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Donations surge ahead of midterms

Adelson, wife gave $25M to GOP Senate fund in September by John McCormick and Bill Allison Bloomberg News | October 22, 2018 at 3:00 a.m. | Updated October 22, 2018 at 3:00 a.m.

Billionaire casino owner Sheldon Adelson and his wife, Miriam, delivered another $25 million to help Republicans try to hold control of the U.S. Senate in the Nov. 6 election, adding to the more than $87 million they previously gave to bolster the GOP's midterm campaign.

The Las Vegas Sands Corp. chief executive officer and his wife were among the big-dollar donors who lavished tens of millions on political committees during September ahead of the first national elections of Donald Trump's presidency.

The couple's latest contribution was to the Senate Leadership Fund, a super political action committee affiliated with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Federal Election Commission filings show.

They have already surpassed the $82.5 million they gave to conservative causes and candidates in the 2015-16 election cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. For that cycle, the couple ranked second in the U.S. for individual donors, behind liberal billionaire Tom Steyer.

The national parties and some of the super PACs spending most heavily on the campaign were required to file information with the Federal Election Commission on their September fundraising and spending by midnight Saturday.

The two parties and their allies are furiously raising and spending money as the 2018 campaign for control of Congress enters its final stage. Democrats are threatening to overturn the Republican majority in the House, while Republicans are positioning to hold control of the Senate.

Against that backdrop, political organizations shored up their bank balances for dozens of House and Senate races thought to be competitive.

Other top donors to the Senate Leadership Fund included Andrew Beal, a Texas banker and real estate investor who contributed $1 million during September. Billionaire Robert Rowling and his company, TRT Holdings Inc., each gave $1 million.

The House Majority PAC, which backs Democratic candidates, reported raising $14.9 million during September. It spent $12.5 million and started October with $34.6 million.

Billionaire James Simons, the founder of hedge-fund company Renaissance Technologies LLC, gave $2.7 million to the group. Other top donors included the daughters of the late Melvin Simon, the billionaire shopping mall and real estate developer. Deborah Simon and Cynthia Simon-Skjodt each contributed $1 million. Hollywood mogul David Geffen gave $500,000.

Simons also gave $2 million to the Senate Majority PAC, which backs Democrats. The group raised $17.7 million during the month and started October with $38.9 million in the bank after spending $8 million in September. Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz gave $1 million. Marsha Laufer, a speech pathologist and the wife of Henry Laufer, who is a director of Renaissance Technologies, also gave $1 million.

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg gave $5 million to his super PAC, Independence USA PAC, which spent $2.5 million and ended the month with $2.6 million in the bank. Bloomberg is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News. He's pledged to give millions of dollars in 2018 to help Democrats retake control of the U.S. House, and told The New York Times that he's considering a 2020 campaign for president as a Democrat.

Bloomberg also gave $1.5 million to the super-PAC arm of Planned Parenthood. Jennifer Allan Soros, the daughter-in-law of billionaire George Soros, gave $400,000 to Planned Parenthood Votes, which raised $3.9 million in September and ended the month with $7.1 million in the bank after spending $2 million.

Priorities USA, a Democratic super PAC focusing on voter engagement and turnout, received $500,000 from Bloomberg in September. The group raised $8.1 million, spent $12.4 million and started October with $2.8 million.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which supports the party's House candidates, out-raised and outspent its Republican counterpart for the seventh straight month. The DCCC brought in $22.2 million, spent $61.3 million and started October with $30.7 million. The National Republican Congressional Committee started the month with more cash in the bank, at $44 million, but raised only $12.5 million and spent $33.1 million.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee brought in $23.4 million, spent $19.5 million and started October with $15.6 million in the bank. The committee also received $12 million in new lines of credit after restructuring loans taken out from the Chain Bridge Bank, a Virginia-based financial institution that services Republican committees.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee raised $10.6 million, spent $20.7 million, and started October with $22.4 million in the bank.

The Republican National Committee, buoyed by Trump's continued appeal to small-dollar donors, raised $26.2 million, spent $16.7 million and had $51.3 million in cash to start October. Robert Mercer, another veteran of Renaissance Technologies, contributed $100,000.

The Democratic National Committee raised $9.8 million, spent $7.5 million and ended September with $10.3 million in the bank. Billionaire Lester Crown gave the maximum $339,000 contribution. The DNC also reported $7.3 million in debts, including $3.5 million to its law firm, Perkins Coie LLP.

A Section on 10/22/2018

Print Headline: Donations surge ahead of midterms


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