Adelson, whose $20 million in Super PAC donations kept Gingrich’s sinking presidential campaign afloat through the long months preceding the former House Speaker’s decision to face reality and quit the competition, is now one of the embattled Wisconsin governor’s biggest donors.
Walker, who faces a recall election on June 5, is fighting for his political life in a state where close to 1 million citizens signed the petitions that forced the governor to face the voters. The Wisconsinite’s political star has become so tarnished that his only hope for prevailing is to overwhelm the opposition with massive spending.
And Walker has turned to Adelson and other out-of-state millionaires and billionaires, as well as corporate special interests, to keep himself in the running. Adelson’s response? A $250,000 check to the Walker campaign, which was allowed to raise unlimited funds during the period when the recall was qualifying.
On Monday, Walker’s campaign reported that the governor raised an unprecedented $13 million in the quarterly reporting period that ended in late April.
That’s not just more money than any Wisconsin gubernatorial candidate has ever before raised in a single quarter. That’s more than any Wisconsin gubernatorial candidate has ever before raised in an entire campaign.
Walker’s total fundraising for the recall race—$25 million—equals the amount of money that all the candidates combined spent in the 2010 Wisconsin gubernatorial race, which until now was the most expensive in Wisconsin history.
Where’s all that Walker money coming from?
Folks like Adelson. He’s one of several dozen millionaires and billionaires, most of them from outside Wisconsin, who have been the definitional backers of Walker’s campaign. In the last spending report by the governor, a mere thirty-three donors accounted for roughly half of all the money Walker had raised. This time, according to the advocacy group One Wisconsin Now, thirty-nine “mega donors” giving in excess of $10,000 a piece accounted for $2,430,000 of Walker’s haul.