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Posts tagged ‘Sheldon Adelson’

Republicans Brace for Sign that Jeb Bush May Run in 2016.


By all appearances, former Florida governor Jeb Bush is a man on a mission.

His itinerary for the next several weeks includes stops in Tennessee, New Mexico and Nevada to appear with Republican candidates in this fall’s elections or help them raise money for their campaigns.

And then he speaks at a dinner ahead of a Republican Jewish Coalition meeting featuring several potential Republican presidential contenders at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas. The hotel is owned by casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who gave over $100 million to Republican candidates in 2012.

Urgent: Who Should Be 2016 GOP Presidential Nominee? 

So what, exactly, is Jeb Bush up to? Could Bush, 61, the son of a U.S. president and the brother of another, quietly be laying the groundwork for a historic attempt to become the third member of his family to occupy the White House?

When Bush is asked if he will run in 2016, he deflects, saying he will decide by the end of this year based on family considerations and whether he thinks he can run “joyfully.”

Bush’s spokeswoman, Kristy Campbell, declined to comment.

But several other people close to him say that now more than ever, there are signs he might look past several potential hurdles – including polls that suggest Americans are not exactly enthralled with the idea of another President Bush – and seriously consider stepping into the fray.

At this point in previous election cycles when his name has surfaced, Bush has told friends, staffers and fellow Florida politicians that he would not run. However, he “has not given anyone the wave-off at this point” for 2016, said a Washington-based Republican strategist familiar with Bush’s discussions about the presidency.

To the contrary, this strategist said, Bush has in place an “inner circle” of fewer than a dozen people who are in regular contact with him weighing the pros and cons of running. “They are at the beginning of a very serious conversation.”

A former Bush campaign aide who remains in contact with the former governor said this year’s speculation is more warranted than that in previous years: “He’s really giving it true consideration. Possibly if you’d asked two years ago, we’d say, ‘Oh gosh, I don’t think he’d do this.’ But I think he’s giving it a real, serious look now.”

Former Republican senator Mel Martinez of Florida, who was secretary of housing and urban development during the presidency of Bush’s brother, George W. Bush, said that in Jeb Bush’s south Florida there is a growing belief among political observers that he is leaning toward joining what promises to be a crowded field of Republican presidential contenders.

Republican strategists said that Bush – whose eight years as Florida’s governor ended in January 2007 – could change the dynamic of the Republican nomination battle and provide a defining moment for a party struggling with a divide between conservative Tea Party activists and more moderate members of the Republican establishment.

There are no declared candidates yet, but the race for the Republican nomination appears to be shaping up as a contest largely among staunch conservatives favored by the Tea Party movement, such as Texas Senator Ted Cruz, libertarian Republican Rand Paul and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. A more moderate potential candidate, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, has been caught up in a political scandal that has made some Wall Street donors nervous about his prospects.

A campaign by Bush, a face of the party establishment, could challenge arguments of Tea Party activists and others on the right who see losses by John McCain and Mitt Romney in the last two presidential elections as reasons the party should nominate a more strictly conservative candidate.

For big-money Republican donors, strategist Matt Mackowiak said, Bush would represent a marquee name in U.S. politics that could attract the support beyond the far-right Republican base that will be needed to win a general election. He could also bring enough star power to vie against former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, who officials in both parties expect to run and win the Democratic presidential nomination.

Bush is the donor class’ first choice in his home state, said Florida Bankers Association president and Romney campaign bundler Alex Sanchez.

 

‘JEB IS THE EXCEPTION’

For pundits, political observers and history lovers, the prospect of a Bush-Clinton battle for the White House would be a dream matchup: a showdown between two branches of America’s political royalty.

Recent early polls have suggested that if he were to run, Jeb Bush would be weighed down by Americans’ lingering attitudes toward his brother, who left office in January 2009 as one of the least popular presidents in U.S. history. In a Washington Post/ABC News poll this month, nearly half of the voters surveyed said they “definitely would not” vote for Jeb Bush in 2016 – a level of disapproval matched only by Romney.

Even Bush’s mother, former first lady Barbara Bush, has been lukewarm about the notion of another son running for president.

“There’s no question in my mind that Jeb is the best qualified person to run for president, but I hope he won’t, because he’ll get all my enemies, all his brother’s,” Barbara Bush, wife of George H.W. Bush, told C-SPAN in January. She softened her stance in an interview with Fox News this month, saying that “maybe it’s OK” if Jeb were to run.

For a Republican Party desperate to broaden its appeal among the nation’s fast-growing and Democratic-leaning Hispanic population, a figure like Jeb Bush could be significant. He speaks Spanish and his wife, Columba, was born in Mexico. Bush – who won 61 percent of Florida’s Hispanic vote in his 1998 governor’s race, according to exit polls – has backed legal status, but not full citizenship, for undocumented immigrants. This compromise drew conservative fire when Bush’ promoted his book “Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution” in 2013.

