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Jan. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Casino executive Sheldon Adelson, a long-time financial backer and friend of Newt Gingrich, has given $5 million to a political action committee supporting the former House speaker’s presidential candidacy, according to a person close to the chairman of the Las Vegas Sands Corp.
The money went to Winning Our Future, a so-called super PAC set up to support Gingrich, according to the person, speaking on condition of anonymity. Such committees can take in unlimited donations from corporations, unions and individuals. Adelson has already donated the maximum $2,500 to Gingrich’s presidential campaign, Federal Election Commission records show.
A spokesman for the PAC, John Grimaldi, declined to comment.
“It’s our practice to decline comment on our donors or contributions until such time as required by the FEC,” Grimaldi said in an e-mail.
The funds will help former U.S. House Speaker Gingrich, who trails Republican front-runner Mitt Romney in campaign cash. Through Sept. 30, Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, raised $32.6 million while Gingrich took in $2.9 million.
A PAC set up to support Romney spent millions of dollars on advertisements attacking Gingrich, who wound up finishing fourth in the Iowa caucuses after leading in the polls a month earlier. Gingrich criticized Romney for the ads, funded by the pro-Romney PAC Restore Our Future.
“It is your millionaire friends giving to the PAC,” Gingrich said during today’s Republican debate in Concord, New Hampshire. “And you know some of the ads are -- aren’t true. Just say that. It’s straightforward.”
“As you know, that is not my ad,” Romney said in response. “I don’t write that ad. I can’t tell them how to.”
Adelson was the largest donor to Gingrich’s political committee, American Solutions for Winning the Future, giving $7 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington-based research group. Gingrich disbanded that committee when he entered the race for the Republican presidential nomination.
Adelson traditionally supports the Republican presidential nominee, contributing to both George W. Bush and John McCain’s White House campaigns. Adelson’s donation to the pro-Gingrich PAC was reported last night by the Washington Post.
--Editors: Robin Meszoly, Ann Hughey.
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