What did the Sheldon and Miriam Adelson get for their money? (Not much)

Israel/PalestineUS Politics
on 36 Comments
120730122405 sheldon adelson jerusalem story top
Sheldon and Miriam Adelson leave a Mitt Romney speech in Jerusalem, July 29, 2012.
(Photo: Getty Images)

News reports have placed Sheldon and Miriam Adelson’s donations during this election cycle at at least $70 million and perhaps as much as $100 million. According to The Center for Responsive Politics, the couple gave $53,066,147 to “outside spending groups,” or Super PACs, during the election. Besides their well publicized support for Mitt Romney (and Newt Gingrich before him), they also devoted considerable funds to an array of Republicans who endorse their right-wing, pro-settler Israeli politics.

Here’s where the Adelsons’ money went and whether they won or lost on their investment:

About Adam Horowitz

Adam Horowitz is Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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36 Responses

  1. douglasreed
    November 7, 2012, 3:00 am

    Mr President, congratulations! Your first job should now be to declare AIPAC a foreign agent under the law and to be registered as such. Then it will be unable to influence US foreign policy, or anything else. That one action alone will be a significant signal that American government is democratic and no longer run by lobbyists.

    • pabelmont
      November 7, 2012, 9:16 am

      douglasreed: If AIPAC is forced to become a registered agent of Israel, then maybe (I don’t know the law) it (as an organization) may be limited as to what it can do or say. But the “very, very few very, very rich Jews” (my way of talking about BIG-ZION) and others (non-Jews or non-rich) who contribute to politicians and political parties through AIPAC can and will still do so some other way if necessary. ADELSON did not necessarily give his money through AIPAC.

      Nevertheless the branding of pro-Israel groups like AIPAC as agents of a foreign state is a good idea, to alert the USA public to what’s been going on for so long.

    • Brooks
      November 7, 2012, 2:07 pm

      What a great thing that would be for the purposely under informed and misinformed American public! But is it just a pipe-dream? A 2nd term Obama will now be our ONLY opportunity to find out if this is something that can possibly be pulled off in our lifetime!!!

  2. Nevada Ned
    November 7, 2012, 3:04 am

    Adelson has so much money that he hardly knows what to do with it all.
    Here’s a simple calculation: Adelson’s net worth is about $25 billion. The average American household has a net worth of $50K. So relative to the net worth, when Adelson gives $1M, that is equivalent to the average American giving $2.
    This year Sheldon forked over $100 Million, similar to the average American forking over $200, which is less than $1/day: enough to be noticed, but not enough to hurt.

  3. Citizen
    November 7, 2012, 3:23 am

    Couldn’t happen to a better guy. Actually, he only lost a few pennies, chump change to him.

    Adrian whatshername on one of the network TV channels just said now Obama has to go to Israel. Nobody said, no, he’s gotta go visit the West Bank and Gaza, and dust off his Cairo Speech, become a real leader in his last term and tell Israel if the settlements aren’t removed no more aid or diplomatic cover. He can speak right over the head of AIPAC, directly to the new face of America. He could even add Jerusalem is not Israel’s.

    • Chu
      November 7, 2012, 11:22 am

      he lost about .4% of his wealth. This is the danger of the new campaign contributions.
      The wealthy are going to bankroll their guy every time. Even Bloomberg the callous and aloof multi billionaire mayor is throwing his money into the ring like Adelson. The only way to counter this is to have the population become more educated about their government and leaders. But the current political sphere is always about deception. This is a bad direction, as we head downward into a feudal system.

  4. MRW
    November 7, 2012, 4:16 am

    How much of that was tax-deductible?

  5. Taxi
    November 7, 2012, 4:39 am

    He got a public kick in the teeth for pimping out the American constitution.

    And our founding fathers are dancing in their graves about this.

  6. RoHa
    November 7, 2012, 5:45 am

    He could have sent a few million of that to me. He’d have at least got a polite “Thank you”.

    Actually, he still could. Are you reading this, Mr. Adelson?

    • Taxi
      November 7, 2012, 7:22 am

      Taking money from people like Sheldon is tantamount to making a deal with the devil.

      Don’t do it, RoHa!