As governor, he also stressed using standardized test scores as metrics of school and teacher performances, an emphasis at the center of a nationwide debate in U.S. education. Bush, who runs an education foundation, has also promoted the idea of allowing parents and students a choice of which public school to attend.

Bush headlined a Republican National Committee fundraising lunch in southern California in February and spoke to a group of New York-area business leaders less than two weeks later. He also appeared in a U.S. Chamber of Commerce advertisement for the Republican candidate in a Florida special congressional election, and campaigned with his son, George P. Bush, who is running for Texas Land Commissioner.

In the coming weeks Bush will raise money for or appear with a slate of Republicans up for re-election in 2014: Senator Lamar Alexander and Governor Bill Haslam in Tennessee, Governor Susana Martinez in New Mexico and Governor Brian Sandoval in Nevada.

Some Bush allies reject the idea that his recent activity reflects a building desire to run for president.

“People who know a lot aren’t talking, and the people who are talking don’t know. He’s made clear he’s going to be deliberate and methodical in the way he goes about this,” said former Florida congressman Tom Feeney, who ran for lieutenant governor on a ticket with Bush in 1994 and remains close with him.

Several Republican strategists and Bush loyalists said it would take less time for Bush to organize a full-scale campaign team than it would for someone like Walker or Cruz, thanks to his family’s experience and connections. They also dismissed concerns that Bush would have trouble running a modern campaign, given that he has not run for office since 2002 – before the age of Twitter and the Tea Party.

“Jeb is the exception,” said Mackowiak. “The time it takes to build a national finance operation for one of those other candidates? He only has to spend a fraction of that to get his together. … The clock is ticking for him, it’s just ticking more slowly.”

Urgent: Who Should Be 2016 GOP Presidential Nominee? 

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Source: Newsmax.com

Sheldon Adelson: Fire ‘Atomic Weapon’ to Stop Iran’s Nuclear Program.


A warning shot into the desert – in the form of an “atomic weapon” — is the United States’ only hope of getting Iran to halt its nuclear program, says billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson.

And if that doesn’t work, Sheldon continued, another missile should be sent to annihilate Tehran.

During a panel discussion in New York City Tuesday at Yeshiva University titled “Will Jews Exist? Iran, Assimilation and the Threat to Israel and Jewish Survival,” Adelson, a staunch conservative and supporter of Israel, said there is no negotiating with Iran.

Iran needs to know the United States has a zero tolerance policy. Currently, he added, the United States is showing weakness in its ongoing diplomatic efforts concerning economic sanctions against the Islamic republic.

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach hosted the panel, which included Wall Street Journal columnist Bret Stephens and the university’s president, Richard Joel.

Adelson’s remarks elicited applause from the audience.

Adelson advised that the United States must be clear with Iran about what will happen if it stays on the current course: “We mean business. You want to be wiped out? Go ahead and take a tough position and continue with nuclear development.”

If Iran stops its nuclear development program, the United States could guarantee the country be permitted to have a nuclear power plant for energy purposes, he said.

Until then, Adelson added, the United States’ diplomatic negotiations are nothing but a “game of chicken” tantamount to trying to negotiate a peace treaty with the Palestinians.

Forbes lists the 80-year-old Adelson as the world’s 15th richest person, with a net worth of $28.5 billion.  The largest donor to the Republican party, Adelson is chairman and CEO of the Las Vegas sands Corporation. His numerous holdings include Israeli newspaper Israel Hayom.

Related Stories:

Signs Indicate Obama Ignoring Netanyahu on Iran Deal

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Melissa Clyne

Sheldon Adelson: Nuke Iran’s Desert as Warning, Then Nuke Tehran.


A harmless warning shot to the desert – in the form of a nuclear missile — is the United States’ only hope of persuading Iran to halt its nuclear program, says billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson.

If that doesn’t work, he said, another missile should be sent to annihilate Tehran.

During a panel discussion Tuesday at Yeshiva University entitled “Will Jews Exist? Iran, Assimilation and the Threat to Israel and Jewish Survival,” Adelson, a staunch conservative and supporter of Israel, said there is no negotiating with Iran. The country needs to know the United States has a zero-tolerance policy.

Currently, he said, the United States is showing weakness in its ongoing diplomatic efforts concerning economic sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic.

Story continues below video:

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach hosted the panel, which included Wall Street Journal columnist Bret Stephens and Yeshiva University President Richard Joel. Adelson’s remarks elicited applause from the audience.

Adelson advised the United States to be clear with Iran about what will happen if the Iranians stay on their current course:

“We mean business. You want to be wiped out? Go ahead and take a tough position and continue with nuclear development.”

If Iran stops its nuclear development program, the United States could guarantee the country would be permitted to have a nuclear power plant for energy purposes, he said.

