Republicans aren’t seeing as many big checks from one of their most generous benefactors, creating a financial hole for the GOP just as Democrats get a fundraising windfall tied to abortion.
Miriam Adelson along with her late husband Sheldon Adelson were the party’s biggest donors over the past decade. But her only major contribution in the current election cycle is the $5 million she donated in July to the Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC that backs House GOP candidates.
The couple, the largest shareholders of casino giant Las Vegas Sands Corp. and a long-time bugaboo to Democrats, donated $524 million to the party’s super PACs, committees and candidates between 2011 and 2020. They were high-profile backers of former President Donald Trump, who awarded Miriam the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2018.
But since her husband’s death in January 2021, Miriam Adelson, a 76-year-old physician, has largely eschewed the in-person events with politicians that typically conclude with big donations, according to two people familiar with her activity who asked not to be identified. Miriam, who spends much of her time in Israel, didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Adelson’s financial circumstances have changed as well. While a net worth exceeding $27 billion makes her the sixth-richest woman in the world, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, her wealth has taken a hit during Covid, with the stock down 45% since the end of 2019. Sands also stopped paying dividends in April 2020, ending a consistent stream of income. The family’s 433 million shares had thrown off more than $1 billion a year in cash.
The expectation among many in Washington was that Miriam would maintain the couple’s benevolence. But her only major contribution this year is one-sixth of what the Adelsons had given to the Congressional Leadership Fund by this point in the 2018 election cycle. That time around, both also wrote $33,900 checks, then the maximum amount, to the Republican National Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee, and maxed out to 18 federal candidates.
Without the Adelsons’ big donations, some Republicans worry they could face a cash crunch heading into the midterms. [Continue reading…]