Watchdog to Sheldon Adelson: Stand Up For Reform

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Washington, D.C.--In response to Sheldon Adelson's comment in Forbes magazine that he was "against very wealthy people attempting to or influencing elections," Public Campaign Action Fund sent the casino mogul a letter urging him to donate to organizations working to address the problem of big money in politics.

The letter, signed by Public Campaign Action Fund Executive Director David Donnelly, states:

We read with attentiveness your statement to Forbes Magazine that you are “against very wealthy people attempting to or influencing elections” and that you will continue to make gifts totaling as much as $100 million, saying “as long as it's doable I'm going to do it.”

We think there’s a better way. If you are truly opposed to wealthy people attempting to influence elections, we would welcome your support behind a number of different proposals to address the problem of big money in politics. Specifically, the congressional Fair Elections Now Act, which matches small donations from home-state voters with limited public funds, and legislation providing more disclosure on outside money so that, in your words, donors don’t “go through ten different corporations to hide [their] name.”

Other efforts – including a constitutional amendment that would prohibit wealthy individuals or corporations from dominating elections – are also important.

We encourage you to support the growing efforts to reform the political fundraising system so that it reflects the time-honored American values of being “of, by, and for the people.” Attached to this letter is a list of 11 national organizations that have robust programs in addressing the problems of money-in-politics. Your contributions to these organizations, instead of your generous campaign donations, could be your most important political legacy. You would be joining a number of leading political donors who have already taken a stand for such change.

We would welcome the opportunity to sit down with you to discuss your options if you are interested. Please feel free to contact me if you’d like to schedule a meeting.

Download the full letter, including the list of organizations we suggest he donate to.


Public Campaign Action Fund works to hold politicians who are against comprehensive campaign finance reform accountable for where they get their political donations. Learn more at