Adelson Playing $1 Million in Florida

Photograph by Jerome Favre/Bloomberg

Sheldon Adelson, chairman and chief executive officer of Las Vegas Sands Corp., during the opening of the Sands Cotai Central resort in Macau.

Updated July 10

Billionaire casino executive Sheldon Adelson, who has donated tens of millions of dollars to promote Republican presidential candidates and oppose President Barack Obama, is also using his wealth to elect Republicans in Florida.

Adelson donated $1 million last month to a super-political action committee that promotes Representative Connie Mack IV, who polls show is favored to win the state’s Aug. 14 Republican Senate primary and oppose Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson in November.

Mack — Cornelius McGillicuddy IV — is the great-grandson of a baseball great. Nelson, who flew aboard a space shuttle as a congressman from Florida’s “Space Coast,” is seeking re-election to a third Senate term.

The contribution was disclosed today in a filing by the super-PAC, Freedom PAC, to the Federal Election Commission.

Freedom PAC is “supporting strong conservative candidates in Florida,” and its “top priority is electing Connie Mack to the U.S. Senate,” the PAC says on its website.

 (Updates with Cole interview here and at the end:)

“The goal is to raise as much money as possible and put as much money on TV,” Rob Cole, a senior adviser to Freedom PAC, said in an interview.

Adelson and his wife Miriam donated $10 million in June to a super-PAC that backs Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney — a fact that Obama has noted about the money lined up against his re-election.

Adelson and his family members previously had contributed $21.5 million to a super-PAC supporting Newt Gingrich, one of Romney’s rivals for the Republican nomination. Adelson is the 28th richest person in the world, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index — worth an estimated $19.6 billion.

Freedom PAC received $50,000 in May from Florida-based The Villages of Lake Sumter, one of the world’s largest retirement communities — and a regular stop on the circuit of Republican candidates. Billionaire H. Gary Morse is the development’s chief executive officer.

Harold Simmons, the billionaire chairman of Dallas-based Contran Corp., gave $5,000 last month to Freedom PAC. Simmons and his wife have given more than $15 million to super-PACs as individuals or through his company.

“We think this is a really, really good start, and we believe we will have the finances to get Congressman Mack elected to the U.S. Senate,” Cole said.



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