Until then, Adelson said, the United States’ diplomatic negotiations are nothing but a “game of chicken” tantamount to trying to negotiate a peace treaty with the Palestinians.

Forbes lists Adelson, 80, as the world’s 15th-richest person, with a net worth of $28.5 billion.

The largest donor to the Republican party, Adelson is chairman and CEO of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation. His numerous holdings include an Israeli daily newspaper.

Related Articles:

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Melissa Clyne

Adelson Backing US Expansion of Israel Councils.


Las Vegas Sands casino billionaire and philanthropist Sheldon Adelson is backing a nationwide expansion of the Los Angeles-based Israeli American Council.

The branch expansion has been in the works for more than a year, according to the Jewish Journal, but a list of expansion cities wasn’t disclosed.

The 80-year-old Adelson, worth $26.5 billion, and his wife Miriam are among the biggest supporters of the push; the amount of their donation wasn’t reported.

Urgent: Should U.S. Strike Syria? Vote Here 

“It’s been seven years, and it took time in the beginning to build the programs, to build the staff,” IAC Chairman Shawn Evenhaim said Tuesday. “Now we have a toolbox to take around the country.”

Founded in 2006 as a “club” of Israeli-American businessmen in L.A. who’d made significant contributions to Jewish and pro-Israel groups, the organization was known as the Israeli Leadership Council until its name change in March. Its 2013 budget is around $4 million.

The Adelsons last year spent more than $75 million to support Republican candidates during the presidential election cycle, the Journal noted. They’ve also contributed tens of millions of dollars to Birthright Israel.

The Adelson Family Foundation offices in Massachusetts didn’t return calls for comment, the Journal said.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Cathy Burke

Washington Meets Hollywood at ‘Nerd Prom’.


Image: Washington Meets Hollywood at 'Nerd Prom'

(AP)

President Barack Obama poked fun at himself and political adversaries like casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Rep. Michele Bachmann on Saturday night — joking about his radical second-term shakeup, from “strapping young Muslim Socialist” to retiree golfer.

“Time passes,” Obama quipped at the annual White House Correspondents’ Association dinner after displaying a mock magazine cover, “Senior Leisure,” which bore his image. “Get a little gray.”

The annual gathering at the Washington Hilton Hotel brings together an unlikely pairing of journalists, government officials, politicians, and media personalities for an evening of light-hearted banter and celebrity gawking dubbed the “nerd prom.”

Presidents are made fun of — and they poke fun at themselves, too. In this case, Obama told an audience of Hollywood and Washington royalty that he would like to hone in on first lady Michelle’s popularity secrets — and the president produced three mock photographs — all of him wearing bangs.

“I thought this looked pretty good, but no bounce,” he said.

This year’s headliner was comedian and late-night TV talk-show host Conan O’Brien, who first appeared at the dinner in 1995 when Bill Clinton was president.

O’Brien, who donated his entire $10,000 fee to the association’s scholarship fund, told Obama that he understood the potential downside of the evening.

“Now I’ve made some jokes about the president this evening and I’m looking forward to my audit,” he said. “It’s coming. I know sir. It’s coming.”

For his part, the president acknowledged that he still makes “rookie mistakes,” referencing the comment he made about California Attorney General Kamala Harris at a recent fundraiser in which he described her as the best-looking attorney general in the country.

“As you can imagine, I got into trouble when I got back home,” Obama said. “Who knew Eric Holder was so sensitive?”

He also noted his disappointing 2-for-22 basketball shooting performance at the White House Easter Egg hunt.

“Two hits, 20 misses,” Obama said. “The executives at NBC asked, ‘What’s your secret?’”

“Yes, maybe I have lost a step,” he conceded.

President Obama then turned his attention to several of the media organizations represented at the dinner.

“I know that CNN has taken some knocks lately, but I admire their commitment to covering all sides of the story — just in case one of them happens to be accurate.”

The network came under heavy fire for its reporting during the April 15 blasts at the Boston Marathon that killed three people and injured more than 260 others.

“The History Channel is not here,” the president continued. “I guess they’re embarrassed about the whole Obama is a devil thing. A top-rated cable miniseries raised questions as to whether the devil looked like the president.

“Of course, that never kept Fox News from showing up,” he added. “They actually thought the comparison was not fair — to Satan.”

Obama also poked fun at the Republican Party.

“I know Republicans are still sorting out what happened in 2012,” the president began. “But one thing they all agree on is that they need to do a better job of reaching out to minorities.

“Look, call me self-centered, but I can think of one minority they can start with — hello.”

He noted that Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson must really dislike him to have spent $100 million of his own money on negative campaign ads during the presidential election.

“Sheldon would have been better off offering me $100 million to drop out of the race,” he said to laughter. “I probably wouldn’t have taken it. But I thought about it.

