NEW YORK/AP — The wife of a casino mogul who contributed $5 million to an independent group supporting Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich is matching that contribution, a person with knowledge of the contribution said Monday.
Miriam Adelson, the wife of Las Vegas billionaire Sheldon Adelson, was giving $5 million to Winning Our Future, a super PAC supporting the former House speaker’s presidential bid. The Adelson associate was not free to discuss the matter publicly and disclosed the contribution on condition of anonymity.
The Adelsons are close to Gingrich and have supported his political endeavors for many years. They have both made the maximum contribution to his campaign.
Super PACs can raise and spend unlimited amounts to support or oppose a candidate as long as they do not coordinate directly with a campaign. Super PACs came about after a Supreme Court ruling in 2010 significantly eased campaign finance restrictions.
Sheldon Adelson made his contribution to the pro-Gingrich super PAC in January, after Gingrich was battered with attack ads from Restore Our Future, a super PAC backing Mitt Romney. Gingrich, who had been leading polls in Iowa in December, placed fourth in the state’s caucuses and fourth in the New Hampshire primary after the advertising binge.
Winning Our Future stirred controversy when it purchased and aired a documentary highly critical of Romney’s years at Bain Capital, a venture capital firm where he made his wealth. The film depicted the Romney and the firm as heartless corporate raiders who destroyed countless jobs by buying and reorganizing companies. The film had many inaccuracies, and Gingrich called for it to be edited or taken down.
The associate said Miriam Adelson had asked the group to use her money on ads that support Gingrich and not on attack ads.
In response to Sheldon Adelson’s concerns about the Nevada caucuses conflicting with the Jewish Sabbath, Republican Party officials said Monday they were adding a special evening caucus session on Feb. 4 for Jewish voters marking the Sabbath. The session was expected to delay the reporting of results from the nominating contest by several hours.
The Clark County Republican Party said it will hold the evening caucus to accommodate roughly 500 conservative Jewish voters observing the traditional weekly day of worship. Most Nevada Republicans would still be requested to caucus from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Feb. 4. The Sabbath ends at sundown on Saturday.
Caucus results from Clark County — it’s the state’s most populous county and home to Las Vegas and more than 70 percent of Nevada’s total population — aren’t expected to be released until after the 7 p.m. caucus at a school founded by Adelson and his wife. The majority owners of the world’s largest publicly traded casino company, Las Vegas Sands Corp., the Adelsons are highly active in Jewish causes worldwide.
Associated Press writer Oskar Garcia in Las Vegas contributed to this report.