Super PAC Donor Adelson Targeting New Senate Race for 2014?
Posted at 4:50 p.m. on May 11
Sheldon Adelson (chairman and CEO, Las Vegas Sands Corp., Nevada), one of the wealthiest men in America, may be putting in place the structure for spending millions of dollars in independent expenditures in the 2014 elections. A new filing indicates money has moved from one of his 2012 super PACs to a new nonprofit corporation in another state.
During 2011-2012, Adelson and his wife and companies contributed more than $90 million to various committees. One of his vehicles was Independence Virginia PAC, a super PAC that spent $4,921,410 against now-Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va. Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands Corp. contributed $4 million to the super PAC.
Independence Virginia PAC, whose treasurer was Paul Bennecke, filed a termination report on Friday that showed it paid Jenson Strategic Partners of Atlanta, Georgia, $10,000 on March 20 and transferred the $41,706 in remaining funds on April 30 to Rise and Shine America Inc., a nonprofit organization in Johns Creek, Ga.
The organizer and registered agent for Jenson Strategic Partners is Bennecke, who was the political director for state Sen. Sonny Perdue’s successful race for governor in Georgia. The limited liability company was formed in 2013.
Rise and Shine America Inc. has a registered agent listed as Douglas Chalmers Jr. of Johns Creek, Ga. The CEO is listed as Harry “Chip” Lake III of Atlanta, Ga. Chalmers, a Republican, of Political Law Group, specializes in federal and state political law and tax-exempt organizations. He previously was at McKenna, Long & Aldridge LLP and also held an appointed board position under Perdue. Another lawyer at the firm, Rebecca Sullivan, served as executive counsel to Perdue. Lake worked for Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, R-Ga., from 2005 to 2011. He also was paid travelling expenses in 2011 by Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga.
Independence Virginia PAC also paid Red Clay Strategies of Atlanta, Georgia, $62,545 in 2012 for solicitation and fundraising expenses. Bennecke was a founding principal of Red Clay Strategies.
Red Clay Strategies was also paid $60,000 between September 2012 and November 2012 by America 360 Committee, a Republican-oriented super PAC funded by $500,000 from Sheldon and Miriam Adelson and $500,000 from Oxbow Carbon LLC, a privately held company of William Koch. America 360 Committee spent more than $400,000 supporting Scott Brown, R-Mass., and more than $800,000 opposing Elizabeth Warren in the 2012 Senate race.
At the end of January, Perdue took himself out of the 2014 U.S. Senate race, but his cousin, David Perdue, may soon jump into the race. David Perdue has been on the Georgia Ports Authority, served as chairman and CEO of Dollar General, served as chairman and CEO of Pillowtex, and served as president of the Reebok division at Reebok International.
Already announced Republican Senate candidates include Reps. Paul Broun, Jack Kingston and Phil Gingrey.
Adelson has used Bennecke to implement his strategy in the 2012 elections, and Bennecke could be the key adviser on how money might be used in the 2014 Georgia Senate race.
To search detailed money-in-politics databases, visit Political MoneyLine.