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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Adelson Phenomenon Spreads Among Donors

There is more than one Sheldon Adelson-type donor in the world of “super PACs,” according to new filings with the Federal Election Commission.

A number of new super PACs, many of them spending millions of dollars to upend House races, made their first financial disclosures to the F.E.C. on Monday, revealing - in some cases for the first time - the interests financing a late surge of attack ads. And while Mr. Adelson gained notice for almost single-handedly financing a $20 million super PAC supporting his friend Newt Gingrich in the Republican nominating contest this year, he is just one of several wealthy donors providing overwhelming support to a candidate they are seeking to elect.

A California-based super PAC known as America Shining, which has spent about $283,680 against Representative Edward Royce, a Republican, has been financed exclusively by Shaw Chen, the brother of Mr. Royce's Democratic opponent. Treasure Coast Jobs Coalition, a Florida super PA C aiding the Republican Representative Allen West, has been paid for chiefly with a $1 million contribution last month from Richard Roberts, a pharmaceutical executive and big super PAC donor. (Mr. West's Democratic opponent, Patrick Murphy, is backed by a super PAC financed largely by Mr. Murphy's father.)

Robert Mercer, a Long Island hedge fund executive, donated another $250,000 to Prosperity First, a super PAC backing the Republican Congressional candidate Randy Altschuler, a fellow critic of the new financial regulations, bringing his total to $750,000. That is three-quarters of the group's money.

The Florida Freedom PAC, a group focusing on boosting President Obama in Florida, has raised about $1 million this year, all from the Service Employees International Union, a close ally of Mr. Obama's.

And Mr. Adelson is not limiting himself to the battle to unseat Mr. Obama. In addition to tens of millions of dollars he has given to groups seeking to elect R epublican majorities in the House and Senate, Mr. Adelson has poured $1 million into Patriot Prosperity, according to The Wall Street Journal. The group is seeking to help elect Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, who is running as a Republican to unseat Representative Bill Pascrell, a New Jersey Democrat.