Billionaire casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson seems to be signaling his intention to plow millions more into conservative groups to influence this year’s elections, in addition to $10 million he and his wife gave a super PAC backing Newt Gingrich. For the first time, Adelson, who is worth an estimated $21.5 billion, and his Israeli born physician wife Miriam attended a mega donor conference sponsored by the billionaire brothers, Charles and David Koch.
The recent gathering, a twice-a-year event that began about eight years ago, was held in late January at a resort in Palm Springs. It typically draws deep pocketed givers, a few members of Congress and conservative leaders eagerly seeking big checks for their pet projects. Fundraisers say that this year’s winter event included an appearance by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor who has been a guest at other Koch events. Neither Cantor’s office nor Adelson’s press shop, responded to requests for comment.
Fundraisers familiar with Koch spending plans for this year say that the brothers and their large network of allied donors could pump as much as $200 million into electoral drives run by outside groups to help Republicans win the Senate and the White House and keep control of the House.
The Adelsons are weighing financial help to some groups that had a presence at the Koch conference but it’s unclear which ones are at the top of his prospect list, say fundraisers. Probably the most influential group that’s been at recent conferences has been Americans for Prosperity, a grassroots lobbying and political advocacy powerhouse that was started by the Koch Brothers in 2004.
Adelson has ...