If Forbes’ report here is true, it will truly raise the issue of whether for the first time in history one person’s massive, utterly unfettered use of his personal wealth can literally pay to remove someone from the White House. It should lead to a rethinking of Citizen’s United (don’t hold your breath). Forbes:
Forbes has confirmed that billionaire Sheldon Adelson, along with his wife Miriam, has donated $10 million to the leading Super PAC supporting presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney–and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. A well-placed source in the Adelson camp with direct knowledge of the casino billionaire’s thinking says that further donations will be “limitless.”
Adelson, who has built Las Vegas Sands into an global casino empire, will do “whatever it takes” to defeat Obama, this source says. And given that Adelson is worth $24.9 billion–and told Forbes in a recent rare interview about his political giving that he had been willing to donate as much as $100 million to his initial presidential preference, Newt Gingrich–that “limitless” description telegraphs potential nine-digit support of Romney.
Adelson, this source continues, believes that “no price is too high” to protect the U.S. from what he sees as Obama’s “socialization” of America, as well as securing the safety of Israel. He added that Adelson, 78, considers this to be the most important election of his lifetime.
Forget all the old histories about deep pockets’ Nelson Rockfeller, Steve Forbes, or Joe Kennedy doling out the cash for JFK. This sounds like by the time this is over, they’ll all look like pikers.
But it could work out well for some parts of the electorate:
Republicans can indeed get in and complete the transformation of the Supreme Court, and Democratic liberals who don’t try to counter big money by donating or voting because they want to punish their party and show how disappointed they are in Obama will have four years to blame it all on money and not their staying home.
Do the Democrats have a plan to deal with this? (Don’t hold your breath..)
Earlier today, First Read said this:
All told, the New York Times says, the Adlesons have donated $35 million to pro-GOP Super PACs. While we’ve all become numb to money in politics, that doesn’t make it less relevant. And $35 million (and possibly counting) is an astonishing sum from one individual and his wife. What’s more, we’ve seen politicians spend more than this on races — hello, Michael Bloomberg — but they were spending it on themselves. But folks like Adelson aren’t running for office; rather, they’re dabbling in politics like someone would dabble in fantasy baseball. It’s truly breathtaking.
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.