Adelson Asked for $6 Million to Cover Republican Convention Shortfall

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Sheldon Adelson in Las Vegas, May 2015.
Sheldon Adelson in Las Vegas, May 2015. A good old-fashioned shtadlan.Credit: AP

Casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson has been asked to cover a $6 million shortfall in the funding of the Republican Party's National Convention next week, due to the withdrawal of sponsors opposed to presidential candidate-in-waiting Donald Trump.

The party is due to convene in Cleveland next week to nominate the controversial Trump as its 2016 presidential candidate. However, Politico reports that over two dozen corporations and individual who promised donations to cover the costs of the convention have pulled out due to their dislike of Trump.

In an urgent letter to Adelson, a prominent supporter of Israel and owner of the Israeli newspaper Yisrael Hayom, the organizers of the convention ask if he would "consider a $6,000,000 contribution to the Cleveland 2016 Host Committee to help us cross the finish line.” The letter was dated July 12.

“Over the past couple of months, negative publicity around our potential nominee resulted in a considerable number of pledges backing out from their commitments,” the letter says.

Politico writes that the letter represents "the most public acknowledgment to date that Donald Trump has directly cost convention organizers millions of fundraising dollars."

Among the corporations and individuals mentioned in the letter as having withdrawn a total of $8.1 million in promised donations are David Koch ($1 million), FedEx ($500,000), Visa ($100,000), Pepsi ($500,000) and Coca-Cola ($1 million).

Also listed as having withdrawn earlier commitments are Apple ($250,000), BP ($50,000) and United Health ($500,000.)

With an estimated net worth of $25 billion, Adelson is one of the few Republican mega-donors to come out strongly in support of Trump. It has been reported that Adelson could spend more than $100 million to back the presumptive GOP nominee – matching his financial commitment to Mitt Romney’s campaign four years ago.

“Your support will allow our community to meet its obligation to the RNC, and will ensure our Republican nominee has the best possible platform to lay out his conservative case for our nation,” the letter says.

The Republican National Committee has consistently denied that the nomination of Trump would have a financial cost for the convention.

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