But “Michelle would’ve taken it,” he added, looking in the direction of the first lady, who was laughing. “You think I’m joking?”

Obama admitted that his “charm offensive” dinners with GOP legislators haven’t been easy either. “I proposed a toast, and it died in committee,” he lamented.

Even though “I get frustrated sometimes,” Obama promised, “I’m not giving up.”

He planned to take his “charm offensive on” on the road — to a Texas barbeque with Sen. Ted Cruz, a Kentucky bluegrass music concert with Sen. Rand Paul — and “a book-burning with Michele Bachmann.”

He added: “My charm offensive has helped me learn some things about what’s going on in Congress — it turns out absolutely nothing.”

However, the president praised Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida for “reaching over the aisle,” but facetiously added: “I don’t know about 2016. The guy hasn’t finished a single term in the Senate, and he thinks he’s ready to be president. Kids these days.”

Among the political heavyweights at this year’s gala were 2008 GOP presidential candidate John McCain; 2012 presidential candidate Newt Gingrich; House Minority Whip Eric Cantor of Virginia; Sen. Cruz; New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie; Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, and Democratic political consultant David Axelrod.

The celebrity A-list included filmmakers George Lucas and Steven Spielberg; actors Kevin Spacey, Patrick Stewart, Sharon Stone, Katy Perry, Michael Douglas, and Kate Walsh; “Veep” star Julia Louis-Dreyfus; singers Barbra Streisand and Jon Bon Jovi; Tony Goldwyn and Kerry Washington of the ABC series “Scandal,” and Olympic gold medalist Gabrielle Douglas.

Besides Attorney General Eric Holder, other Obama administration officials at the event included White House Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and White House spokesman Jay Carney.

Media heavyweights included Bill O’Reilly and Juan Williams of Fox News; Bob Schieffer, Charlie Rose and Gayle King of CBS; Anna Wintour of Vogue, and CNN President Jeff Zucker.

The president closed by noting the nation’s recent tragedies in Massachusetts and Texas — and the floods in the Midwest.

“We’ve had some difficult days,” Obama began. “But even when the days seem darkest, we’ve seen humanity shine at its brightest.”

Besides praising first-responders, National Guardsmen, law-enforcement officers “who lived their oath to service and protect,” the president acknowledged “everyday Americans who are opening their homes and their hearts to perfect strangers.

“We also saw journalists at their best,” singling out the coverage of The Boston Globe to applause.

“That’s what great journalism is — and that’s what great journalists do,” Obama said.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Todd Beamon

10 election results you missed.


Down the ballot, several surprises

1. Not only did voters in three states (Maine, Maryland, Washington State) legalize same-sex marriage, and voters in one state refuse to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman — the first openly gay person was elected to the U.S Senate (Rep. Tammy Baldwin), North Dakota elected its first openly gay state legislator, and gay or gay friendly candidates prevailed in the more than dozen races targeted by the Human Rights Campaign.

2. As one wag put it, Koch Zero: California Proposition 32, which would have banned unions from automatically deducting dues from worker paychecks but left loopholes for corporations, was defeated. All six races targeted by Sheldon Adelson‘s $50+ million fell to the person or entity he was trying to defeat.

3. Democrats might have gained a supermajority in California’s legislature, meaning that they could raise taxes if so inclined. Republicans control the legislature in Arkansas now, a first for them in over 150 years. Democrats regained control of the Minnesota legislature.

4. Asian-Americans were 3 percent of the national vote, but they turned in favor of President Obamaby an even higher percentage than Hispanics did.

5. As POLITICO’s Charlie Mathesian notes, Blue Dog Democrats were decimated. 3 lost their seats; 4 retiring Dem seats were picked by Republicans. The House will be much more partisan than it was, even though Dems will probably wind up netting several seats. At this late hour, it looks like they’ll pick up 3 in Arizona.

6. Nate Silver may be everyone’s hero, but three polling firms had poor track records: Rasmussen, Mason-Dixon, and Gallup.

7. New Hampshire elected a woman governor, a new woman senator, and will send a new woman to the House of Representatives. All four top officer holders in that state are women.

8. Big-name House incumbents turned out of office: Rep. Allen West (R-FL)  Rep. Charlie Bass (R-NH), Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA), Rep. Larry Kissel (D-NC), and Rep. Leonard Boswell (D-IA). Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) barely held on, but the jury is out on the fate of Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), who seems to have been stunned by a well-funded out-of-nowhere challenger named Bill Bloomfield. Also, Rep. Howard Berman lost to Rep. Brad Sherman in a Dem v. Dem race in California.

9. Mia Love, the GOP‘s shining hope for inclusion and a key speaker at the RNC convention, lost her bid to defeat Rep. Jim Matheson (D-UT). Love is an African-American Republican.

