Republican Superdonor Miriam Adelson Is Back

Happy Wednesday! It’s bad enough that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis can’t regain his footing in the polls—now he’s got to deal with the fashion police too.

Up to Speed

  • Conservative opposition is hardening in Congress against additional aid to Ukraine and Israel, even as President Joe Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell continue to drum up support for legislation tackling both issues at once. House Speaker Mike Johnson on Sunday unveiled a standalone $14.5 billion package of aid for Israel—coupled with a proportional cut to the new IRS funding passed by Democrats in last year’s Inflation Reduction Act.
  • The House of Representatives will address some interpersonal issues this week, with several measures directed against its own members to chew through in the next few days. The House will vote Thursday on whether to expel freshman New York Republican Rep. George Santos, who infamously fabricated most of his biography while running for Congress and has been charged with dozens of federal financial crimes. It will also consider a Republican-led resolution to censure Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib, a Democrat, and a Democrat-led resolution to censure that resolution’s author, GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia.
  • Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley said Tuesday he would introduce legislation intended to claw back protections for corporate political speech established in the landmark 2010 Supreme Court case Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. The bill—which would almost certainly be slapped down as unconstitutional—is yet another example of the odd crosscurrents roiling GOP politics today. Citizens United has long been a favorite bogeyman of Washington Democrats, but populist agitation against “special interests” and the “donor class” has lately been growing on the right as well. In a lunch meeting Tuesday, Mitch McConnell reportedly threatened to pull super PAC support from any senators who signed onto Hawley’s bill.

Miriam Adelson Reemerges as GOP Power Player

Miriam Adelson at the Republican Jewish Coalition's Annual Leadership Summit on October 28, 2023, in Las Vegas. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Miriam Adelson at the Republican Jewish Coalition's Annual Leadership Summit on October 28, 2023, in Las Vegas. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

LAS VEGAS—Of all the VIPs to grace the Republican Jewish Coalition with their attendance at the group’s annual leadership conference, Miriam Adelson may have been the most significant.

The Republican megadonor has been relatively disengaged from politics since the January 2021 death of her husband, casino magnate Sheldon Adelson. The two were partners in politics: taking meetings together, peppering candidates and organizations asking for contributions with equal vigor, and writing matching checks. Miriam Adelson still donated during last year’s midterm election cycle, but short of the levels and direct, personal involvement Republicans had grown accustomed to as she mourned her husband and devoted herself to friends and family.

But Adelson, 78, was a major presence throughout last weekend’s RJC gathering. Knowledgeable sources say it signals she is jumping back into GOP politics with both feet—and that the Adelson money spigot is opening wide ahead of heated 2024 battles for Congress and the White House at a time when the Republican Party needs all of the financial help it can get. 

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