Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson and his wife gave at least $90 million to political committees this election cycle, including $39 million in the three weeks before the election, new records show.
And two secret companies gave nearly $8 million to FreedomWorks, a conservative group, between Oct. 18 and Election Day, using previously-unheard of corporate names registered to a Tennessee lawyer, William Rose, without a working phone number. The Specialty Group gave $5.3 million, and Kingston Pike Development, which shares the same address, gave $1.5 million.
FreedomWorks never lived up to the fundraising prowess of its peer, American Crossroads, and Chairman Dick Armey recently departed in a kerfuffle over how closely the group should be aligned with the Republican establishment.
American Crossroads raised $100 million in 2012, including $37 million in the final weeks of the campaign.
Harold Simmons of Texas’ Contran Corp. gave $15.5 million to the group this election cycle, while the Adelsons made a last-minute donation of $23 million.
Robert Rowling of TRT Holdings, which operates Gold’s Gym and Omni Hotel, gave $2.5 million to the group, and Gary Heavin of Curves gym gave $1 million.
But American Crossroads also has a sister group, Crossroads GPS, which does not disclose its donors, and the Adelsons could have been even more generous.
Not surprisingly, his largesse has earned him the ear of Republican officials. Mr. Adelson met this week with both House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor in D.C., according to Politico.
For Democrats’ part, the filings with the Federal Election Commission provided some context for vice president Joe Biden’s shopping trip to a D.C. Costco this week. Costco’s founder gave $25,000 to a pro-Obama super PAC.