10.  Two renewable energy initiatives backed by environmentalists failed to gain majority support in Michigan and Arizona, perhaps reflecting economic concerns.

Source: YAHOO NEWS.

By The Week’s Editorial Staff | The Week

Which Billionaires Got Their Money’s Worth in the Election?.


 

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This is the most expensive U.S. election in history with a total price tag of around $6 billion spent. That wouldn’t be possible if not for the billionaires and the super PACS who gave and gave and gave some more. So which rich donors got the most bang out of their buck? (Hint: it’s not Sheldon Adelson.)

RELATED: The Most Expensive Election in History by the Numbers

Figures of Romney/Obama donors are from this AP report unless otherwise noted.

RELATED: How Super PACs Bury Democracy

Romney’s Top Donors:

RELATED: One-Fourth of All Super PAC Donations Last Month Came From Just Five People

Sheldon Adelson, Owner of Las Vegas Sands

Net Worth: $25 Billion The Bill: He spent somehwere betwen $70 million and $100 million, which is no more than 0.4 percent of his net worth.

RELATED: Pennsylvania’s Voter ID Law Won’t Go into Effect for This Year’s Election

  • $34.2 Million to Romney/super PACs supporting Romney
  • $10 million to Restore our Future
  • $24 million to committees backing one-time Republican hopeful Newt Gingrich
  • $10 million promised to Karl Rove’s American Crossroads
  • $5 million to Boehner super PACs
  • $5 million to Cantor super PACs

Why He Said He Spent It:

RELATED: A $100 Million Donation from Adelson Is Like You Giving About $300

  • He’s Likes to Win: “I suppose you could say that I live on Vince Lombardi’s belief: ‘Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.’ So, I do whatever it takes, as long as it’s moral, ethical, principled, legal.” Adelson was quoted as saying in a profile by Politico
  • He Really Liked Newt Gingrich and Wanted to Use the Word “Islamofacism: “I’m in favor of Newt Gingrich, because I like people who make decisions. He’s a decision-maker. You don’t have to worry about using the word ‘Islamofascism’ or ‘Islamoterrorist’ when that’s what they are,”Adelson said at a Las Vegas event back in March. 
  • He Thinks Obama Dissed Las Vegas: Obama, had said something to the effect that Wall Streeters shouldn’t be taking free trips to Vegas on taxpayer’s dime around three weeks after his inauguration. This did not go over well with Adelson. “From that point on, Vegas started to go down …And he’s got the nerve, the chutzpah, to come here and raise money here. He should follow his own advice and not come to Vegas. He hurt me. He hurt 200,000 people working in the hospitality industry in this town.” Adelson said in the Politico profile. 

The Payoff: If Adelson likes to win, he obviously is not going to be happy sinking close to $60 million on two losers. His money didn’t even help Romney win Nevada, which probably made him more mad.

Harold “The Ice Man” Simmons, owner of Contran Corp, a Dallas-based waste/chemical management company

Net Worth: $9 Billion The Bill : Between $30 million and $50 million which is between 0.3 percent and 0.5 percent of his net worth.

Why He Said He Spent It: 

Karl Rove Told Him To: In February, Simmons saw the Santorum surge. And then he called Karl Rove, and it was a done-deal from there, as per The Wall Street Journal’s Monica Langley:

Watching a TV news report that Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum was rising in polls last month, Mr. Simmons wondered about the prospects of the former Pennsylvania senator. He called his personal political muse, Republican strategist Karl Rove.

He Believed/ Believes Obama Was/Is a Socialist: “Any of these Republicans would make a better president than that socialist, Obama … Obama is the most dangerous American alive…because he would eliminate free enterprise in this country.” Simmons told the Langley

He Didn’t Care, He Just Wanted Obama Out: “That helps explain why the biggest chunk of his political contributions in this election cycle have gone not to individual candidates but to Mr. Rove-advised super PAC American Crossroads—its stated mission to defeat Mr. Obama and elect “majorities in both the House and the Senate'” writes Langley.

The Payoff: Well, the Republicans retained power in the House. That’s something to hang your hat on right?

The Koch Brothers

Net Worth: William (“Bill”)- $4 Billion, Charles and David-$31 Billion The Bill: ????

  • Charles and David Koch are special.  As Rolling Stone‘s Tim Dickins pointed out, Charles and David have promised to spend $60 million to defeat President Obama, but “but their off-the-book contributions don’t appear in any FEC filings.” And Politico had reported they promised to spend $400 million this term in elections across the country. But because they fund tons of things through their PACs, like Americans For Prosperity, it’s hard to tabulate exactly how much of their money is going where. And then there’s shady stuff like this new piece of news that a secret $11 million donation in California actually has ties to them, which we only found out because of a tricky legal hearing. It all underscores the term “dark money.”

