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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on January 8th, 2012
by Pincas Jawetz (pj@sustainabilitank.info)

As Primary Looms in N.H., Donor Gives $5 Million Lift to Gingrich.

MANCHESTER, N.H. — As candidates spent the weekend trying to catch up to Mitt Romney in New Hampshire, with the primary just two days away, a longtime supporter of Newt Gingrich donated $5 million to a “super PAC” backing his presidential bid, providing a major boost to Mr. Gingrich’s ailing campaign.

The donation by Sheldon Adelson was reported Saturday night by The Washington Post. He has long been a generous patron of Mr. Gingrich’s political career. The super PAC, Winning Our Future, was formed last month by Becky Burkett, who served until earlier last year as chief development officer for American Solutions, a political action committee that Mr. Gingrich founded. The cash infusion from Mr. Adelson instantly catapults Winning Our Future into the top ranks of candidate super PACs, groups that can raise unlimited amounts of money from donors and spend it all on advertisements and other efforts to back a specific candidate, so long as they do not coordinate with the campaign.

Ms. Burkett declined to comment on the donation on Saturday.

{Sheldon Gary Adelson (born August 6, 1933 – born and grew up in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts) is an American casino and hotel magnate. Adelson is Chairman andChief Executive Officer of the Las Vegas Sands Corp., the parent company of Venetian Macao Limited which operates The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino and the Sands Expo and Convention Center. Adelson vastly increased his net worth upon the initial public offering of Las Vegas Sands in December 2004. He is currently the 8th wealthiest American[2] and 16th wealthiest person in the world,[3] with a net worth of $21.5 billion.

Originally a Democrat, Adelson became a Republican as his wealth increased. “Why is it fair that I should be paying a higher percentage of taxes than anyone else?” he once asked. He began making major contributions to the Republican National Committee following clashes with labour unions at his Las Vegas properties.[5]

Adelson divorced his first wife Sandra in 1988 and met his current wife Miriam Ochsorn, an Israeli physician, on a blind date the following year. They were married in 1991.

The original source of Adelson’s wealth and current investments was the computer trade show COMDEX, which he and his partners developed for the computer industry; the first show was in 1979. It was the premier computer trade show through much of the 1980s and 1990s.[4]

In 1988, Adelson and his partners purchased the Sands Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, the former hangout of Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack, in order to bring Las Vegas to a new phase of business through the exhibition industry. The following year, Adelson and his partners constructed the Sands Expo and Convention Center, then the only privately owned and operated convention center in the United States.

In 1991, while honeymooning in Venice with his second wife, Miriam, Adelson said he found the inspiration for a mega-resort hotel. He razed (by implosion) the Sands and spent $1.5 billion to construct the The Venetian, a Venice-themed resort hotel and casino. The luxurious, all-suite Venetian revolutionized the Las Vegas hotel industry, and has been honored with architectural and other awards naming it as one the finest hotels in the world. In 2003, The Venetian added the 1,013-suite Venezia tower – giving The Venetian 4,049 suites, 18 leading-chef restaurants, a shopping mall with canals, gondolas and singing gondoliers.

In 1995, Adelson and his partners sold the Interface Group Show Division, including the COMDEX shows, to SoftBank Corporation of Japan for $862 million; Adelson’s share was over $500 million.[4]

Adelson spearheaded a major project to bring the Sands name to the Macao SARChina, the Chinese gambling city that was a Portuguese colony until December 1999. The one million-square-foot Sands Macau became the People’s Republic of China‘s first Las Vegas-style casino when it opened in May 2004. Adelson made back his initial 265 million dollar investment in one year and, because he owns 69% of the stock, he increased his wealth when he took the stock public in December 2004. Since the opening of the Sands Macao Adelson’s personal wealth has multiplied more than fourteen times.[5]

In May 2006, Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands was awarded a hotly contested license to construct a casino resort in Singapore’s Marina Bay. The new casino,Marina Bay Sands, opened in 2010 at a rumored cost of US$5.4 billion.

