Billionaire Sheldon Adelson now raining millions on Mittens

There are so many angles to this story, it’s hard to know where to start. John touched on this earlier in a Romney-porn piece (yep), but I want to focus on just Adelson for a bit:

■ Sheldon Adelson is the 7th richest man in the U.S. and the 14th richest man in the world (up from 8th and 16th last time we reported). On the “World Billionaires” list (second link), he’s just a skosh behind David Koch.

■ Sheldon Adelson is (was) Newt Gingrich’s billionaire.

■ He’s a Las Vegas casino owner who has a very strong penchant for a very muscular Israel.

For example, he’s reported to be a fan of Gingrich in part because of Gingrich’s support for moving the U.S. Israel embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

■ Adelson was a huge Scott Walker backer during the Wisconsin recall ($250,000 cool ones went Walker’s way).

■ To get the full Adelson flavor, Rick Perlstein’s profile in Rolling Stone is a must-read.

Click just to watch the embedded video in which Adelson plays man-games with a deposing lawyer in a session recorded in Adelson’s kingly office. The performance is a classic, must-watch, for entertainment value alone.

■ There’s more, especially on the Likud front, but that’s for later.

Now the news — Sheldon Adelson is dropping big bucks Mitt Romney’s way, raining them like roses before the candidate’s feet, as it were.

The Wall Street Journal (who really need to be keeping its mouth shut about this stuff) has the story; my emphases and [bracketed glosses]:

Adelson Gives $10 Million to Pro-Romney Super PAC

Billionaire conservative casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, who helped keep Newt Gingrich’s failed presidential campaign alive during the Republican primaries, is giving $10 million to the super PAC supporting the presumptive GOP nominee, Mitt Romney, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The leader of the super PAC Restore Our Future, Carl Forti, [keep that name in mind] wouldn’t confirm the donation and said his policy was to not comment on donors or potential donors. … The $10 million figure appears to be the largest single donation towards Mr. Romney’s efforts so far.

That’s the broad stroke … so far. Now two short ones. Note:

People close to Mr. Adelson said that he wants to be certain about Mr. Romney’s positions on key issues, including support for Israel against aggressors in the Middle East.

Agressors. I take that to mean Iran, as noted here. And:

Mr. Adelson has told friends that he intends to give at least $100 million to conservative causes and candidates this election cycle. … But he has also told his friends and colleagues that he would prefer to keep his contributions under wraps in order to avoid controversy, and will likely focus donations mostly on non-profits affiliated with political PACS, which don’t have to disclose the names of donors.

Karl Rove’s name comes up, and his Crossroads GPS SuperPAC. Will Adelson blow right past that $100,000,000 candidate-buy (yes, that’s what $100 million looks like in zeros) and get to really big numbers?

Who knows? He does have $24 billion to play with, and the country is for sale. Time to buy, say I, while the offer’s on the table.

I think that’s enough for one post, but there really is more, including some mavericky speculation about the Chinese source of some of that Adelson purchase-money. Stay tuned; a follow-up is coming.

Welcome to your democracy. Sorry, I meant “their democracy.” We gave it to them, and it’s theirs now. I coulda told folks during Reagan days — Once you give stuff to the rich, you don’t get it back by asking.

Tick-tick-tick.

* * * *

Sorry. I dozed a sec, and when I woke I found myself thinking of this.

Odd that.

GP

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Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States. Click here for more. Follow him on Twitter @Gaius_Publius and Facebook.

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