Federal Politics

Published — September 24, 2008 Updated — May 19, 2014 at 12:19 pm ET

‘Drill here. Drill now.’ Donate more.

Newt’s Pro-Drilling 527 Raises Big Bucks

Introduction

Las Vegas casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson upped his ante in former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s unregulated issues-advocacy group in August, with a $750,000 donation that helped propel the organization to the No. 2 fundraising spot among so-called 527 political groups this election season.

Amid new signs that its signature “Drill Here. Drill Now. Pay Less.” campaign was reaping success on Capitol Hill, American Solutions for Winning the Future reported a total $1.9 million in contributions for August, its second-best fundraising month. (Its best was a $2.1 million showing in June, when the group rolled out its campaign to end the 27-year-old U.S. moratorium on offshore drilling, and Republican presidential candidate John McCain took up the cause.)

Senate Democratic leaders now indicate they will likely allow the drilling ban to expire on Sept. 30, rather than force a confrontation with conservatives who, cheered on by Gingrich and his group, threatened a budget showdown. A bipartisan group of Senate moderates, the so-called “Gang of 20,” had come up with a compromise to open only some offshore areas to drilling, but they have decided against introducing their legislation in the politically charged pre-election atmosphere.

When added to the Center for Responsive Politics’ pre-August tally for the group, the new contributions bring American Solutions’ total haul to more than $16 million this election season. Only the Service Employees International Union’s issues-advocacy arm has raised more; SEIU has voluntarily filed with the Federal Election Commission as a campaign committee, making it subject to donation limits.

However, American Solutions faces no such restrictions — one reason Adelson, chairman of Las Vegas Sands, was able to further secure his position as the group’s leading donor, with a total of $5.4 million in contributions. As the Center reported earlier, American Solutions bills itself as a “new, innovative, and nonpartisan” organization, but Gingrich says he’s personally working to help McCain. And the group’s leading donors are GOP stalwarts, including Adelson, who is one of the elite Trailblazers who have raised in excess of $100,000 for McCain and the Republican Party.

In August, about 50 percent of American Solutions’ contributions came from Adelson and six other donors who have given thousands to GOP candidates, PACs, or committees this election season. Checks for $25,000 each came from Virginia real estate developer Guiseppe Cecchi; Larry Franklin, chief executive of the Harte-Hanks marketing firm, San Antonio; Houston Harte, vice chairman of Harte-Hanks; and Ken Langone of New York, a venture capitalist, co-founder of Home Depot and former New York Stock Exchange director. Florida real estate developer Mel Sembler, a long-time GOP fundraiser, doubled his giving to American Solutions with a $10,000 donation in August. The only big donor last month with a bipartisan profile was Jim France, executive vice president for NASCAR in Daytona Beach, who gave the Gingrich group $8,800 (for a total of $17,600 this year). France gave to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and to House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charlie Rangel, and contributed to former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s presidential bid as well. .

American Solutions is gearing up for its big Solutions Day event on Sept. 27 in Atlanta, which it is billing as “a national forum on real change and real solutions for energy, health, education, and the economy,” and for which Gingrich has said the goal will be “setting the stage for the October finale of the presidential and congressional and gubernatorial and local campaigns.” With the offshore drilling battle all but won, it’s not clear whether American Solutions will shift to a new issues focus in the final weeks of the campaign. In recent days, Gingrich has been vocal in his opposition to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson’s $700 billion Wall Street bailout plan, which he has blasted as “profoundly wrong.”

Matthew Lewis contributed to this report.

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SOUTH JERSEYTed SiroisMark SullivanTom LarkinAnonymous Recent comment authors
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Mark Sullivan
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Mark Sullivan

Trump needs to conduct these activities because the entire MSM media, excluding Fox, is campaigning against him 24/7/365.

Didn’t Monica’s boyfriend’s wife and various criminal enterprises outspend Trump by almost 2-1?

CapitalistRoader
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CapitalistRoader

Why wouldn’t he get an early start on fund raising? Hillary outspent him two-to-one in 2016. The Dem’s are the party of big money. The President knows this and is attempting to get a jump on it. Of course the Dem candidate will outspend him in 2020 so it’s only rational that he starts fund raising now.

George Young
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George Young

Oh brother. We just 8 years of the Campaigner – in – Chief. Where was this journalistic rectal thermometer then. Just another article about 2000 words too long that merely takes another slap at Trump for something he far from initiated.

j stevenson
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j stevenson

The big difference between Trump and all the rest is his refusing to accept funds from lobbyists, so they don’t have the White House access they are used to. These are the donors who buy the presidency and are as pixxed off that he won the election as are the media and the Dems. Lobbyists have never been shut out of the WH and Trump has told them he is not for sale.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Trump needs to be impeached and tossed in prison. Then have the key thrown away so he will never be free. Then he can see how it feels not to have freedom.

Mark Sullivan
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Mark Sullivan

Thank you for the usual insightful leftist low IQ Snowflake response.

barney
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hes not imprisoning them hes sending them back to their country chill tf out

SOUTH JERSEY
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SOUTH JERSEY

WHY DONT YOU HAVE FREEDOM?

Tom Larkin
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Tom Larkin

First, something positive. I was happy to learn of empirical information in article. BUT, the article was so slanted against President Trump as to be deemed fake news (“Perhaps Trump just lied.” (Two different issues)). The article mentions that President Trump raised over $67 million, but ended 2018 with $19 million. President Trump spent over $40 million 2016 and 2017. President Trump conducted 57 political rallies. The article notes the hats and T-shirts sold, but NEVER MENTIONS THE INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF REPUBLICAN SENATORS during a mid-term election that lost the House and the number of political rallies in… Read more »

Ted Sirois
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Ted Sirois

At least Trump is getting donations from willing donors. Fresh from his first election, Obama used billions of our children’s tax dollars to save thousands of union jobs in the car industry and bailed out the banks and many Wall Street businesses. This secured his source of reelection funds for his reelection four years later.

South Jersey
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South Jersey

TRUMP 2020; IS AN AMAZINGLY SMART MAN! VERY ORIGINAL & CREATIVE. I AM HAPPY TO HAVE HIS AS POTUS.

SOUTH JERSEY
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SOUTH JERSEY

THIS ARTICLE WAS OBVIOUSLY WRITTEN BY, A TRUMP-HATE-GROUP. THAT FEELS; IT IS NOT NORMAL TO BE SUCCESSFUL WITH YOUR OWN BRAND NAME. WHEN, IF FACT, IT IS NORMAL! >>>>> THIS IS >>> FAKE NEWS!!! <<<< ie: A PACK-OF-LIES; SPUN INTO; DEFAMATION OF CHARACTER. FOR A SINISTER-AGENDA OF; FASCIST DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST, COUP D'ETAT

David
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David

Are you on some kind of drugs? Writing in caps makes me think that you are grumpy old fart or a uneducated hillbilly.