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Report: Billionaire Sheldon Adelson Sets $70M Record In Political Donations

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Las Vegas casino boss Sheldon Adelson gestures during a press conference in Macau on Sept. 20, 2012. (credit: PHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Las Vegas casino boss Sheldon Adelson gestures during a press conference in Macau on Sept. 20, 2012. (credit: PHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — Billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson has reportedly set a record in political donations.

According to the website Politico, Sheldon Adelson, chairman of the Las Vegas Sands Corp. which owns the Venetian and Palazzo resorts on the Las Vegas Strip, has so far donated a record-setting $70 million to help Republicans in the November elections. Super PACs supporting Mitt Romney have received $37 million.

Adelson, who says he will do “whatever it takes” to oust President Barack Obama from the White House, originally backed former House speaker Newt Gingrich and threw $20 million behind his failed campaign.

“I suppose you could say that I live on Vince Lombardi’s belief: ‘Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing,’” Adelson told Politico. “So, I do whatever it takes, as long as it’s moral, ethical, principled, legal.”

The Obama campaign has used Adelson against Romney, sending out emails to supporters that they aren’t relying on billionaire casino owners like Adelson to fund the campaign.

Adelson has drawn the interest of the Justice Department after a Nevada judge recently fined Las Vegas Sands Corp. $25,000 for failing to disclose important information in a lawsuit filed by a fired executive against the casino company.

Clark County District Judge Elizabeth Gonzales ruled that Las Vegas Sands showed an “intention to deceive the court” by failing to disclose that the information had been transferred from China to the U.S.

After Steven Jacobs was fired in 2010 as CEO of Sands China Ltd., a Sands subsidiary with extensive casino holdings in the Chinese enclave of Macau, he filed a wrongful termination lawsuit claiming he was let go for opposing company demands that he engage in improper conduct.

The Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission investigators are now looking for possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The law bars U.S. companies from paying foreign officials to “affect or influence any act or decision” for commercial benefit.

According to Politico, liberal billionaire George Soros held the previous donation record after spending $24 million in hopes to defeat President George W. Bush during the 2004 election.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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