Florida Gov. Charlie Crist will head to Las Vegas at the end of the month for a well-backed, high-priced fundraiser with perhaps the Republican Party's wealthiest donor.
Crist will benefit from a fundraiser at the Palazzo Hotel and Casino, one of the newest casinos on the Las Vegas Strip, on Oct. 29. His host, Las Vegas Sands Corp. CEO Sheldon Adelson, is the 26th-richest man in America, according to Forbes magazine.
Adelson funded the conservative group Freedom's Watch during the 2008 campaign, spending millions of dollars to attack then-Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and Democratic candidates up and down the ballot.
But the economic downturn hit Las Vegas and the tourism industry hard, and Adelson lost $24 billion — reportedly more than any other single American. He has since quit politics, and Freedom's Watch folded.
Also hosting the event is Sig Rogich, the prominent Nevada Republican political consultant who worked in the White House for Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush and is co-chairman of the Republican Governors Association's finance committee.
Rogich, who ordinarily makes news by pumping up Republican candidates, last hit headlines with an unusual endorsement of Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), whom he said had the seniority to help the Silver State through an unusually difficult economic period.
Rogich managed Jim Santini's (R) 1986 campaign against Reid. But in February, he said he would back the majority leader's bid for another six-year term.
Fun fact for guests at Crist's fundraiser: The Palazzo has more floor space than any other building in the Western Hemisphere, beating the Pentagon by 300,000 square feet. The presidential suite, where the Crist fundraiser will be held, is 5,171 square feet, according to a Palazzo employee.