Forbes has confirmed that billionaire Sheldon Adelson, along with his wife Miriam, has donated $10 million to the leading Super PAC supporting presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney–and that's just the tip of the iceberg. A well-placed source in the Adelson camp with direct knowledge of the casino billionaire's thinking says that further donations will be "limitless."Emphasis mine.
Adelson, who has built Las Vegas Sands into an global casino empire, will do "whatever it takes" to defeat Obama, this source says. And given that Adelson is worth $24.9 billion–and told Forbes in a recent rare interview about his political giving that he had been willing to donate as much as $100 million to his initial presidential preference, Newt Gingrich–that "limitless" description telegraphs potential nine-digit support of Romney.
...Thanks to the Citizens United decision, there are no curbs on how much Adelson could give the pro-Romney Super PAC, Restoring Our Future. Given that he's one of the 15 richest people in the world, the Sands chairman could personally bankroll the equivalent of entire presidential campaign–say, $1 billion or so–and not even notice. (The $10 million donation he just made to Romney is equivalent to $40 for an American family with a net worth of $100,000.)
When the Supreme Court handed down the decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which granted corporations, unions, and nonprofits the latitude to donate freely to political campaigns and thus effectively bankroll federal elections, I grimly mused: "It is not hyperbole to say this decision is paving the way for America to become a fully-fledged corporatocracy, which, depending on your perspective, is a sibling to fascism or a version of it. ...This decision further diminishes any voice that isn't backed with a fuckload of money. Someday, we may look back on this day and realize it was the day our democracy died."
That day has arrived.