Friday, July 18, 2008

WaPo's The Fix: Get To Know Sheldon Adelson

Right-Wing Smear Group Financier and Casino Mogul Sheldon AdelsonChris Cilizza:

Adelson, the third richest man in America according to Forbes magazine, has in recent years turned his attention and, more importantly, his wallet to American politics. Adelson has donated more than $229,000 to various state and national Republican committees and candidates over the last three elections but his real influence is felt in the contributions he has -- and continues to make -- to 527s and 501(c)(4)s that engaged in public education/political efforts

Adelson is one of the prime movers and major backers of Freedom's Watch, the independent, conservative-aligned group expected to play a major role in House and Senate races this year. He has reportedly donated $30 million to fund the groups activities, but because Freedom's Watch is a 501(c)(4), it is not required to make public its donors.

Although Adelson has lurked in the shadows for years, two new profiles -- one by the Wall Street Journal (subscriber-only, boooo!), the other by the New Yorker -- bring him into sharp relief. ...(more)
Adelson sees his role in the coming fall election as "the cavalry coming over the hill, bugles blaring." Look for him to play a significant role financing groups that will try to smear Obama and other Democrats in the months to come.

He is also the financier behind the Defense of Democracies attack ads in the FISA fight and is also very active in Israeli politics, as Cilizza goes on to explain, he "started a free daily newspaper known as Israel Hayom that is widely seen as a vehicle to re-install conservative Benjamin Netanyahu as the country's prime minister."

More links:
TPMmuckraker: NJ: Big Money for Pro-War Group Comes from Casino Mogul
TPMmuckraker: NJ: Casino Mogul Funded Anti-Dem Surveillance Ads
WaPo: Casino Executive Contributes $1 Million to Gingrich Group
RightWeb Profile: Sheldon Adelson
SourceWatch Profile: Sheldon Adelson
Mother Jones: Sheldon Adelson: The Right's White Knight?