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Embracing Karl Rove, Sheldon Adelson Goes Stealth

Memo Pad Politics

Embracing Karl Rove, Sheldon Adelson Goes Stealth


Sick of negative press, Sheldon Adelson, the Las Vegas casino mogul best known for donating over $20 million to a Super PAC backing Newt Gingrich’s failed presidential bid, teased his plan for the rest of 2012 Friday: funneling money to Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS, which is not required to disclose its donors and could help him take out his nemesis, Nevada Senate candidate Rep. Shelley Berkley.

Adelson told Jon Ralston at The Las Vegas Sun, “I’m going to give one more small donation — you might not think it’s that small — to a SuperPAC and then if I give it will be to a c4,” a reference to 501(c)(4) “social welfare” nonprofits that are tax-exempt and can keep donors secret. Ralston said that Adelson must be referring to Crossroads GPS, the 501(c)(4) arm of Rove’s American Crossroads, a clearinghouse for outside Republican political spending.

“Do you know how many c4s there are?” Adelson replied. But as Ralston notes, Crossroads is the biggest game in town, and the 78-year-old Israel hawk expressed “gushing admiration” for Rove in the same interview. Crossroads has already sunk hundreds of thousands of dollars into attack ads against Shelley Berkley, Adelson’s one-time employee with whom he had a major falling out just before she began her first congressional run in 1997.

And this may just be the beginning of a trend away from Super PACs — which despite pathetic disclosure requirements, do tend to draw scrutiny to their benefactors — toward 501(c)(4)s, which can avoid any sunlight at all until after the election.

“We’re now living in a world where someone who wants to influence an election can do so through a group that doesn’t have to disclose it’s donors,” said Bill Allison, editorial director at the Sunlight Foundation, a good government group. “That’s the really troubling thing here.”

All 501(c)(4)s have to do to retain their special protected status is spend less than 50 percent of funds on expressly political activity, a blurry line that will almost surely get crossed sometime between now and November.

“How the IRS defines that is pretty shaky, and because these are “social welfare” organizations, a lot of their issue advertising counts toward the 50 percent that is not supposed to go to political activity,” said Allison, referring to ads attacking policy initiatives of the White House like the 2010 healthcare law. “They can say, ‘Our mission is educating the public about this particular issue.'”


Matt Taylor

Matt Taylor is the political correspondent and staff reporter at The National Memo. Previously, he was a staff reporter at The East Hampton Star, where he wrote about politics and the arts. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Michigan in 2010 with a B.A. in political science. You can follow him on Twitter @matthewt_ny

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  1. Eagle05 April 28, 2012

    Going underground is about the only way he could embracing ole Turd Blossom.

  2. Brian Holland April 28, 2012

    Perhaps this will lend impetus to the drive to overturn Citizens United. If we’re lucky Sheldon Adelson will self deport back to Israel instead of continuing to work against the interest of this country. Seeing the last of Karl Rove is probably too much to hope for.

