WASHINGTON – Republican megadonor Sheldon Adelson and his wife have given $75 million to a new super PAC that is attacking Democratic nominee Joe Biden, an investment made amid GOP concern that President Donald Trump's campaign is flailing and might not be able to correct course.
The money from the couple has been the driving force behind a more than $76 million attack campaign against Biden by the group Preserve America, which launched in August. It is run by Chris LaCivita, the strategist behind the 2004 Swift Boat Veterans for the Truth campaign, which helped tank then-Democratic nominee John Kerry's bid with misleading ads that questioned his record in the Vietnam War.
The Adelsons' role in Preserve America, as well as the amount of money both he and his wife, Miriam, contributed was unclear until Thursday, when the group filed its first mandatory disclosure with the Federal Election Commission.
The creation of the new group is a sign that some Republican donors are worried by the approach taken by Trump's campaign, as well as his officially sanctioned super political action committee, America First Action.
“America First made a series of tactical mistakes” and “peaked too early” while groups supporting Biden “hit the right buttons,” said Dan Eberhart, a Republican donor who has given over $190,000 to Trump's election efforts, including $5,000 to America First Action.
Super PACs are often attractive to wealthy donors because they can give them unlimited amounts of money, so long as the groups do not coordinate with the candidate they are supporting.
A spokesperson for Adelson, who is the chair of the Sands casino corporation in Las Vegas, did not respond to a request for comment. Preserve America declined to comment.
Preserve America came into existence at the end of a tumultuous summer in which Trump’s standing in the polls took a hit over his handling of the coronavirus, the resulting economic downturn and unrest in the streets.