Why They Said They Did It:

They’re Libertarians: “The Kochs are longtime libertarians who believe in drastically lower personal and corporate taxes, minimal social services for the needy, and much less oversight of industry—especially environmental regulation.” wrote The New Yorker‘s Jane Mayer in 2010.

They’re In It for Themselves: “Rather, they are giving to support what they see as being in their business or personal financial interest: lower taxes, less regulation, smaller government,” wrote theWashington Post‘s Carter Eskew.

The Payoff: Well, Republicans kept control of the House. And Scott Walker, who the AFP backed during his recall, kept his gubernatorial seat. So that’s good right? But Obama is still in office and whatnot, which is a total $400,000 million bummer.

The Top Four Obama Donors:

Jeffrey Katzenberg: $2.566 million

Irwin Jacobs: $2.122 million

Fred Eychaner: $2.066 million

Jon Stryker: $2.066 million

Combined Total: $8.82 million (about a quarter  of what Adelson gave Romney and Romney-affiliated super PACs)

The Payoff: Well, obviously.

“I don’t believe that there’s ever been an effort in our party that can compare with what you have done over these past years,” Romney said in concession speech last night referring to “the volunteers, the fundraisers, the donors, the surrogates.” And he’s right, on the last part at least. As the Sunlight Foundation reported on November 1, $213 million has been spent on “dark money” groups to influence election—$172 million of which was spent to help Republicans and just $35.7 million to help Democrats. Taking those numbers into account, Romney’s concession speech might be the nicest way to gloss over the fact that outside conservative groups spent so much and tried so hard and couldn’t even manage to get a Senate majority—a massive fail.

Now, this isn’t to say the Obama campaign didn’t spend a ton of money on its own. It did. As our John Hudson reported, $874.6 million went toward the Obama campaign this season “with the Obama campaign burning through $553.2 million, the DNC spending $263.2 million, and the biggest ObamaSuper PACS spending $58 million.”  It’s just, that, well, some money is just better spent than others.

Source: YAHOO NEWS.

By Alexander Abad-Santos | The Atlantic Wire

Money men: Who are top 5 donors to Romney?.


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WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans hit the jackpot with casino mogul Sheldon Adelson. Worth an estimated $25 billion, Adelsonhas donated $44.2 million so far to aid Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and organizations supporting Romney this election.

Other top donors giving millions of dollars to aid Romney’s campaign include a trio of Texas money moguls and the head of a South Florida-based energy conglomerate. Their contribution totals expanded by $17 million in the first half of October, according to Federal Election Commission records. Adelsonremained ahead of the pack, donating $10 million in October, but the others also added recently to their totals.

Those donors and others are funding a presidential election that surpassed $2 billion in October, with money going toward individual Democratic and Republican campaigns as well as independent, “super” political committees working on the campaigns’ behalf.

Political donations can open doors that are closed to most people. Big-dollar donors are often invited to state dinners at the White House and other events with the president. They also may be asked to weigh in on public policy, especially if it affects their own financial interests. And the ranks of ambassadors, advisory panels and other government jobs traditionally are filled with those who have been unusually generous during the campaign.

Based on an examination of more than 3.9 million campaign contributions through final pre-election finance reports in mid-October — the methodology is below — The Associated Press has ranked the top five financial supporters bankrolling the Republican presidential run:

___

No. 1: Sheldon Adelson, 79, owner of the Las Vegas Sands casino empire.

Total: $44.2 million

Adelson is the largest declared donor to the Romney campaign and supporting political committees, providing more than $44.2 million this election season. He and his wife, Miriam, a physician who heads the Nevada-based Adelson Drug Clinic, have given $20 million to the Restore Our Future, a super PAC backing Romney. The couple gave half of that total to the super PAC in early October. Adelson also joined relatives to give $24 million to committees backing former GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich. And he has made public pledges to give $10 million to Karl Rove‘sAmerican Crossroads super PAC and as much as $100 million this election more broadly to the GOP. Worth an estimated $25 billion, Adelson oversees the Las Vegas Sands Corp., which runs casino and resort interests in Las Vegas, Singapore and Bethlehem, Pa., and Sands China Ltd., a cluster of casinos in the Chinese territory of Macau. He would benefit from loosened trade restrictions and a rise in the Chinese currency rate against the dollar. His company devoted $60,000 this year to lobby on tax issues, foreign tourist visas, travel and Internet gambling issues — and has spent $1.86 million lobbying on legislation dealing with China trade, gambling and travel since 2002. A staunch supporter of Israel, he also is a contributor to the Republican Jewish Coalition, which spent $920,000 since 2002 backing bills aimed at pressuring Iran and enhancing U.S. security cooperation with Israel. Adelson’s casino company has advised shareholders that it was under investigation by the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission. Investigators were said to be focusing on the Macau casinos and reports of missing money and possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

___

No. 2: Harold Simmons, 81, owner of Contran Corp., a Dallas-based conglomerate worth an estimated $9 billion that specializes in metals and chemical production and waste management.

