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[Washington Babylon]

Drill, Baby, Drill: Newt strikes it rich

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From the Center for Public Integrity:

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…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…

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.

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