Sheldon Adelson the billionaire casino magnate has set a record for political donations by donating $70 million to different Republicans during this election season. The $70 million is close to triple what the highest amount was previously, according to a number of news outlets.
The 79-year old Adelson is the chairman of the Las Vegas Sands Corp. and the symbol of a new era in campaign finance in the U.S. that gives a great deal of power to wealthy individual donors through unlimited donations outside the Super PAC groups. The groups finance large amounts of advertising on behalf of many candidates, through the use of millions of dollars. Adelson said he would spend as much as $100 million or whatever it took to make sure President Barack Obama was defeated in the November 6 election.
Adelson and wife Miriam, according to filings with the FEC have contributed over $37 million, with nearly all of it going to Super PACs that back Mitt Romney the Republican presidential nominee and to Republican Party members running for the U.S House of Representatives and the Senate.
The balance of the money from Adelson went to tax-exempt groups that do not have to disclose who their donors are. Forbe’s magazine has estimated that the fortune of the Adelson’s is over $20.5 billion, with much of that thanks to the huge expansion of casinos that has taken hold in Macau in China.
George Soros, the billionaire financier and liberal, held the previous record for election donations at $27.5 million during the 2004 election.