Friday, July 25, 2008

Sheldon Adelson: GOP's Answer To George Soros?

Sheldon Adelson, the 72-year-old casino billionaire who has become the third richest man in America. Past evidence suggests that Adelson will capitalize on his ascent to the top of the Republican money elite to try to build opposition in America to any Middle East peace settlement calling for the division of Israel into two states, one Jewish, the other Palestinian.

In the past, Adelson has shown a substantial interest in Israeli politics as well as in American elections. He is a strong backer of Benjamin 'Bibi' Netanyahu, former Prime Minister of Israel and current Likud Party chair. Adelson has financed the creation of an Israeli newspaper, Israel Hayom, so outspoken and aggressive in backing Netanyahu that it has become known as "Bibi-ton".

In the current election cycle, Adelson has surpassed such past financial mainstays of conservative causes and of the GOP as oilman-corporate raider T. Boone Pickens ($4.6 million 2003-4), Houston real estate magnate Bob Perry ($18.5 million 2003-6) and former Univision CEO Jerry Perenchio ($9.1 million 2003-6).

According to some estimates, Adelson has put over $30 million in the 2007-8 cycle and has now even surpassed George Soros, the Democratic financier who in 2003-4 and 2005-6 broke all records by investing $27 million in liberal get-out-the-vote and media campaigns.

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