Adelson Spends Heavily to Defeat Former Ally in Nevada

Monday, 22 Oct 2012 02:57 PM

By Dan Weil

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Billionaire Sheldon Adelson, who is believed to have spent more on Republican candidates than anyone else in this election, has worked particularly hard to torpedo Nevada Democratic Rep. Shelley Berkley, who is running against Republican incumbent Sen. Dean Heller.

Adelson and Berkley were once close allies with Berkley serving as Adelson’s lawyer for his Las Vegas Sands casino company in the 1990s. But a fallout began when Berkley loudly opposed Adelson’s attempt to keep unions out of the Venetian hotel-casino.

And the war has continued for the last 15 years.

Adelson is making sure he has an impact. Crossroads GPS, the Karl Rove-linked super PAC he supports, has put more than $4 million into the anti-Berkley effort, including $1.2 million this month alone, Politico reports.

Adelson might not have to work too hard. Berkley is suffering big-time from a bipartisan House ethics investigation into her failure to reveal her nephrologist husband’s connection to a local dialysis clinic she worked to save.

As for Adelson, “Sheldon feels she wronged him many years ago. . . . He feels he was betrayed by her,” Rabbi Shea Harlig, a friend of both who has tried to negotiate peace between them, told Politico.

Heller leads by Berkley by an average of 4.8 percentage points in the last five polls compiled by Real Clear Politics, taken between Oct. 6 and Oct. 19. The latest Rasmussen Reports survey, from Oct. 15, gives Heller a 7 point lead.

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