Outraised by energized Democrats, the party is depending on megadonors like the casino mogul to close the gap.
By Alex Isenstadt | 11 February 2018
POLITICO — Republicans made their annual sojourn to the lavish Venetian hotel here this weekend to kiss the ring of a benefactor they need more than ever: casino mogul Sheldon Adelson.
Confronting the potential loss of one or both chambers of Congress in the midterms, and struggling to raise money against an energized Democratic base, the party is desperate for Adelson’s millions. So the praise at the annual Republican Jewish Coalition conference he hosts overflowed, even though the billionaire, attending the funeral of a close friend in Israel, wasn’t on hand.
During a private appearance on Saturday morning, Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who is edging closer toward a run for Senate, led off his remarks by calling Adelson and his spouse, Miriam, “great friends” who he’d known for a long time. The Republican governor, himself tremendously wealthy, said he was saddened that the Adelsons couldn’t make it to this year’s event and that he was thinking of them.
The gushing underscored Adelson’s outsize influence in the party, which is expected only to grow this year as Republicans lean on him to help salvage their control of Congress. With energized Democratic candidates raising fistfuls of cash, party officials say they are depending on major givers like Adelson, a longtime bankroller of GOP causes, to close the gap.
The RJC conference has emerged as a must-stop for those eager to appeal to Adelson and his extended network of friends and fellow contributors. It’s a group that, this year, included Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel, who made an appearance Friday. […]