WASHINGTON — Final campaign finance tallies trickled out Thursday for a presidential race expected to be the most expensive in U.S. political history, showing a last-minute $10 million contribution to a political action committee backing Republican candidate Mitt Romney from a billionaire Las Vegas casino magnate who has been the election's biggest moneyman.
The $10 million donation by Sheldon Adelson to the Restore Our Future super PAC raised the casino owner's total contributions for the 2012 campaign to at least $72 million, all for Republicans.
The new campaign finance filings to the Federal Election Commission were among newly-released records covering the final two weeks of the race, when campaign organizations for Romney and President Barack Obama, along with a slew of super PACs, raised and spent millions toward an expected $2 billion campaign.
By late October, both campaigns already had neared $1 billion in expenditures, and super PACs supporting Obama and Romney had spent more than $500 million in media ads. Politically-oriented nonprofit social welfare organizations that do not have to declare their finances or identify their fundraisers have spent hundreds of millions more on so-called issue ads.
Adelson, who owns casinos in Las Vegas, Singapore and the Chinese territory of Macau, has been the top donor in the 2012 race. He has provided more than $54 million supporting Romney and other GOP presidential candidates and an additional $18 million for other Republicans.
The latest $10 million figure for donations for Adelson and his wife, Miriam, was released Thursday only for the pro-Romney Restore Our Future, but the couple's totals could grow as more campaign finance tallies are reported.
Adelson vowed early on in the presidential race that his political donations would top $100 million by the November election.