There’s ample evidence that control of Congress is very much on the line in this year’s midterm elections, the outcomes of which will have an enormous impact on the future of Donald Trump’s presidency. Democrats have an opportunity to make significant gains, but several important factors will dictate whether the party has a good cycle or a great one.
Near the top of the list is money. And as Politico reports today, it’s House Republicans who are about to get a very significant boost.
Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson has cut a $30 million check to the House GOP-aligned Congressional Leadership Fund, a massive cash infusion that top Republicans hope will alter the party’s electoral outlook six months before Election Day.
The long-sought donation was sealed last week when, according to two senior Republicans, House Speaker Paul Ryan flew to Las Vegas to meet with the billionaire at his Venetian Hotel.
It would be illegal for the Republican leader to request an eight-figure contribution to an allied super PAC, so according to Politico’s reporting, after Ryan helped make the case for GOP control of the chamber, the House Speaker left the room when it came to make the specific appeal. That task was left to former Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.), who now chairs the Republican Jewish Coalition.
And it now appears that effort paid off: the billionaire casino magnate is writing a $30 million check. That’s not only an enormous contribution from one individual for one cycle targeting one chamber, it’s also triple the amount Adelson donated to the Congressional Leadership Fund in the last election cycle.
Or put another way, with so much on the line, House Republicans have new hope that they can buy their way to a prolonged majority, thanks to the generosity of the party’s billionaire megadonors.
It’s worth emphasizing that, to a very real degree, Adelson is giving to those who’ve given to him. By one recent count, his business received a $670 million income-tax break from the Republican tax plan.
Is it any wonder the billionaire wants to keep his allies right where they are?
Postscript: During the Republican presidential primaries, Adelson reportedly favored Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) for the GOP nomination, which annoyed Trump. The New York Republican tweeted at the time, “Sheldon Adelson is looking to give big dollars to Rubio because he feels he can mold him into his perfect little puppet.”
Two and a half years later, should we assume the president sees the House Republican majority as Adelson’s perfect little puppets?