Adelson gives Gingrich a lifeline
In February, casino magnate and pro-Israel advocate Sheldon Adelson, along with his wife, Miriam, bet $5 million more on Newt Gingrich's flagging presidential bid by contributing to his super PAC, Winning our Future. This makes the couple the source of five out of six dollars raised by the super PAC since it launched late last year. Their daughter, Shelley, contributed another $500,000.
Gingrich has not been nearly as lucky with fundraising the traditional way. Paperwork filed Tuesday with the Federal Election Commission suggests that Newt 2012 is under water. Gingrich's campaign reported had $1.5 million in cash on hand, less than the amount he owed consultants, employees and vendors. And the campaign reported collecting just $2.6 million last month, just a little better than half of what the Adelsons alone contributed to the super PAC.
Winning our Future reported spending $3.3 million on independent expenditures in Super Tuesday states, nearly all of it in the last week leading up to the contests, with a third of that amount spent in Georgia, home of the congressional district that Gingrich represented for 20 years, and the only Super Tuesday state where he pulled out a win.
While the super PAC did not collect many big dollar contributions in February beyond the Adelsons, there were a few of note. Harold Simmons, long a sugar daddy to political campaigns as Sunlight's Bill Allison recently reported, and a previous supporter of Gingrich, gave him $100,000, bringing his total to $1.1 million.
Another $100,000 came in from a donor named Abigail Kawananakoa of Hawaii, who called herself a consultant, but is a member of the Hawaiian royal family and a longtime Republican donor who supported Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in his 2008 presidential race.