Bankrolling the Next War
Laura Rozen reports on how Freedom's Watch, the group that made a name for itself whipping GOP support for the surge, is now gearing up to propagandize for the next war. One thing they'll have plenty of as they make the case for bombing Iran is money:
Its top donors include Sheldon Adelson, the CEO of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, a philanthropist for pro-Israel causes, and, according to Forbes, the third wealthiest man in the United States; John Templeton, a conservative philanthropist; Mel Sembler, a shopping mall developer from Florida, former U.S. ambassador to Italy, and a board member of the American Enterprise Institute; Matthew Brooks and Richard Fox, co-founders of the Republican Jewish Coalition; and Kevin Moley, a former advisor to Vice President Dick Cheney and past U.S. ambassador to international organizations. One of group's financial backers told the New York Times that Freedom's Watch easily expected to raise $200 million in donations by November 2008. Raising big money "will be easy," said the anonymous benefactor, who added "that several of the founders each wrote a check for $1 million.
In addition to being really rich, Mel Sembler -- and a few other relatives in Florida -- is a very generous donor to sundry Republican politicians and Joe Lieberman. Adelson is much the same, but used to gives to Democrats as well as Republicans -- Harry Reid got $1,000 in 1995 (presumably casion-related rather than national security), Carl Levin got $1,000 in 1996, the DNC (i.e., Bill Clinton's re-election campaign) got $100,000 in 1996 -- but no Dems whose names I recognize seem to have gotten Adelson bucks in quite some time.