A measly $10 million? That’s chump change for billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, who promised “limitless” donations to the super PAC supporting Mitt Romney, Restore Our Future, in a campaign season characterized by an avalanche of money from shadowy, unaccountable groups.
Decrying President Obama’s so-called “socialization” of America, Adelson – one of the top 15 richest people in the world – could potentially give hundreds of millions of dollars to buy this election, on top of the millions he’s already poured into the race.
Not that this is a huge burden for Adelson, who is worth $24.9 billion; his recent $10 million donation to Romney is the equivalent of a $31 donation for the median US household. This is clear evidence not only of the absurdities of the post-Citizens United world, but of the incredible (and growing) income inequality in the United States.
The whole situation is also an indictment of our sham campaign finance system; Romney and Adelson met two weeks before the latter dropped his $10 million dollar donation. Despite Citizens United decimating established campaign finance law, it is still illegal for candidates like Romney to solicit donations over $5,000, even implicitly. It’s unclear what transpired in the meeting, but a multi-million dollar donation two weeks later smells rotten. Political journalists are strangely silent.
It is also worth noting that Sheldon Adelson is not the first billionaire to get behind Romney – Romney’s donor list now includes 31 billionaires, 8% of the Forbes 400 richest people. With unrestrained corporate and wealthy individual spending quickly becoming the norm, expect to see more huge donations as the cost of the election, both monetary and politically, spins out of control.