The best election money can buy

Updated
 
Sheldon Adelson has an impressive reach.
Sheldon Adelson has an impressive reach.
Associated Press

Karl Rove told Sean Hannity this week that President Obama and his allies have a dastardly election-year plan: they’ll win by “trying to take their wallet and buying it.”

Even for Rove, who has a history of projection, the irony was rich. He’s complaining about Obama trying to “buy” the election just two weeks after we learned Obama will face a $1.8 billion operation trying to defeat him – a figure that obliterates all previous records – made up of $800 million from Romney and the RNC, and an estimated $1 billion from far-right attack groups, including Karl Rove’s.

Someone’s trying to “buy” this election, but I don’t think it’s Obama.

Indeed, the timing of Rove’s silly criticism could be better. Just one day after the accusation, this bombshell came to light.

Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, who helped prop up House speaker Newt Gingrich’s presidential primary campaign for months, is now using his massive wealth to help former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.

According to two sources familiar with the donation, Adelson is giving $10 million to the pro-Romney super PAC Restore Our Future. Under Federal Election Commission law, Restore Our Future is free to accept donations of unlimited amounts from single donors but must reveal the identity of those givers.

It’s the biggest single donation ever made to the group.

Keep in mind, Adelson’s not done. He’s cut this $10 million check, but Forbes reports that his financial support this cycle is effectively “limitless.”

Also note, Adelson is a familiar name – he’s reportedly spent more in this campaign cycle than George Soros spent in all of 2004, and it’s only mid-June – but let’s not forget that much of the 2012 financing will be secret.

As E.J. Dionne Jr. explained in his latest column: “Americans won’t even fully know what’s happening to them because so much can be donated in secrecy to opaque organizations. It’s always helpful for voters to know who is trying to buy an election, and for whom. This time, much of the auction will be held in private. You can be sure that the candidates will find out who helped elect them, but the voters will remain in the dark.”

Sheldon Adelson and Karl Rove

The best election money can buy

Updated