Another $10 million donation is expected to arrive within days from casino owner Sheldon Adelson to the outside group that’s provided life support to Newt Gingrich’s beleaguered presidential campaign, say fundraisers with ties to the multibillionaire.
The $10 million infusion from Adelson would bring total donations from Adelson and family to the pro-Gingrich super PAC “Winning Our Future” to a stunning $21 million, far more than any super PAC donor has given to date.
The funds are expected to arrive in the next week to 10 days and help fuel a multimillion-dollar television advertising blast prior to super Tuesday, March 6, when 10 states conduct GOP primaries.
One fundraiser, who has spoken with Adelson in the last week, told iWatch News that the wealthy supporter of Jewish causes indicated to him that he is still committed to keeping Gingrich in the race.
It is unclear whether the pro-Gingrich PAC’s ads will attack frontrunners former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum or burnish Gingrich’s conservative image and record — or both.
Rick Tyler, a senior advisor to the super PAC, declined to comment about any further donations coming from Adelson. Tyler told iWatch News that he was “optimistic” that the super PAC would be able to run an advertising campaign prior to super Tuesday, but “to be effective, we would need a significant infusion of cash.”
Ron Reese, a spokesman for Adelson declined to comment, but noted that speculation and rumors have been rampant about additional funding. Close associates of Adelson in Las Vegas remain tight lipped about any plans to send millions more to Winning Our Future. Adelson owns the Las Vegas Sands and is worth an estimated $21.5 billion. He is currently in Israel attending his son’s bar mitzvah.
Adelson has known Gingrich since the mid 1990s. The two have close personal and political ties based largely on their shared backing of Israel and hardline Middle East policies. An earlier $5 million donation to the PAC from Adelson funded an advertising drive in South Carolina that was crucial to Gingrich’s winning that primary.
Adelson’s expected $10 million gift is badly needed for advertising, something that the pro-Gingrich super PAC and the cash-strapped Gingrich campaign have been hard-pressed to pay for since Florida. In the Sunshine State, Gingrich lost badly to Romney, whose campaign and supportive super PAC easily outspent the Gingrich campaign and super PAC.
Odds are the contribution won’t win the nomination for former House Speaker Gingrich, who is now trailing in the polls. But if the super PAC’s new spending erodes conservative support from Santorum, that would be fine with Adelson, say fundraisers. The billionaire has told fundraisers that he likes the former governor and deems him his second choice.
This week Winning Our Future plowed almost $1 million into radio ads nationwide that are aimed mostly at reaching conservatives who listen to talk radio personalities like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity.
CBS News first reported the $10 million donation.
Adelson’s largesse — which includes $5 million from his wife and $1 million more from other family members — was made possible by court rulings in early 2010 that permit corporations, individuals and unions to give unlimited amounts to super PACs that can advocate directly for the election or defeat of a candidate.