Sheldon Adelson Pours Money Into GOP Super PAC In Senate Fight

The casino billionaire put his chips on the table.
Sheldon and Miriam Adelson gave $20 million to a super PAC run by former aides to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Sheldon and Miriam Adelson gave $20 million to a super PAC run by former aides to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

WASHINGTON ― Billionaires Sheldon and Miriam Adelson lead the march of wealthy megadonors pouring money into super PACs aiming to help Republicans keep or Democrats grab control of Congress.

On the GOP side, the Senate Leadership Fund, which is linked to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), reported a massive haul of $28.2 million for August. Adelson and his wife alone gave $20 million, according to the Federal Election Commission. 

On the Democratic side, Senate Majority PAC, which is tied to both Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) and his potential heir Sen. Chuck Schumer (N.Y.), pulled in $11.6 million last month.

The money from Adelson, the most prolific donor to the GOP, provides Republicans with a major boost in the final months before Election Day, as they seek to maintain their hold on the Senate. Democrats are likely to pick up seats in the upper chamber, but are hoping to win enough to actually seize control. They had been leading in the super PAC money race up until Adelson’s August donation.

The casino magnate isn’t the only donor to give big to the Senate Leadership Fund last month. Chicago hedge fund billionaire Ken Griffin contributed $2 million, and New York hedge fund billionaire Paul Singer chipped in $1 million. Petrodome Energy, a company owned by Texas donor Ed Bosarge Jr., contributed $1 million. American Crossroads, the once mighty super PAC founded by Karl Rove and run by the exact same staff as the Senate Leadership Fund, gave $1.3 million.

Across the aisle, the largest donor in August to Senate Majority PAC was Alexander Soros, a son of hedge fund billionaire and Democratic megadonor George Soros, with $1.25 million. Hedge fund billionaire S. Donald Sussman, real estate and casino magnate Neil Bluhm, and the Greater New York Hospital Association Management Corporation each donated $1 million.

These weren’t the only two super PACs working at the congressional level to report their finances on Tuesday. Granite State Solutions, which seeks to re-elect Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), received $4.8 million from the Senate Leadership Fund, $1.5 million from Adelson and $100,000 from James Davis, chairman of the New Balance shoe and athletic wear company.

House Majority PAC, which works to elect Democrats to the House, raised $7.1 million in August. Media mogul Fred Eychaner, one of the biggest Democratic Party donors, gave $3 million, and Sussman gave $2 million. The Oneida Indian Nation chipped in $500,000.

Labor unions were also major contributors to Senate Majority PAC and House Majority PAC. The United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing, Pipefitting and Sprinkler Fitting Industry donated $250,000 each to both super PACs. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers PAC gave $350,000 to Senate Majority PAC and $100,000 to House Majority PAC. The American Federation of Government Employees and the United Food and Commercial Workers union both gave $250,000 to Senate Majority PAC.

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