Well, Democrats have actual donors, not just a couple of plutocrats and a bunch of astroturf, so…
— NotDanSnyder (@NotDanSnyder1) August 31, 2022
— Flavia Krause-Jackson (@flaviajackson) September 1, 2022
#MoscowMitch (I repeat myself) is an old-school political grifter. He reliably gave a small pool of wealthy donors what they wanted, and in return got a ‘taste’ of every transaction (donations to his ‘Super PACs’, et al), which during the GOP Years of Prosperity was good enough for him *and* the party.
Sheldon Adelson was a major international casino guy, and also he greatly enjoyed having high-ranking Republicans reliably show up to kiss his ring, in return for what was to him couch-change money. His much young wife Miriam is an Israeli citizen, who wanted right-wing Israeli political interests treated reverently by American politicians, and that was not a difficult chore for McConnell and his running buddies, either. But now Sheldon’s dead, Miriam is predictably less interested in casino wheeler-dealing and more interested in her real political home, and the spigot’s shutting down…
… Miriam Adelson along with her late husband Sheldon Adelson were the party’s biggest donors over the past decade. But her only major contribution in the current election cycle is the $5 million she donated in July to the Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC that backs House GOP candidates.
The couple, the largest shareholders of casino giant Las Vegas Sands Corp. and a long-time bugaboo to Democrats, donated $524 million to the party’s super PACs, committees and candidates between 2011 and 2020. They were high-profile backers of former President Donald Trump, who awarded Miriam the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2018.
But since her husband’s death in January 2021, Miriam Adelson, a 76-year-old physician, has largely eschewed the in-person events with politicians that typically conclude with big donations, according to two people familiar with her activity who asked not to be identified. Miriam, who spends much of her time in Israel, didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Adelson’s financial circumstances have changed as well. While a net worth exceeding $27 billion makes her the sixth-richest woman in the world, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, her wealth has taken a hit during Covid, with the stock down 45% since the end of 2019. Sands also stopped paying dividends in April 2020, ending a consistent stream of income. The family’s 433 million shares had thrown off more than $1 billion a year in cash.
The expectation among many in Washington was that Miriam would maintain the couple’s benevolence. But her only major contribution this year is one-sixth of what the Adelsons had given to the Congressional Leadership Fund by this point in the 2018 election cycle. That time around, both also wrote $33,900 checks, then the maximum amount, to the Republican National Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee, and maxed out to 18 federal candidates.
Without the Adelsons’ big donations, some Republicans worry they could face a cash crunch heading into the midterms…
The people, who asked not to be identified discussing private information, cautioned that there’s still time yet left in the election cycle for Adelson to donate. But if she does scale back giving for the duration of the midterm cycle, some Republican groups that have counted on Adelson money in the past could find themselves short on cash.
One example is the Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC with close ties to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. In 2020, it raised $340 million ahead of the general election, and backed candidates in 12 Senate races. The bulk of that amount, some $212 million, arrived in the critical period between Aug. 1 and Election Day. The Adelsons gave $70 million during that period, about one-third of the total.
And the new, rising generation of big-money GOP donors — not to mention the candidates they choose — are… well, nothing like McConnell ever expected:
It’s amazing that Masters looks even more like a serial killer than his ghoulish benefactor. Truly a case of form matching content pic.twitter.com/LGc7z0lEnd
— Scott Lemieux (@LemieuxLGM) August 28, 2022
Big question now is whether Peter Thiel will retaliate against the GOP for abandoning his laboratory homunculus in Arizona before Labor Day even comes.
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) August 27, 2022
The other challenge for Thiel is that economists predict that the Biden debt relief program will drive the price of Gen Z donor blood MUCH higher.
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) August 27, 2022
An under discussed feature of the election is RNC small $ fundraising is gone due to low enthusiasm and diversion into various MAGA grifts.
— Pomodoro (Dad Joke Era) (@ilpomodoro2) August 26, 2022
.@Timodc hits the nail on the head here. Republicans are at such a major $ disadvantage right now primarily because Trump continues personally to hoover up so much of the small-dollar dough, and he’s not using it to win the midterms!https://t.co/KQNPAqkeWM
— Andrew Egger (@EggerDC) August 29, 2022
Glengarry Glen Ross remake but it’s about Republican candidates trying to raise money. Every review talks about what an inspired gag it is to have the Alec Baldwin role played by Donald Trump https://t.co/zTEdM4YNcT
— counterfax???? (@counterfax) September 3, 2022