Press Release

Sheldon Adelson’s Return on Investment in 2016

Ahead of the Sheldon Adelson Primary in Las Vegas This Weekend, CAP Action Shows the Return He Could Expect to Get From Investing in Each GOP Candidate or Potential Candidate

Washington, D.C. — Sheldon Adelson is widely expected to vet several possible GOP contenders this weekend, when they attend the Republican Jewish Coalition spring meeting in Las Vegas. After having given a record nearly $100 million during the 2012 campaign, Adelson could be looking to invest even more in 2016. Today, the Center for American Progress Action Fund released a fact sheet, “The Sheldon Adelson Primary,” that details what he might expect in return for his investment. Although some reports suggest that Adelson may already have a favorite, the CAP Action fact sheet shows how three possible and one confirmed candidate might pitch their conservative bonafides to Adelson, as well as how their policies would help the billionaire businessman and hurt working Americans and Nevadans.

The CAP Action fact sheet looks at one announced and three potential candidates: Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. Assessing their tax policy positions, it shows how Gov. Walker’s suggestion of eliminating his state’s income tax is a clear effort to shift the burden away from the wealthy and onto the backs of working people. Each of the other three GOP hopefuls espouse tax policies that would provide a tax break in the neighborhood of $140 million for Adelson and his family, with Sen. Cruz’s plan completely eliminating it. What all these plans have in common is a lot more money for Sheldon Adelson and a much bigger burden on working people—a major return on investment for the billionaire.

“The rapidly growing influence of wealthy individuals in our political process isn’t just making it harder for ordinary Americans to have their voices heard,” said Ryan Erickson, Associate Director of Economic Campaigns at CAP Action. “It is also leading to the wealthy rigging the game in their favor, creating an economy that works only for the wealthy few and not everyone else. Voters are right to ask about the motives of donors such as Adelson, what they expect in return for hundreds of millions of dollars in contributions, and what kind of policies they expect their preferred candidates to support, such as repealing the Affordable Care Act.”

Adelson’s attempts to buy the White House were well-documented in 2012, when he and his wife Miriam contributed at least $98 million in money that can actually be traced back to him. Beneficiaries included Restore Our Future—the super PAC that backed former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R), which received $30 million—and Winning Our Future, the super PAC dedicated to former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R) that Adelson essentially bankrolled. Reports also suggest that he contributed between $15 million and $40 million to at least two groups that do not disclose donors.

“The policies of Adelson and the GOP hopefuls he is vetting are bad for America and bad for Nevada.” Erickson said. “There may be new rhetoric, but the reality is still the same: an economy that works for the wealthy few and no one else and a country where it is harder for working families to get ahead.”

For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, contact Benton Strong at 202.481.8142 or bstrong1@americanprogressaction.org.

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