‘I’m against very wealthy people attempting to or influencing elections. But as long as it’s doable I’m going to do it’
– Casino boss Sheldon Adelson
- Romney super PAC spent $14m on ads last month; but still raised $7m
- Bruce Kovner, Joseph Craft and David Lisonbee all put in $500k each
- Ron Paul backed by Facebook investor Peter Thiel who put in $1.7m
- Sheldon Adelson donates $11m and hints he could give Gingrich $100m
Revealed: The mining, Facebook and casino billionaires keeping alive GOP candidates (with one saying he’ll donate $100 MILLION)
Daily Mail | Feb 21, 2012
By Mark Duell
Guardian angels are helping to prop up the extraordinarily expensive campaigns run by Republicans seeking election to the White House.
One ‘super PAC’ supporters group for Mitt Romney spent $14million on advertising in three states last month – but still has $16million in the bank.
And early Facebook investor Peter Thiel gave $1.7million to a group for Ron Paul last month, on top of the $900,000 he donated in December.
Restore Our Future, the super PAC for former Massachusetts governor Mr Romney, raised $7million in January, reported the New York Times.
Almost $5million of this figure came from only 25 individuals or companies who gave donations from $100,000 and $500,000 to the super PAC.
Donors who put forward $500,000 included Oklahoma mining executive Joseph Craft and New York billionaire hedge fund founder Bruce Kovner.
Mr Craft is worth $1.3billion and Mr Kovner has a value of $4.3billion, according to Forbes figures reported by New York Magazine.
Mr Romney’s fellow Mormon David Lisonbee, who runs a Utah vitamin supplements firm, also donated $500,000, reported the New York Times.
Other Romney donors included Texas billionaire Harold Simmons, the Marriott family behind the hotels and the Walton family behind Wal-Mart.
This reflects the growing desire within the Romney camp to quickly wipe out his three remaining rivals, who have proven a tough challenge.
While Mr Romney has won key primaries in New Hampshire and Florida, he was beaten by Newt Gingrich in South Carolina last month.
Rick Santorum won caucuses in Colorado, Iowa and Minnesota – and the Missouri primary. But Mr Romney won the Maine and Nevada caucuses.
There has been no clear pattern in the GOP contests, with the momentum see-sawing between Mr Romney, Mr Gingrich and Mr Santorum.
Nevada casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson has already given $11million with his wife to Winning Our Future, the super PAC for Mr Gingrich.
Now Mr Adelson, who is worth $25billion, is expected to inject another $10million and told Forbes he could even donate $100million.
‘I’m against very wealthy people attempting to or influencing elections,’ he told Forbes. ‘But as long as it’s doable I’m going to do it.’
But Mr Paul, still searching for his first win, does have the backing of billionaire Mr Thiel, portrayed in 2010 film The Social Network by CSI star Wallace Langham.
Mr Thiel, of California, who backed the Endorse Liberty super PAC for Mr Paul, is worth $1.5billion.
President Barack Obama’s campaign raised $29million last month but the major super PAC backing him, Priorities USA Action, raised just $58,000.
Super PAC groups were made possible under a Supreme Court ruling in 2010 and must legally remain independent from candidates they support.