative wing may have some qualms about holding the convention in a city famed for its gambling, strip clubs, showgirls and, in the words of a poster advertising a restaurant owned by the former mayor and husband of current mayor, “beef, booze and broads.”
In 2012 Adelson boasted spending upwards of $100 million a failed effort to defeat Barack Obama, making him the party’s largest Jewish contributor.
Adelson also put a lot of money into defeating Rep. Shelley Berkley’s unsuccessful Senate candidacy last year, not because she wasn’t pro-Israel enough or because she was a Democrat but, according to political insiders, because of a 15-year-long personal grudge.
Adelson is close to Benjamin Netanyahu, although his politics are more far right and hardline than the prime minister’s, and he owns the largest circulation newspaper in Israel, Israel Hayom.