In August 2007, Adelson opened the $2.4 billion Venetian Macao Resort Hotel on Cotai and announced that he planned to create a massive, concentrated resort area he called the Cotai Strip, after its Las Vegas counterpart. Adelson said that he planned to open more hotels under brands such as Four SeasonsSheratonand St. Regis. His Las Vegas Sands plans to invest $12 billion and build 20,000 hotel rooms on the Cotai Strip by 2010.[7]

In September 2007, Adelson announced that the Sands would open its second hotel, the Sands Macao Hotel in Macau in October of that year.[8]

In 2007, Adelson made an unsuccessful bid to purchase the Israeli newspaper Maariv. When this failed, he proceeded with parallel plans to publish a free daily newspaper to compete with Israeli, a newspaper he had co-founded in 2006 but had left.[9] The first edition of the new newspaper, Israel HaYom, was published on July 30, 2007.

According to Target Group Index(TGI) survey published in July 2011, Israel Hayom, which in contrast to all other Israeli newspapers is distributed for free, surpassed all other newspapers, including Yedioth Ahronoth and became number one daily newspaper (for weekdays) four years after its inception.[10] This survey states that Israel Hayom has 39.3% weekdays readership exposure , Yedioth Ahronoth 37% , Maariv 12.1% and Haaretz 5.8%. But Yedioth Ahronoth’s weekend edition is still leading with 44.3% readership exposure compared to 31% of Israel Hayom weekend edition, 14.9% of Maariv and 6.8% of Haaretz. This trend was already observed by TGI survey in July 2010.[11]

Adelson and his wife contributed $250,000 each (thus the total contribution from the couple was $500,000) to the second inauguration of President George W. Bush.

In 2010, Adelson donated $1,000,000 to Newt Gingrich‘s organization, American Solutions for Winning the Future.[19]

In 2011, Adelson is expected to donate an additional $20,000,000 to pro-Gingrich organizations in an effort to bolster Gingrich’s bid for the U.S. Presidency.[20]

Along with his wife, Dr. Miriam Adelson, Sheldon Adelson was presented with the Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars of the Smithsonian Institution on March 25, 2008.[31]}

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Restore Our Future, a super PAC backing Mr. Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, and run by his former aides, spent millions of dollars in Iowa on advertisements attacking Mr. Gingrich. The withering barrage was widely credited with torpedoing Mr. Gingrich’s standing in the state and opening the door for Mr. Romney to narrowly win last Tuesday’s caucuses.

The group is already running ads in Florida and South Carolina attacking Mr. Gingrich, and had spent roughly $3.7 million by the beginning of last week.

Rick Santorum, who has emerged as the leading rival to Mr. Romney, began the weekend looking past Tuesday’s primary to the 11-day battle in South Carolina that will follow.

——–

Mr. Santorum, a former United States senator from Pennsylvania, picked up support from an important social conservative on Saturday, and his campaign completed the purchase of time for television commercials that will run in South Carolina from Tuesday through Jan. 17, according to Republicans who have been tracking the television market. He planned to head south to Greenville, S.C., as soon as Sunday morning’s debate was over.

“We feel great about South Carolina,” Mr. Santorum said.

The new commercials would be the Santorum campaign’s largest commitment yet in South Carolina, which will hold its primary on Jan. 21. Mr. Santorum was already getting support from his “super PAC,” the Red, White and Blue Fund. It began running a 30-second commercial titled “Pride” on Saturday, which emphasizes what his advisers believe is his best appeal to South Carolina voters who remain wary of supporting Mr. Romney: his deeply conservative record.

“He’s the principled conservative,” the announcer says. Then, taking an implicit shot at Mr. Romney, who has been attacked for reversing some of the more liberal positions he advocated as the governor of Massachusetts, the announcer adds, “Rick Santorum, the conservative we can trust.”

