Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Nasty Newt's Billionaire Buddy

So, here's what we know. Republican Presidential Candidate Newt Gingrich's campaign was nearly broke, poorly staffed, and adrift in disorder. Newt had just suffered at the hands of Mitt Romney's well-funded, well-oiled  campaign machine. That's when Newt turned "nasty" and vowed to go after Mitt with no holds barred. Nasty Newt's political game, as Chef Emeril Lasgasse would say, "kicked it up a notch" and "Bam" up pops a $5 million donation to the "Winning Our Future" Super Pac supporting Gingrich. 

Billionaire Buddy Sheldon Adelson, a Las Vegas casino tycoon, is the driving force behind "Winning Our Future" which is run by a former Gingrich aide.  His financial support is credited with New winning South Carolina. This week, Adelson's wife donated an additional $5 million to the same Super Pac. Betting on a win in Florida, the Pac is spending $6 million to run a TV ad that demonizes the health care plan that Romney led in Massachusetts.

The Adelsons make Mitt Romney look like a pauper. ABC News reports that Adelson, the eighth-richest American, is worth more than $20 billion. He built the Venetian hotel  in Las Vegas and another in Macao. Adelson has given to a host of Jewish causes — in addition to funding a nonprofit group that led to Gingrich's presidential run.

Adelson met Gingrich when he was the speaker of the House, and they bonded over their dedication to support Israel as Congress debated passing a bill that would encourage the American Embassy in Tel Aviv to be moved to Jerusalem, the capital. Since then they've been friends, with obvious benefits.

"He admires and likes Newt for his intellect and his creativity, and those are two traits that are very strong with Sheldon himself," said Robert List, a former governor of Nevada who was Adelson's legal counsel when he acquired the historic Sands Hotel. "It's no surprise that he's liked Newt from the beginning."

Either way, Adelson reportedly doesn't expect anything in return from Gingrich. "Sheldon doesn't need anything from anybody," Harris said. But, those who know Adelson well say that despite his loyalty to Gingrich, he'll be quick to reopen his checkbook for Romney if the ex-governor wins the Republican nomination.  Fred Zeidman, a Romney fundraiser sums it all up,  "This is all about beating Barack Obama."
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