Lindsey Graham’s National Finance Committee includes a mega-billionaire, a man once dubbed by the Weekly Standard as “Obama’s pet CEO” and Lenny Adelson, the brother of 2012’s most generous Republican donor.
There isn’t too much in the public record about Lenny Adelson, though a spokeswoman for the Graham campaign confirmed that he is the brother of casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, the much-sought-after Republican money man who along with his wife gave in the neighborhood of $100 million to support Republican candidates in 2012.
Graham’s campaign announced its National Finance Committee in a press release Thursday.
Lenny Adelson isn’t likely the Adelson the South Carolina senator most desires, but to paraphrase former Defense Secretary Don Rumsfeld, you go to battle with the Adelson you have, not the Adelson you might want.
According to Bloomberg, the richer Adelson once blamed his brother for getting him involved with a businessman who would later sue him. In a video uploaded online in 2011, Lenny explains he owns a company that manufactures hotel supplies.
A search on Open Secrets reveals that Lenny Adelson, who lives in Weston, Ma. and lists himself now as retired, has only made two previous significant campaign donations. In 2013, he gave $1,000 to Democrat Peter Koutoujian’s unsuccessful attempt to win a congressional seat in Adelson’s home district, and in 2014, he gave $2,600 to Republican Elan Carr’s unsuccessful congressional campaign in California.
Lenny Adelson’s much more influential brother has reportedly not yet determined who he will be supporting in 2016, though a Politico report from April said that Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is currently the top contender for Adelson’s cash. Late last month, BuzzFeed revealed that Sheldon Adelson’s wife, Miriam, is fond of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.
General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt will serve as a national co-chair of Graham’s National Finance Committee. Immelt has a long history of donating to both Republicans and Democrats, including giving $2,300 to five different presidential contenders on both sides of the aisle during the 2008 election cycle alone (Republicans John McCain, Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani, as well as Democrats Hillary Clinton and Chris Dodd).
Though an Open Secrets search suggests he didn’t donate to either of President Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns, Immelt was once called “Obama’s pet CEO” by the Weekly Standard for his support of the president’s stimulus package, health care bill and failed cap-and-trade legislation. Immelt served as a member of Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board and as chair of the president’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.
Graham also announced the backing of mega-billionaire Ronald O. Perelman, who will also serve as a national co-chair of Graham’s finance committee. Like Immelt, Perelman, who Bloomberg News ranks as the 61st wealthiest man in the world with a net worth over $15 billion, has a long history of donating to Republicans and Democrats alike.
Other notable names on Graham’s national finance team include Oracle co-CEO Safra Catz and legendary hedge fund manager Michael Steinhardt.