Jewish casino billionaire pledges $100 million to get Donald Trump elected President
From Jonathan Martin writing at The New York Times: The casino magnate Sheldon G. Adelson told Donald J. Trump in a private meeting last week that he was willing to contribute more to help elect him than he has to any previous campaign, a sum that could exceed $100 million, according to two Republicans with direct knowledge of Mr. Adelson’s commitment. As significant, Mr. Adelson, a billionaire based in Las Vegas, has decided that he will significantly scale back his giving to congressional Republicans and direct most of his contributions to groups dedicated to Mr. Trump’s campaign. The two Republicans familiar with Mr. Adelson’s plans spoke anonymously because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. Mr. Adelson’s pledge to Mr. Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, comes at an opportune time. Mr. Trump has relied on a mix of his own wealth and small-dollar contributions to finance his primary effort and lacks the sort of major donor network needed to sustain him in the general election. Mr. Trump has said that he may need $1 billion for the campaign but has only recently begun scheduling fund-raisers and hiring finance staff members. Many of the Republican Party’s wealthiest contributors, including the billionaire brothers Charles G. and David H. Koch, have indicated they are unlikely to give to his candidacy.
What remains unclear is how Mr. Adelson plans to contribute his money to Mr. Trump. He will give the maximum allowed to Mr. Trump’s campaign and the Republican National Committee, but to spend the amount he contemplates would require donating through a “super PAC,” able to accept unlimited donations.
According to the Republicans familiar with Mr. Adelson’s planning, he and his advisers are still uncertain about which super PAC to use as their vehicle for the bulk of the contributions. They are wary of some of the current groups that purportedly exist to help Mr. Trump, who has been clear that he is uneasy with outside entities promoting his candidacy. At rallies, he has consistently criticized opponents who relied on super PACS, saying they were being bought by wealthy donors.
Mr. Adelson, 82, the chief executive of Las Vegas Sands, is among the world’s wealthiest individuals and has given hundreds of millions of dollars to Republican candidates and causes over the years. In 2012, he contributed at least $98 million to Republican efforts, according to a study by ProPublica. But that money went to 34 separate campaigns and groups.
Mr. Adelson is frustrated by congressional gridlock and believes the only way to affect the country’s political system is to ensure a Republican president is elected, say the Republicans familiar with his thinking.
While he may help some local or gubernatorial candidates, he is not planning to give much to congressional candidates or super PACs dedicated to keeping Republican control of the House and Senate, a substantial blow given the largess he has showered on them in recent elections.
Mr. Adelson and his wife, Miriam, met with Mr. Trump and his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, at the St. Regis Hotel in Midtown Manhattan while
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