By Josh Israel
In recent years, billionaire oil magnates David and Charles Koch have bankrolled the Tea Party movement, Republican candidates, and efforts to deny the existence global warming. But less noticed have been their series of twice-yearly strategy coordination meetings for wealthy right-wing donors. These secret confabs have attracted Republicans like Govs. Rick Perry (R-TX) and Rick Scott (R-FL), as well as former Fox News Channel talker Glenn Beck, Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, representatives from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and executives from the oil, banking, and health insurance industries.
The most recent meeting attracted two newcomers: Sheldon and Miriam Adelson. Between them, the Las Vegas casino-owner and his wife have reportedly plowed $10 million into a pro-Newt Gingrich super PAC and have donated tens of thousands of dollars to Republican party committees and candidates already this cycle.
A Center for Public Integrity report suggests this may just be the beginning:
Adelson has recently indicated strong interest in backing other GOP allied groups, say fundraisers familiar with his giving. In 2010, Adelson wrote a seven figure check to Crossroads GPS, a non-profit advocacy group that doesn’t have to disclose its donors publicly which was co-founded by GOP super consultants Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie.The story quotes unnamed fundraisers “familiar with Adelson,” the American Crossroads super PAC and the 501(c)(4) Crossroads GPS, as expecting Adelson to “pump a few million dollars more” into one of the Crossroads groups this year, to help defeat President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign. They also say Adelson is also considering writing a check to the American Action Network, former Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN)’s non-profit, to help preserve the Republican majority in the U.S. House.
Between the Kochs and the Adelsons, voters around the country should expect to see what voters in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Florida have seen in recent weeks: a seemingly unending stream of dishonest attack ads, paid for by billionaire-funded super PACs and tax-exempt organizations.