Sheldon Adelson was the single largest private donor of election 2012. Incensed by his opposition to labor unions, his support for a far-right middle east policy, and an investigation into corruption in his casinos by the Department of Justice, he gave tens of millions of dollars to Super PACs like Mitt Romney’s Restore Our Future.
But sometimes, even billionaires can’t buy American democracy. The New York Times reports that all eight of the candidates backed by Adelson were defeated at the polls. These candidates include Shmuley Boteach, who made a long-shot run for Congress in New Jersey, Florida’s Allen West, and, of course, Mitt Romney.
What the various analyses of Adelson’s losses does not take into account, however, is the fact that the Democrats who defeated his candidates had to amass millions of dollars of their own in order to be competitive. That meant taking time away from governing and meeting with their constituents. It also meant possibly having to appease certain special interests who only will fund-raise for candidates in exchange for special favors — such as the pharmaceutical industry with President Obama, after he gave it carve-outs in the Affordable Care Act.