Mr. Santorum was set to receive the support of Gary Bauer, the chairman of the conservative group Campaign for Working Families, who said he planned to endorse Mr. Santorum officially when he arrives in South Carolina. Mr. Bauer, who declared in an interview last week that he would not take part in a concerted effort “to try and stop Mitt Romney,” said he had concluded that Mr. Santorum’s middle-class background made him a stronger general election candidate against President Obama.

“It’s going to be a particularly bitter, nasty general election. That’s what the White House is signaling with the class warfare rhetoric,” Mr. Bauer said in an interview on Saturday. “In an election like that, you want the base of your party to be on fire for the candidate.”

With just three days left before voting in the New Hampshire primary, Mr. Santorum made his closing argument the one that candidates have been leveling against Mr. Romney for months — that Mr. Romney is not conservative enough to be the party’s standard-bearer.

Standing on the bench of a picnic table here on a balmy afternoon outside a small delicatessen, Mr. Santorum used his sharpest language yet, saying that Mr. Romney was the candidate of the “establishment” and would only perpetuate “the status quo.”

“The leader in this race fashions himself as, ‘I’m a C.E.O., I’m a good manager,’ ” Mr. Santorum said in a near shout as he spoke without a microphone. But, he said, the country did not need a manager. “It needs someone with a bold vision to transform Washington to limit government, not to manage the problems that are in that city,” he said.

————

Mr. Gingrich and Ron Paul both echoed Mr. Santorum’s attack against Mr. Romney.

Mr. Gingrich released a flier called “Not Romney!” that hammers the message that “Romney is not a conservative” and “Romney is not electable.” Mr. Paul has said that Mr. Romney “won’t stand firm” for conservative principles.

Mr. Romney continued to largely ignore his rivals. Campaigning at a rally in Derry on Saturday morning, Mr. Romney hammered away at President Obama’s leadership.

“What frightens me today is we have a president I don’t think who understands the nature of America, the power of opportunity and freedom,” Mr. Romney said. “He said he was going to bring big things to America. Well, he did, but they came with great big price tags and they didn’t work out so well. Big things, bad things, expensive things.”

Polls show that Mr. Romney leads the field by a wide margin in New Hampshire. But he and his allies spent the day trying to lower expectations, even as they sought to keep his supporters motivated.

“Let me tell you: don’t get too confident with those poll numbers. I’ve watched polls come and go,” Mr. Romney said at a breakfast rally on Saturday. “Things change very quickly. It’s very fluid. I need to make sure you guys get your friends to go out and vote, and you vote as well.”

Also on Saturday, five former United States ambassadors to the Vatican endorsed Mr. Romney, choosing a Mormon over two Roman Catholic rivals in the race for the Republican presidential nomination.

In a statement showcased by Mr. Romney’s campaign, the ambassadors said they “are united in our wholehearted support for the candidacy of Mitt Romney for the presidency of the United States because of his commitment to and support of the values that we feel are critical in a national leader.”

———–

Jon M. Huntsman Jr., a former governor of Utah, continued to campaign across New Hampshire. At stops on Saturday morning, he beseeched voters to be serious about their choice.

“The pundits come into New Hampshire, as they are now, and say, ‘Here’s how it’s going to happen folks,’ ” Mr. Huntsman said at a town-hall-style meeting in North Haverhill, where about 100 people turned out. “Then the people of New Hampshire step in and it’s a different reality. You always, always upend conventional wisdom, and I think you’re going to do it again.”

Mr. Paul had said he planned to support his party’s eventual nominee, even though most of the other Republican candidates, he believed, would hew close to the status quo.

“I will support the Republican nominee, because I think they will be better” than President Obama, he said. “But I think it will be marginally better.”

Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, who is not competing in New Hampshire but will appear in the debates here, planned to go to South Carolina on Sunday for a last effort to save his candidacy.

———————–

Reporting was contributed by Katharine Q. Seelye from Amherst, N.H.; Trip Gabriel and Richard A. Oppel Jr. from Concord, N.H.; Abby Goodnough from North Haverhill, N.H.; and Jeff Zeleny from Manchester.

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