Why Sheldon Adelson Spent $150 Million On the 2012 Election

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Over at HuffPo, Peter Stone reports that casino mogul Sheldon Adelson didn’t spend $100 million on this year’s election, as promised. He spent more like $150 million. Why? Well, he’s an obsessive supporter of conservative Israeli politics, and figured that Republicans were more likely to toe the Bibi Netanyahu line than Barack Obama. That much is common knowledge. But Stone says there’s more:

Adelson, a fierce critic of Obama’s foreign and domestic policies, has said that his humongous spending was spurred chiefly by his fear that a second Obama term would bring “vilification of people that were against him.” As that second term begins, Adelson’s international casino empire faces a rough road, with two federal criminal investigations into his business.

This coming week, Adelson plans to visit Washington, according to three separate GOP sources familiar with his travel schedule. While here, he’s arranged Hill meetings with at least one House GOP leader in which he is expected to discuss key issues, including possible changes to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the anti-bribery law that undergirds one federal probe into his casino network, according to a Republican attorney with knowledge of his plans.

During the election, Adelson told Politico that the Justice Department investigation, and the way he felt treated by prosecutors, was a primary motivation for his investment in Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and other GOP candidates.

Adelson may not know it, but he must be the luckiest guy in the world. Any other president might very well push the Justice Department at least a tiny little bit to punish a guy who spent so much money to turf him out of office. But Obama? Probably not. It’s not that Obama is some kind of saint or anything, but he’s about a million miles away from the business-hating, class-warring, Arab-loving, Chicago thug that conservatives have all convinced themselves he is. Adelson will probably never figure that out, since he seems like the kind of guy who considers a 4.6 percentage point increase in his tax rate a massive assault on his freedom, but he’ll benefit from it.

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Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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