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Adelson May Bet Another $10 Million on Gingrich

Adelson is considering betting another $10 million on Gingrich for president. Two other tycoons are backing Santorum and Paul.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 2/20/2012, 9:14 AM

Adelsons at a Birthright reception
Adelsons at a Birthright reception
Brian Freedman/Birthright Israel

Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, strongly pro-Israel, is considering pumping another $10 million into the campaign of Newt Gingrich for the Republican party nomination as presidential candidate to run against President Barack Obama in November.

Adelson gave Gingrich a big boost several years ago with an $11 million contribution to a Political Action Committee (PAC), and the donation is credited with helping the candidate win the primaries in South Carolina.

With an estimated wealth of several billion dollars and a guess-timated hourly income of $3.3 million, the funding is literally a drop in the bucket for Adelson.

However, tycoons’ contributions to GOP candidates are beginning to get media attention that in the end may hurt the candidates, all of whom are trailing frontrunner Gov, Mitt Romney.

Business tycoon Peter Thiel has contributed nearly $1 million to Ron Paul’s PAC, and money manager Foster Friess has contributed $330,000 to Rick Santorum’s PAC.

With Romney considered by most analysts the best shot the Republicans have at defeating Obama, putting money on Gingrich, Sanforum and Paul is a gamble.

All three tycoons have their personal quirks that make them suitable to make the bets, journalist Jarad Vary wrote for Minyanville.

Adelson’s rags-to-riches story is more well-known. He is the world’s wealthiest Jew and has contributed billons of dollars to different charities. He also has backed Zionist causes and has expressed deep concern over the wave of radical Islam sweeping the world.

Gingrich's staunchly pro-Israel stand makes him a perfect favorite for Adelson. The candidate recently aggravated the Arab workd by stating that the “Palestinians” are an “invented people” when considering the history of Palestine, the name for Israel under the British Mandate’s rule of Arabs and Jews in the country.

Santorum also is pro-Israel. Paul’s opposition to excessive foreign aid, including to Israel, has worried pro-Israel backers, but his supporters point out that cutting aid to Egypt would be an asset for Israel, which they say can become more independent by not having to consider American aid when determining its policies.

Santorum’s backer Friess is a wealthy mutual fund manager. For fun, Vary points out, he hunts crocodiles in Tanzania.

Thiel, who backs Paul, founded the PayPal company and made $1 billion from a $500,000 investment in Mark Zuckenberg’s Facebook enterprise when it was just beginning. For kicks, according to Vary, Thiel funds an institute that wants to establish libertarian utopias on deserted ocean islands. He also has donated $3.5 million for research to “cure aging.”