However, talks of a potential resurgence of the former Speaker of the House in the fast-paced primary season resurfaced this Friday, when American billionaire Sheldon Adelson offered a handsome contribution of $5 million to a “super PAC” supporting Gingrich. The independent committee wasted little time in expressing its interest to take full advantage of the largesse; it earmarked $3.4 million for advertising in South Carolina, where the nominees have moved following the New Hampshire primary. The South Carolina vote is scheduled to take place on January 21.
According to media sources, the super Political Action Committee (PAC), Winning the Future, will also utilize the latest funds to attack Mitt Romney, whose advocates purportedly played a significant role in damaging Gingrich’s run in Iowa. Romney formerly served as the CEO of the private equity firm Bain Capital, and his opponents have attacked his alleged inefficacy as an executive to undermine Romney’s business background. Many Republican voters have entrusted Romney, who holds an MBA from Harvard, with the task of leading them out of the current economic slump.
Sheldon Adelson, the hotel magnate and CEO of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, evidently understood the importance of making a donation to Gingrich at this junction in the race. “His friend needed his help,” said one source when asked about Adelson’s decision to contribute to Newt’s campaign. “It’s more than anything else a loyalty thing. And he believes strongly in his platform and in Newt’s candidacy.”
The relationship between the Gingrich and Adelson was forged during the mid-1990s, when the latter encountered resistance from labor unions in his business ventures. Adelson was angered at the efforts of unions to solicit his employees at the then-new Venetian resort in Las Vegas, and reinforced this sentiment when he attempted to back legislation in Nevada preventing money being involuntarily withdrawn from union members’ accounts for political engagements. Adelson’s assistants procured the help of Gingrich and his team, who offered their advice on how to better the campaign against union practices. According to George Harris, a former employee of Adelson, that collaboration marked the beginning of the relationship between the businessman and politician.
“They hit it off immediately,” Harris told the media. “They became friends, pals, as they had a great deal in common.”
Besides for their agreement on national issues, such as labor unions, the two men have also reached a consensus on foreign questions, particularly those relevant to American-Israeli relations. Both have expressed their support of Benjamin Netanyahu, and voiced their opinions that the Palestinians are an “invented people.” “Read the history of those who call themselves Palestinians, and you will hear why Gingrich said recently that the Palestinians are an invented people,” remarked Adelson in the Haaretz newspaper shortly after the nominee issued his controversial statement in early December.
Sources have intimated that Adelson will continue to support Gingrich until a GOP candidate is nominated this summer, at which point he will redirect funds to the victor. Campaign laws allow donors to contribute a maximum of $2,500 to presidential campaign, but unlimited sums to PACs. “If he wants to counterbalance Romney’s millionaires,” said Gingrich about Adelson’s contribution, “I have no objection to him counterbalancing Romney’s millionaires.”
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