Adelson is willing to do “whatever it takes” to defeat President Barack Obama, he said. “I don’t believe one person should influence an election. So, I suppose you’ll ask me, ‘How come I’m doing it?’ Because other single people influence elections.”
The 2012 election season has seen an unprecedented frenzy of spending in the wake of the 2010 Supreme Court “Citizens United” decision that equated spending on political communications to free speech itself, and thus declared federal limits on donations to private initiatives that support candidates for public office during an election to be unconstitutional.
In this cash-flush political environment, Adelson is “by far the biggest donor to the web of secretive groups that are adding nearly $1 billion to the more traditional spending by the Romney campaign and the Republican National Committee,” Politico notes.
And that profligate spending has earned him no small measure of influence. Politico dubbed him an “impresario of the right.”
In part, Adelson explains his political involvement as a response to what he sees as mistreatment of himself and his company by government law-enforcement bodies, especially related to leaks to The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal of federal investigations into possible financial impropriety in Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands Corp.
“When I see what’s happening to me and this company, about accusations that are unfounded, that kind of behavior… has to stop,” Adelson said.
He believes the leaks are intended to make him “toxic so that they can make the argument to the Republicans, ‘This guy is toxic. Don’t do business with him. Don’t take his money.’ Not all government employees are leakers, but most of the leakers are government employees.”
Other issues are also close to Adelson’s heart as he opens his wallet this election season, including Israel, opposition to unions, opposition to the White House practice over several administrations of appointing “czars” as presidential policy advisors.
He also spoke of lingering anger over Obama’s January 2009 remonstration of finance executives who receive federal bailouts and shouldn’t “go take a trip to Las Vegas or go down to the Super Bowl on the taxpayers’ dime.”
“Adelson has played a previously unreported role that has helped maximize the outside groups’ muscle,” Politico writes. “He has insisted that they coordinate their efforts, making the spending more efficient. ‘If word got back to him that a group wasn’t cooperating, he’d cut them off,’ said a top official at one of the groups, who deals personally with Adelson. ‘It’s to maximize the dollars. You don’t want repetition. You don’t people doubling up. He doesn’t want to feel like his money is wasted.’”