Sheldon Adelson wasn’t always eighth on the Forbes billionaire list, but the Boston-born son of a poor cab driver is now a casino and resort hotel magnate. He’s a college dropout who tried his hand at many different businesses before he hit the jackpot in Las Vegas. He is a real self-made man who has given away much of his fortune to pro-Israel and Republican causes.
And while speculation is rife that Adelson gave Gingrich’s Super PAC, “Winning the Future,” a $5 million donation to stop Mitt Romney, the truth is that Adelson has given money to Mitt Romney and the Massachusetts State Congressional Committee in the past (Hotline, November 8, 2005). In 2005, Romney worked the room at a fundraiser for the United States Holocaust Museum where Adelson was a guest of honor. Then-Governor Romney and Adelson have also discussed opening up casinos in Massachusetts, though Romney declined to make a decision on the matter during his term as governor.
Adelson has distanced himself from the Bain attacks against Mitt Romney, though his $5 million contribution to Gingrich’s Super PAC enabled it. Adelson became Gingrich’s largest donor in 2006 and has given over $7.7 million over the years to Gingrich’s former PAC, American Solutions for Winning Our Future.
Adelson has also paid for the travel funds of Giuliani during the 2008 presidential campaign. The Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman and CEO and his president, Bill Weidner, each raised between $100,000 and $250,000 for McCain in 2008.