Total: $22 million

Simmons is a longtime backer of GOP and conservative causes. He has donated $22 million to the party’s efforts this year, including $17.5 million to American Crossroads. Simmons gave Rove’s committee $6.5 million in early October. Simmons has donated $2.3 million to Restore Our Future — $500,000 in September. Simmons and his wife, Annette, also gave $2.2 million to Super PACs backing former GOP presidential candidates Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Rick Perry. Simmons has been active in political fundraising since the 1990s and in 2004 was a $4 million backer of the Swift Vets campaign, the GOP-backed effort to discredit Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry’s military record in the Vietnam War. Simmons’ Titanium Metals Corp. reportedly is a top producer of titanium for weapons and other industrial uses. He also owns a majority stake in Valhi Inc., a Texas-based waste management company, and could benefit from a proposed Nuclear Regulatory Commission rule change that would allow the company’s Texas facility to store spent uranium from nuclear power and weapons plants. Contran’s subsidiaries have spent $200,000 this year lobbying the NRC, the Energy Department, the Senate and the House on metals and waste issues, and $4.3 million over the past decade, including efforts to protect a Pentagon rule limiting titanium purchases to U.S. producers. Simmons was fined $19,800 by the Federal Election Commission in 1993 for exceeding the then-annual $25,000 limit on individual campaign contributions, which has since been lowered.

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No. 3:

Bob J. Perry, 80, head of a Houston real estate empire worth an estimated $650 million.

Total: $18.3 million

Perry has given $18.3 million to aid the Romney campaign and allied causes so far this election season. His most recent donation was $1 million to Rove’s super PAC in October. Long active in Texas and national GOP politics, Perry has donated a total of $10.7 million to Restore Our Future and $7.5 million to American Crossroads. Before backing Romney this year, Perry gave $100,000 to the super PAC backing Texas Gov. Rick Perry (no relation). Bob Perry has been a fixture of GOP fundraising in Texas and nationally dating back to former President George W. Bush’s Texas gubernatorial races in the mid-1990s. Perry was a top Bush presidential “bundler” and also gave big to the Swift Vets and POWs for Truth campaign in 2004, donating $4.4 million to the effort to discredit Kerry.

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No. 4: Robert Rowling, 58, head of Dallas-based TRT Holdings.

Total: $5.1 million

Rowling has given at least $5.1 million to Republican Party and candidates this election. Most of his contributions, $5 million, went to Rove’s American Crossroads, both through personal donations and through his firm. Rowling also has given $100,000 to the pro-Romney Restore Our Future super PAC. Rowling’s holdings are worth an estimated $4.8 billion and include Omni Hotels, Gold’s Gym and Tana Exploration, his family’s oil company. Rowling once told the Texas Tribune he prefers political donations to lobbying efforts. Rowling has been a big donor in Texas political circles, winning a role for Omni as operator of Dallas’ convention center hotel after a 2009 city referendum fight.

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No. 5: William Koch, 72, an industrialist whose South Florida-based energy and mining conglomerate is worth an estimated $4 billion.

Total: $4 million

Koch has given $4 million to the Restore Our Future, including a $250,000 personal donation and $3.75 million through his corporation, Oxbow Carbon LLC, and a subsidiary, Huron Carbon. Oxbow’s latest $1 million donation to the pro-Romney committee was listed Friday. Unlike his brothers, Charles and David Koch, who are longtime supporters of Republican and conservative causes, Bill Koch has funded both GOP and Democratic Party candidates in the past. Koch’s corporate interests have repeatedly battled against what company officials have decried as government interference. Oxbow spent $570,000 last year on lobbying in Washington, mostly aimed at mining, safety issues and climate change. The company has complained in federal filings about government delays on permits and has raised concerns about administration changes in regulations that would aid collective bargaining. Koch also has pushed for approval of the Central Rockies Land Exchange, a proposed swap of land tracts in Colorado and Utah to enlarge his 4,500-acre Bear Ranch. The proposal, which requires congressional approval, has sparked local opposition.

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METHODOLOGY

These rankings by The Associated Press, based on campaign financial reports submitted to theFederal Election Commission, include contributions to super PACs, presidential campaigns, political parties and joint-fundraising committees. Federal law limits maximum contributions to campaigns, parties and affiliated committees, but federal court rulings have stripped away such limits to super PACs. This analysis excludes secret but legal contributions that might have been made to nonprofit groups, which can pay for so-called issue ads that don’t explicitly advocate for or against a candidate. Such groups are not required to identify their donors.

Where available, the analysis considered donations “bundled,” or raised, from other wealthy donors for Romney and President Barack Obama. Obama periodically identifies his bundlers, but Romney has resisted calls to do the same.

Source: YAHOO NEWS.

