He wasn’t even in Las Vegas, but if you believe Politico, every aspiring Repub was still busy trying to tongue-bathe Jabba the Mogul:
LAS VEGAS — Republicans made their annual sojourn to the lavish Venetian hotel here this weekend to kiss the ring of a benefactor they need more than ever: casino mogul Sheldon Adelson.
Confronting the potential loss of one or both chambers of Congress in the midterms, and struggling to raise money against an energized Democratic base, the party is desperate for Adelson’s millions. So the praise at the annual Republican Jewish Coalition conference he hosts overflowed, even though the billionaire, attending the funeral of a close friend in Israel, wasn’t on hand.
During a private appearance on Saturday morning, Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who is edging closer toward a run for Senate, led off his remarks by calling Adelson and his spouse, Miriam, “great friends” who he’d known for a long time. The Republican governor, himself tremendously wealthy, said he was saddened that the Adelsons couldn’t make it to this year’s event and that he was thinking of them.
The gushing underscored Adelson’s outsize influence in the party, which is expected only to grow this year as Republicans lean on him to help salvage their control of Congress. With energized Democratic candidates raising fistfuls of cash, party officials say they are depending on major givers like Adelson, a longtime bankroller of GOP causes, to close the gap.
The RJC conference has emerged as a must-stop for those eager to appeal to Adelson and his extended network of friends and fellow contributors. It’s a group that, this year, included Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel, who made an appearance Friday…
Several of the billionaire’s aides, including top gatekeeper Andy Abboud, were seen darting from meeting to meeting. And as they milled throughout the resort’s casino floor, attendees gossiped about how much Adelson, whose net worth is said to top $38 billion, might give to his besieged party in 2018. Some said they hoped the billionaire would give earlier in the election year than he usually does and provide the party a much-needed cash infusion.
Adelson, a famously private figure, has given few hints about his plans for the midterms. Several people who’ve been in direct contact with his team said the 84-year-old billionaire was still considering his options for House and Senate races, but that they expected him to invest well into the millions. The Adelsons have done so before: During the 2016 election, the couple gave over $50 million to super PACs backing Republican congressional candidates…
Adelson’s deliberations come at an anxious moment for the party. The latest batch of fundraising reports showed more than 40 House GOP incumbents being outraised by Democratic challengers. Senior Republicans are also deeply worried about their fundraising performance in key Senate races, including Missouri and Nevada, where GOP candidates are being heavily outpaced.
Republicans are hopeful that big donors like Adelson and the Koch brothers can help make up the difference. During a retreat in Indian Wells, California, late last month, the Koch network announced plans to spend up to $400 million on 2018 races….
As they hopscotched from meeting to meeting, some attendees remarked that the downfall of another Las Vegas casino mogul, Steve Wynn, had positioned Adelson as a donor of singular importance in the area…
Yeah, I wondered when they’d get around to mentioning Mr. Wynn, too also.
Props to Tom Steyer for what he’s doing right now, but I kinda wish he’d throw his weight behind a Democratic version of these big-donor meet’n’greets, just to attract the attention of clickbait-hunting “journalists”…
Do people like mr Adelson believe that their millions will save them from the neo nazis? Even if that is true, what about Stephen Miller, a neo nazi and Jewish. The cognitive dissonance hurts my brain.
Money really has/does corrupted politics. It buys politicians and votes.?
OK. That description cannot be topped.
It just amazes me that Trump supporters cling to the delusion that their Dear Leader and the GOP care about them when it is all too obvious that the Republicans are totally beholden to the money men.
And gerrymandering. And Putin.
What a bunch of dopes.
It’s good to see the GOP leadership sweat a bit and to fear a mid-term housecleaning.
ETA. Damned good question about why Adelson and others believe that they can safely consort with vile racists who would eliminate them in a hot minute.
All together now: Christ, what an asshole!
(You may ask, which of them am I referring to, and the answer is: all of them, Katie. Anyone who still identifies as a Republican deserves the New Yorker caption.)
How many Democratic billionaires are there? Do they lavish the kind of money on Democratic candidates that Republican billionaires do on Republican candidates? Does the Democratic party really want to be beholden to its billionaires, anyway?
For casinos the odds of winning favor the house.
For Ruspublicans this year, they don’t.
Republicans must be fearful that their voter suppression tactics aren’t enough given what a huge mess up and embarrassment Trump has been. Poor dears. Shouldn’t have elected a bigoted egomaniac.
The ‘Republican Jewish Coalition’ – verging on oxymoronity.
Yeah, a coalition between rich Jews and the ‘make nice with Nazis’ party.
I am watching the replay of the Olympic games. Adam Rippon is describing how he, a gay man, and Marai Nagasu, a Japanese -American woman, spent the 2014 Winter Olympic games consoling themselves with In-N-Out on her roof and are still such good friends they are rooming together at the Olympic Village this year, and I am like, yes that’s my world and my people and Twitler, Pence, and everyone who MAGAs can just fuck right off. The thought of all the Republicans wandering around the Venetian Hotel sadly hoping that fat fuck will pull them out of the wave is joyous. And why should he? He was embarrassed by spending on Newt and Mitt and he already got his tax cuts.