      • RoHa
        November 7, 2012, 7:01 pm

        My soul isn’t worth that much now. It’s been well used, and since it was made in Imperial measure rather than metric, you can’t get spare parts for it any more.

        Perhaps that is why I haven’t had an offer from either the devil or his master.

      • Mooser
        November 9, 2012, 2:01 pm

        To verify RoHa’s comment, I of course Googled the ultimate authourity on the question. I’m shattered! More then half the sites I visited have it as “educated at Woodstock, when I start lovin, I just can’t stop”. Now I know how Scripture becomes corrupted. The “Soul Man” was “educated at Woodstock”? Oy Gevalt!

  7. Karin
    November 7, 2012, 8:38 am

    The Smuley Boteach candidacy was especially bizarre and quixotic, considering Pascrell’s district includes Paterson, which has the largest Muslim/Arab-American community in New Jersey.

  8. pabelmont
    November 7, 2012, 9:22 am

    Adam — what wonderful results and what a wonderful report / research by you! Thanks! Let’s now work on getting an Obama visit to Gaza! And a declaration that the settlers and settlements and wall are present in occupied territories illegally and that it is time, at long last it is time, for the USA to say so and to insist that Israel remove them all (at its own expense) — in the interest of the rule of law and in the interest of Palestinian human rights.

  9. David Doppler
    November 7, 2012, 11:13 am

    Great report Adam! And I say that not just because I’m so pleased at the results you report. Too many journalists are afraid of the Adelson story, even though it is one of the most important in US politics and International Relations. This is why I read Mondoweiss. Who else nails this story?

    Follow up question: has Adelson’s support now become the kiss of death? Will it have the same effect in the Israeli elections?

  10. AM
    November 7, 2012, 1:18 pm

    I doubt it; Israel is already very polarized; Adelson will get a regime that shares the sentiments he does – Olmert, Livni, Netanyahu, Barack…they are simply all the same with regards to Palestinians!
    If you look at Israeli elections, with regards to Palestine, they essentially amount to: “How much do we have to beat up on the Palestinians? More than the current state, or a little less than the current state?”.. “Oh Americans are looking? Uhh yeah peace peace peace, lets talk more”
    There are no minorities to mobilize like in the US, as they are simply Palestinians (ie “Arab Israelis”) and its hard to mobilize a block against (quite literally) their own existence :p Also, the youth are virulently racist given that most have had little to no interaction with Palestinians.

    What I hope is that the drift between the American and Israeli establishments continue to widen.

  11. seafoid
    November 7, 2012, 3:31 pm


    Jeff Gauvin‏@JeffersonObama

    @joynglp I don’t think he has long to live health wise. Adelson is very sick.

  12. DICKERSON3870
    November 7, 2012, 6:56 pm

    RE: “What did Sheldon and Miriam Adelson get for their money?”

    THE MORE PERTINENT QUESTION: What will Alan Dershowitz, Ed Koch, Ed Koch and Dennis Ross get for their endorsements of Obama?

    Ed Koch assures Jews, Obama will maintain ‘commitment’http://mondoweiss.net/?s=koch

    Ross and Dershowitz close rank behind Obama and reassure, there’s no daylighthttp://mondoweiss.net/2012/09/ross-and-dershowitz-close-rank-behind-obama-and-reassure-theres-no-daylight.html

  13. Accentitude
    November 8, 2012, 4:21 am

    What happened to the good ol’ days when casinos were run by the Italian mafia?

    • Citizen
      November 8, 2012, 2:50 pm

      These mobsters were mostly Italian and Jewish. For example, Frank Costello, Lucky Luciano, Meyer Lansky, and Benjamin Siegel worked together although much remains unknown about that working relationship, in New York City and later on the Las Vegas Strip. Did Italians work for Jews? Or were Jews front men for Italians who kept their real ownership hidden because they could not be licensed? This much is clear: usually, Italians provided the muscle in organized crime while Jews were administrators and accountants.

      • RoHa
        November 8, 2012, 8:29 pm

        “Italians provided the muscle in organized crime while Jews were administrators and accountants.”

        Though most of the killers in Murder Inc. seem to have been Jews.

