Why Sheldon Adelson Spent $150 Million On the 2012 Election

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Over at HuffPo, Peter Stone reports that casino mogul Sheldon Adelson didn’t spend $100 million on this year’s election, as promised. He spent more like $150 million. Why? Well, he’s an obsessive supporter of conservative Israeli politics, and figured that Republicans were more likely to toe the Bibi Netanyahu line than Barack Obama. That much is common knowledge. But Stone says there’s more:

Adelson, a fierce critic of Obama’s foreign and domestic policies, has said that his humongous spending was spurred chiefly by his fear that a second Obama term would bring “vilification of people that were against him.” As that second term begins, Adelson’s international casino empire faces a rough road, with two federal criminal investigations into his business.

This coming week, Adelson plans to visit Washington, according to three separate GOP sources familiar with his travel schedule. While here, he’s arranged Hill meetings with at least one House GOP leader in which he is expected to discuss key issues, including possible changes to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the anti-bribery law that undergirds one federal probe into his casino network, according to a Republican attorney with knowledge of his plans.

During the election, Adelson told Politico that the Justice Department investigation, and the way he felt treated by prosecutors, was a primary motivation for his investment in Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and other GOP candidates.

Adelson may not know it, but he must be the luckiest guy in the world. Any other president might very well push the Justice Department at least a tiny little bit to punish a guy who spent so much money to turf him out of office. But Obama? Probably not. It’s not that Obama is some kind of saint or anything, but he’s about a million miles away from the business-hating, class-warring, Arab-loving, Chicago thug that conservatives have all convinced themselves he is. Adelson will probably never figure that out, since he seems like the kind of guy who considers a 4.6 percentage point increase in his tax rate a massive assault on his freedom, but he’ll benefit from it.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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