  3. hubydoll166 April 28, 2012

    its a sad pitiful day when our democracy is sold off to the intrests of other than the people who have to live with the consequences..The supreme court in my opinion is poisoned beyond repair. It should be very appearant that huge amounts of money flowing into any campaign at a lump sum was not forked up by the people who will be affected by the laws and legislation passed as a result of it..to me, the only thing that really matters is if people can be swayed by a damn television commercial? That is the crudest rudest way for someone that has no real accomplishments to mislead and confuse voters..It seems that lying and dishonesty have become widely accepted..It really doesnt matter what a GOP says at this point because IM going democratic..it does amaze me how easily a good majority of people decide their votes with a commercial..could it be that the american people are getting trampled because politicians know most people will fall for ignorance of facts? This election and its choices are so “no brainer” its not funny..I would actually consider voting For a GOP if they had anything other to offer but to pursue their suicide agenda for the country..it will take a long long tiome before I could force myself to vote GOP again. Im sure if we elect democratic majority then the banks, foreclosures and tax issues will be set straight, remember this, obama wont be getting another term after this one if elected and would have nothing to lose by siding with the american people 100%. We the people first need to get our act together in fact finding..we are our own worst enemies and the GOP are masters at exploiting ignorasnce better than anybody. I dont like the direction the GOP want to continue to go in and I hope we dont end up with another mixed bag of congress again this cycle. The GOP pulled a fast one by getting house majority and doing anything but focusing on the economy and if they did it was thru austerity and give the rich more while attacking womens rights and dividing races while trying to reverse that on the dems…wake up people..we are going backwards with the NEW GOP and they want a NEW WORLD ORDER THAT THEY WILL PROFIT FROM FOR MANY MANY YEARS…All i can do is vote and hope it goes good..I will be hinest and say that GOP policies would be great for my tax structure but IM AN AMERICAN WHO IS IN THE BOAT WITH OTHER AMERICANS..Lets all be fair and strive for a better tomorrow..Lets get the family values back by the woman raising the children at home but in the same turn give a living wage for this to happen..our stock market has came back full force profitable and corporations have never been doing better..but yet we lack jobs…this is by design with GOP and CORPS in hopes they knock out obama and this my friend is truly unpatriotic! Are we now suppose to think that the president is accountable for EVERYTHING? What the hell do we have a congress for then? GOP have done nothing but obstrucvt any progress whatsoever and blame the president for their failures and we a re suppose to buy ionto that? If GOP get elected and majority the say goodbye to a lot of LIFE AS WE KNOW IT…GET THOSE BEGGER PANTS IRONED OUT BECAUSE LIFE IS GONNA CHANGE DRASTICALLY AND THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WILL BE SQUEEZED TO A PULP!! Thats a fact because they want to do this now and say it…OBAMA AND DEMS 2012!!!!

  4. Joyce April 28, 2012

    Those judges at the Supreme Court has turned America in a big money fund cesspool

  5. William Deutschlander April 28, 2012

    AHHH, their is nothing finer than two slime ball Republicans teaming up to circumvent our true Democracy, in an effort to get an advantage for their own personal benefit and liking, I might mention with the able assistance of the FIVE slime ball Republicans on the “unsupreme court”!

    When these 2000 Era Republicans are not cheating the system, they are busy lieing and distorting the TRUTH. These 2000 Era Republicans make Tricky Dicky Nixon look like a WHITE KNIGHT in shining armor, along with his Maryland theif Agnew.

  6. james April 29, 2012

    this shows the problem with the citizens united case perfectly. He openly admits to having given 20 million already to one candidate, now is going to sink more into defeating a different candidate out of personal dislike. The ruling by the supreme court stated that they did not feel it would lead even to the “appearance of elections being for sale”, I think Alderson proves just how wrong the scotus was.

  7. Richard Hansen April 29, 2012

    I think carl rove,mit romny,,rush limba, are a bunch of ignorant,asses ,they only add negative to anything which makes them money, anything greed,greed..oil companys fits same situation.

  8. Richard Hansen April 29, 2012

    OIL companys will soon read the writing on the wall, GERMANY Mercedes benz are putting an auto on the market using hydrogen fuel, hydrogen verses gasoline . one gallon of gasolene verses
    the equivalent the amount of hydrogen, hydrogen gets 45 t0 48 miles to the gallon gasoline 25 to32 gallons same costs hydrogen no polution gasoline POLUTENTS . goodby to big oil ,electric cars (bus*#*&) will take thousand of tons coal & gas to generate electric power,which we are strained to produce now , what will happen when millions of cars are pluged into electric grids , whiteout!!! we NEED people who can do costructive things .NOT dependant on forien oil,And keep lot of chineese junk out of our stores . no wonder we have unEmployment american companies send manufacturing to foriegn countries to make an extra ten cents per item GREED .OH YES let our military die to protect our elete !! (weak Bastards)

  9. john_doer July 8, 2012

    Sheldon was upset that he had to disclose his identity. He said that next time it would be a “C4”.


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