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The eighth richest person in America (Sheldon Adelson of the Las Vegas Sands) wrote a $5 million check the other day to the SuperPAC supporting Newt Gingrich, just in time for the carpet bombing of the South Carolina airwaves with ads attacking Mitt Romney. (I thought this one, a two-minute compendium of Romney’s worst caught-on-tape moments designed make Republicans fearful of what the Obama campaign will be able to use against Romney was fairly effective.)
That’s a pretty big check, and jumps Adelson to the top of the 20-biggest-donors-of-the-cycle-so-far list that Mother Jones is now compiling. (Abelson is a long-time friend and admirer of Gingrich. An anonymous friend of Adelson’s told my buddy Tom Hamburger that the check had something to do with Gingrich’s devotion to Israel, although Romney also portrays himself as a reliable friend of Israel.)
The number two biggest donor on Mother Jones’ list is Bob Perry of Houston, a homebuilder who has given mostly to the SuperPAC created by Karl Rove and others. Perry has given $3.33 million so far this cycle. He also contributes heavily to the campaigns of every member of the Texas Supreme Court. By pure happenstance, the Texas Supremes twice rejected trial verdicts ordering him to pay damages for building a defective home (and refusing to fix it). Perry kept refusing to pay and the verdicts kept getting bigger. He ultimately was ordered to pay $51 million.
Number three is Jeffrey Katzenberg, formerly of the Disney Company. He has given $2 million to the pro-Obama super-PAC Priorities USA Action. But he is one of only three of the top 20 who has given to Dems, says Mother Jones ,although perhaps that ratio will change once the Obama campaign gets more fully engaged. Ten of the top 20 have given to groups that support Mitt Romney.