|"Sheldon Adelson and his wife, Miriam, in February. Mr. Adelson, the biggest single donor in political history, supported eight candidates through "super PACs." All of them lost on Tuesday."|
At the private air terminal at Logan Airport in Boston early Wednesday, men in unwrinkled suits sank into plush leather chairs as they waited to board Gulfstream jets, trading consolations over Mitt Romney’s loss the day before.
... The biggest single donor in political history, the casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson, mingled with other Romney backers at a postelection breakfast, fresh off a large gamble gone bad. Of the eight candidates he supported with tens of millions of dollars in contributions to “super PACs,” none were victorious on Tuesday.
And as calls came in on Wednesday from some of the donors who had poured more than $300 million into the pair of big-spending outside groups founded in part by Karl Rove — perhaps the leading political entrepreneur of the super PAC era — he offered them a grim upside: without us, the race would not have been as close as it was.
What cut of that $300+ million was pocketed by Karl and his allies in the political advertising business? The traditional advertising agency commission was 15%, but I don't know what applies in the Super PAC business, other than that it sounds like a nice business to be in.
Anyway, don't let Karl's $300 million fiasco cause you to think skeptical thoughts about his free strategic advice to Republicans. That just wouldn't be nice.
The most expensive election in American history drew to a close this week with a price tag estimated at more than $6 billion, propelled by legal and regulatory decisions that allowed wealthy donors to pour record amounts of cash into races around the country.
But while outside spending affected the election in innumerable ways — reshaping the Republican presidential nominating contest, clogging the airwaves with unprecedented amounts of negative advertising and shoring up embattled Republican incumbents in the House — the prizes most sought by the emerging class of megadonors remained outside their grasp. President Obama will return to the White House in January, and the Democrats have strengthened their lock on the Senate. ...
Mr. Adelson’s giving to super PACs and other outside groups came to more than $60 million, though in public Mr. Adelson did not seem overly concerned about the paltry returns on his investment.
“Paying bills,” Mr. Adelson said on Tuesday night when asked by a Norwegian reporter how he thought his donations had been spent. “That’s how you spend money. Either that or become a Jewish husband — you spend a lot of money.”