By now, Karl Rove's juggernaut fundraising vehicle Crossroads GPS is famous for its influence and wealth. What's less visible is one of its principal financiers: casino mogul Steve Wynn, a billionaire ex-Democrat who voted for President Obama in 2008. Wynn's massive donations to Rove's Republican political outfit went under the radar for at least a year until Politico's Ken Vogel and Steve Friess' report came out this morning. Wynn, up until recently a registered Democrat, owns a wealthy Casino business in Vegas and has developed quite the mutually-beneficial relationship with Rove. Rove is able to offer Wynn, thanks to a boost from the Supreme Court's Citizens's United decision, total anonymity because Crossroads GPS, unlike a super PAC, isn't required to reveal donor names. Wynn, meanwhile, can offer Rove piles of money and, it seems, a blossoming personal relationship:
Rove, who attended Wynn’s gala wedding last year in Vegas, recently got something of a personal bonus out of the relationship. After Wynn attended the veteran operative’s wedding last month in Austin — an intimate and until-now unreported affair also attended by former President George W. Bush — Rove and his new wife Karen Johnson flew to Naples, Italy, aboard Wynn’s Boeing 737 — a nearly 11-hour, 6,000-mile trip that could cost tens of thousands of dollars from a charter jet carrier. Wynn joined Rove in Italy.
The reporting pair weren't able to nail down the exact amount Wynn donated but sources tell them he was the biggest contributor to Crossroads GPS last year, which suggested he wrote the group its largest check of the filing period, $10.1 million. So what was this guy's breaking point from a left-leaning casino mogul to the next Sheldon Adelson? According to FEC records, he donated to a mix of Democrats and Republicans up until 2008, including donations to Democrats Harry Reid and Joe Biden. But if cable television appearances are any indicator, it appears President Obama's health care bill really ticked him off. Here's a particularly pointed tirade he made last year on Fox:
While it's impossible to get inside the heads of these wealthy political kingmakers, at least we know who they are thanks to reports like this. The whole thing is well worth reading in full here.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.