By STEPHEN BRAUN | Associated Press

Obama gaining in battleground state contributions.


WASHINGTON (AP) — Showing impressive momentum, President Barack Obama raised more in high-dollar contributions than Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney during the last two months in 10 of 11 battleground states that are pivotal to win the presidential election, according to an analysis of new campaign financial reports by The Associated Press.

Importantly, Romney’s campaign has raised more money from donors who gave over $200 than Obama’s organization overall since May in four of those 11 battleground states — in some cases by wide margins, such as $21 million for Romney in Florida versus $11.2 million there for Obama. And nationally, Romney has continued to out-fundraise Obama.

Yet Obama made especially impressive gains last month in Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.

The new financial figures, current through the end of August, do not reflect a slam dunk for Obama’s campaign. But as much as the act of donating more than $200 to a politician is a measure of popular support, the figures present another challenge for Romney in key states with only six weeks before Election Day.

They also represent a precursor to what has been one of the most difficult periods in Romney’s candidacy. Romney has struggled this week to quell controversy over a secretly recorded video in which he told donors that 47 percent of the country pays no taxes and is dependent on government, amid fresh signs of a national housing rebound and growing support for Obama in public opinion polls.

For example, in Florida, with its 29 winner-take-all electoral votes, Obama raised $5.5 million in itemized contributions in July and August compared to $3.7 million for Romney during the same period. In Ohio, with 18 electoral votes and also considered a keystone for a winning campaign, Obama raised $2.3 million compared to $1.3 million for Romney, during the same period.

The AP’s analysis doesn’t include the tens of millions of dollars in advertisements from super political action committees and doesn’t include details about donors who gave fewer than $200 because they aren’t required to be listed on the federal reports.

“The president’s picking up traction in battleground states he carried before,” said R. Donahue Peebles, a major Obama fundraiser in New York. “As the election nears, people are paying more attention. The donors who had been sitting on the sidelines are now getting involved and are more engaged.”

Obama four years ago broke presidential fundraising records but has found himself financially outgunned for much of the summer, thanks in part to super PACs supporting Romney. Those groups have been largely bankrolled by wealthy Americans and have flourished under recent legal changes that loosened campaign-finance regulations. Obama has similar groups working in his favor, although not as successfully.

Obama’s campaign pulled in $114 million in August, slightly more than Romney’s $111.6 million. Unlike Obama, Romney raised more than $100 million nationwide for at least three consecutive months this summer.

Romney and the Republican Party had $168.5 million cash on hand versus Obama and the Democrats’ $125 million left in the bank. Romney also took out a $20 million loan on Aug. 22; he had repaid at least $5 million of that by the end of August, reports show.

For Obama, pulling ahead of Romney hasn’t been easy, particularly for a campaign that has repeatedly and publicly acknowledged it will be outspent. Romney showed remarkable successes in some battleground states earlier this year. He raised $7.6 million in Florida in May, compared to $1.5 million for Obama; Romney raised $3.7 million in Ohio in June compared to $545,000 for Obama.

In Virginia, which broke tradition in 2008 and awarded its 13 electoral votes to Obama, Obama out-raised Romney by roughly 2-to-1 during the last two months. Romney had raised more in Virginia than Obama during the preceding May and June.

The new financial reports also showed that some wealthy executives who have given tens of millions of dollars to super PACs this election didn’t give any more money last month, including Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson and Texas businessman Harold Simmons. Some major donors have chosen to give instead to super PACs’ nonprofit arms, which don’t have to reveal their donors but must focus their ads on political issues.

Source: YAHOO NEWS.

By JACK GILLUM | Associated Press

Obama campaign: Romney fundraising edge means ‘we’re in trouble’.


President Barack Obama speaks at a July 24 campaign fundraiser in Portland, Oregon (Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Imag …

President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign warned supporters in an email plea for cash on Monday that Mitt Romney‘s vast fundraising edge means “we’re in trouble” with scarcely three months to go before Election Day.

“We got beat three months in a row,” the campaign said in the unsigned message. “If we don’t step it up, we’re in trouble.”

The appeal came hours after the two sides released their July fundraising totals, revealing that Romney and the Republican Party scooped up $101 million against the $75 million hauled in by Obama and the Democrats.

“Can we win if we’re outspent? YES, but we’ve got to close that gap as much as we can,” the president’s campaign said in the message, which painted casino mogul Sheldon Adelson as a villain to be defeated.

In one section, the message said it would take 188,679 Obama donors giving the average $53 contribution in July to equal “One Sheldon Adelson with a $10,000,000 pledge.” The Las Vegas Sands Corporation CEO was represented by a large red figure wearing a bow tie. In a subsequent section, the figure appears again with the message that donations to Obama mean “fighting people like this.”

Source: YAHOO NEWS.

By Olivier Knox, Yahoo! News | The Ticket 

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