      • Annie Robbins
        November 8, 2012, 9:46 pm


        Most of the killers were Jewish gangsters from the gangs of the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Brownsville, East New York, and Ocean Hill. In addition to carrying out crime in New York City and acting as enforcers for New York mobster Louis “Lepke” Buchalter, they accepted murder contracts from mob bosses all around the United States.

      • Mooser
        November 9, 2012, 2:20 pm

        Thanks, Annie! Credit where it’s, uhh…due, that’s it! I will not be due’ed down.

      • Annie Robbins
        November 9, 2012, 3:35 pm

        Credit where it’s, uhh…due, that’s it!

        in that case don’t thank me, thank RoHa, i had to google ‘murder inc’ because i had never even heard the term. and holykimoni it jumped right out at me.

      • Mooser
        November 9, 2012, 3:48 pm

        “in that case don’t thank me, thank RoHa, i had to google ‘murder inc’”

        Sorta sad, an enterprise destroyed by the change from rotary-dial to touch-tone. “Press 6” just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

      • Mooser
        November 9, 2012, 2:07 pm

        “This much is clear: usually, Italians provided the muscle in organized crime while Jews were administrators and accountants.”

        Really, Citizen, this is intolerable! Even if your exposure to Zionism comes exclusively from Mondoweiss, you should be aware that we are fit and qualified for any position in an organised-crime syndicate or gang. We paint houses and do carpentry, too.

      • Citizen
        November 10, 2012, 6:54 am

        Actually, Mooser, I was quoting Michael Green’s blog on the LV Mob–I forgot the quote marks. Sorry. http://www.onlinenevada.org/las_vegas_mob

      • Citizen
        November 10, 2012, 7:05 am

        Here’s what the Jewish Virtual Library has to say about the LV mob: “Vegas Jewry received another boost in 1946, when Meyer *Lansky, Benjamin “Bugsy” *Siegel, Morris Barney “Moe” Dalitz, Gus Greenbaum, Dave Berman, Morris Lansburgh, Morris Rosen, Sam Cohen, and other well-known – notorious – underworld figures helped kick-start the transformation of this otherwise sleepy desert rest stop into the nation’s “vice and dice” capital.

        Las Vegas quickly garnered a reputation as a Jewish mob town, even as some of its more insecure Jewish residents protested that Jewish racketeers generally acted as front-men for Italian Mafioso from the Midwest. The city attracted Jewish mobsters because the initially under-regulated casinos functioned as an almost inexhaustible cash cow. To Jewish gangsters even more than their Italian and Irish counterparts, however, the desert offered an almost unique opportunity to transcend criminal origins and reputations, and to achieve a modicum of communal and civic respectability. Many began this rehabilitative process by joining synagogues and funding parochial schools. One of the city’s Jewish day schools, for instance, at Temple Ner Tamid, was named for mobster Moe Dalitz.”

  14. Shingo
    November 8, 2012, 8:53 am

    Now let’s hope Obama’s Attorney General goes after this felon for all the laws he broke bribing foreign politicians.

  15. Kathleen
    November 8, 2012, 9:00 am

    What did they get for their $$$. Negative and necessary exposure.

  16. jdfsau
    November 9, 2012, 12:18 pm

    Don’t kid yourselves. The Adelsons got plenty for their money. They forced Obama rightward and to pledge even more fealty to Israel in order to insure that all those retirees in Florida did not abandon him for Romney in the election.

    If anybody thinks that Obama is now going to do the right thing, they are absolutely naive. He is now even more beholden to the Israel Lobby (if that is possible.) He is not about be able to to jettison all those additional supporters of Israel who he was forced to take on in advisory roles in his campaign and will now form much of the core of his administration.

    The tip off about his true intentions will come when we see if Obama starts supporting the UK in its increasing belligerence towards Syria.

  17. piotr
    November 9, 2012, 7:16 pm

    Adelson is an idiot so he was attracted to idiots like Allen West or Boteach. Or Gingrich.

    The real problem lies elsewhere, professional lobbyists and experienced fat cat donors (like Haim Saban) who are less splashy and more effective. We cannot have decent health care policy, energy policy, banking policy and of course Middle Eastern policy because of concerted efforts of lobbyists with decades of experience and bazilions of dollars to spend.

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