@Amir Khalid: My guess is the principle of self interest limits the number of Democratic billionaires. IMO, there’s never been a better time for Democrats to campaign on getting money out of politics and making lawmakers beholden to their constituents instead of donors. The spectacle of Republicans besieging Adelson and GOP congesscritters crawling on their bellies to the Koch Bros. should disgust every non-plutocrat. As should the Trumps’ ostentatious corruption and the donor payoff in the form of tax cuts that overwhelmingly go to the top 10%. It’s all there.
Bingo. The DNC etc. already lean a bit too much in that direction for my comfort.
It would be vaguely amusing to know what Adelson makes of being asked to bankroll people who seem to be increasingly comfortable hanging out with neo-nazis.
Warren Buffett is a Democrat, and he’s got more billions than most Republican billionaires. I haven’t heard of him being a political donor on that scale. It’s possible he doesn’t believe billionaires should put their thumb on the political scales, it seems to me, and other D billionaires may also feel that way.
@Betty Cracker: Yes I think the Democrats trying to compete in the money arms race of politics wasn’t a good idea and was pushed mostly by the political professionals the money was spent on. This year my time and money is mostly going to Congressional candidates who don’t take PAC money, like Beto in Texas who is still out raising Ted Cruz.
Much as I might get flamed for it, I think people want authenticity and both Trump and Wilmer did much better than they should have because they had more than Hillary did.
Just a minor quibble:
While I agree that HRC didn’t play well on TV, couldn’t “sell” sincerity or authenticity to her Audience, I suspect that she is more authentic and sincere in real life than the entire Trump Admin put together.
The filter we see these people through is very powerful. We were just plain taught what to think about HRC over decades.
That depends on what the meaning of authenticity is, I guess. Trump is authentically a crooked racist dimwit unlike Hillary, Bernie is authentically an old lefty bro unlike Hillary; and each was more passionately espoused by his base than she was by hers. Policy wonk with serious executive chops is not an authenticity that attracts a passionate base, and yet it won her more votes than either man.
Isn’t it a part of the fundy/evangelical mythos that gambling is a sin? And therefore wouldn’t Adelson’s money be Satan tainted?
@Amir Khalid: @JohnO: No question that she is way more actually authentic in real life. But sometimes her calm and control came off wrong. When Twitler was stalking her around the debate stage I was just praying for her to turn around and slap him. I even agree that doing that might have lost her votes. But she just seemed unnatural ignoring him.
Most of our plutocrats are anarchists. They firmly believe their money will insulate them from any harm, short or long-term, they inflict on the rest of us. Laws are for the rest of us. Government is to them an inconvenience at best. They will break civil society, die of old age, and let their descendants face the mobs.
They only sins related to money are when poor and/or brown people attempt to acquire it.
I think for a lot of women that seemed very natural. Any female who has worked in male dominated environments has been subjected to the intimidation of men attempting to throw them off in a presentation or discussion by invading their personal space as they spoke.
mai naem mobile
The sad part is that Adelson used to be a Democrat. The Dems lost quite a few rich Jewish donors because of the perception that Obama wasn’t sufficiently pro-Israel. I don’t know if it’s because of GOP propaganda or the evangelical pro-Israel/Jerusalem stuff . Steve Wynn (thank god!) supposedly left the Dems because of O-Care, which doesn’t even make sense because ive known a couple of people who’ve worked at LV casinos and everything is unionized so he was providing health care anyway. Furthermore, isn’t Steve Wynn the guy with the rare eye disease? If anybody should understand the expense of healthcare it should be him.
mai naem mobile
@NotMax: Yeah, well they’re supppsed to be against adultery, divorce and pussy grabbing but they still voted for Two Orange Corinthians.
@satby: Yeah, but she was running for president, and she scared Vladimir Putin. Maybe it was diplomatic training, or maybe it’s just me, I am overtired and rambling.
@mai naem mobile: I think the Adelsons of the world like to spin it as “It was all about Israel” but if you dig a bit more, it’s usually something else. In Adelson’s case, although he tried to deny it, his decision to really support GOP candidates was about breaking up the unions. He also spins some tale about Republicans giving more money to charity than Democrats (probably because blue states have better safety nets than red states, but hey, why point out that inconvenient fact when you can pretend Democrats are selfish?). Whenever someone makes noise about believing in private charity what they’re really saying is, “I want to give money only to people who look like me. Not THOSE people.”
@Mary G: If “people” wanted “authenticity” and Hillary Clinton lacks “authenticity” then why did the two “authentic” candidates get fewer votes than the “inauthentic” one every time “people” had a choice? You’re overthinking it. Republicans want an asshole and “the left” wants someone on the left. End of story.
Jack the Second
@Amir Khalid: My impression is that “liberal” billionaires tend to go for charities rather than politics.