These Billionaires Wasted Millions Of Dollars
March 30, 2012 by Chip Wood
Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson and Texas billionaire Harold Simmons should find a better way to spend their money.
So far this campaign season, the two men and their families have contributed more than $35 million to various Republican political-action groups — the so-called “Super PACs.” Most of that money has been spent running negative ads about some Republican candidate for President on another candidate’s behalf.
Is this any way to save our country?
Of the two, Adelson has gotten by far the worse results for his money. Reportedly, he and his wife Miriam have contributed $16 million to Winning Our Future, the super-PAC formed to support Newt Gingrich’s run for the White House. His daughter, Shelley Adelson, contributed $500,000. The Adelson family was definitely the elephant in the house, contributing 87 percent of the $18.8 million the Super PAC has raised.
But with Gingrich falling further and further behind, contributions have pretty much dried up. While Gingrich insists he’s in the race to the bitter end, I don’t think anyone except his wife expects him to stage another miraculous comeback. It doesn’t appear that he’ll win enough delegates to throw his considerable weight around at the Republican convention. Yes, he’ll get a major speaking slot. But don’t look for him on the ballot — or to have much say on who is.
Unlike his fellow billionaire, Harold Simmons hasn’t put nearly as much money behind a single candidate. The pro-Rick Santorum Red, White and Blue Fund received $1.2 million from Simmons. He gave $1.1 million to the pro-Gingrich Winning Our Future and to the pro-Rick Perry Restoring Prosperity Fund (formerly Americans For Rick Perry). Thus far, Simmons has given $800,000 to the pro-Mitt Romney Restore Our Future, although I expect that to change after Romney gets the nomination.
The biggest beneficiary of Simmons’ generosity has been American Crossroads, the Super PAC founded by Karl Rove and other former top Republicans. Thus far in this election cycle, it has received some $14.5 million from Simmons and his wife.
You have to admire Simmons’ objective here. “Any of these Republicans would make a better president than that socialist, Obama,” he told The Wall Street Journal. “Obama is the most dangerous American alive… because he would eliminate free enterprise in this country.”
Eight years ago, Simmons was a key contributor to the Swift Boat veterans’ attack ads against Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry. In the 2008 Presidential campaign, he helped finance ads stressing the ties between Barack Obama and Bill Ayers, co-founder of the radical Weather Underground. Today, he regrets not spending more on them. “If we had run more ads,” he says, “we could have killed Obama.”
If Simmons has his way, that’s not going to happen this year. So you can expect that he’ll be writing a lot of checks between now and November.
And I’m happy to report that not all of them will go into the Presidential race. He promises to spend a ton of money on Congressional races. “Getting control of Congress is almost as important as beating the president,” he said. Simmons hopes to help Republicans gain control of the Senate and keep their majority in the House. If that happens, he says, “we can block” Democratic efforts to over-regulate business.
I actually disagree with Simmons on that point. I think getting more good Constitutionalists elected to Congress is more important than putting another establishment Republican in the White House. Sure, we would enjoy a wonderful psychological victory if Barack Obama were sent packing this November. But our enjoyment wouldn’t last very long if we got another George Bush I or II to succeed him. Thus far, I haven’t seen much evidence that Romney will fight very hard for the principles I hold dear — or, for that matter, that he even understands what they are. Have you?
I am going to be very selective this year in deciding who gets any of my money. I hope we’ll have a chance to elect a few more Rand Pauls and Pat Toomeys to the Senate. And a whole bunch of tough-minded, non-compromising conservatives in the House.
Remember, if Congress won’t approve it, the Administration can’t spend it. So even if we don’t defeat Obama this November or have enough votes to override his vetoes in 2013, we can sure throw a bunch of sand in the Democrats’ gears simply by taking away their money.
You don’t have to be a billionaire for your efforts to make a big difference in what happens this November. I hope you’ll pick some good guys and gals to support this fall. Put your money and your mouth behind them. Use the comments section below to let me know whom you like and why. Who knows? You may persuade several of our readers to support them as well.
I’ve already sent a few bucks to FreedomWorks, Jim DeMint’s Senate Conservative Fund; a couple of Tea Party groups; and my all-time favorite behind-the-scenes group, The Leadership Institute. What are you doing to make a difference?
Until next time, keep some powder dry.