NEW YORK — Republican Presidential candidates are all seeking the endorsement of casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, and with good reason — he and his wife Miriam poured $92 million into the 2012 presidential race.
Thursday, someone else paid to spend time with Adelson.
A lunch with Adelson was auctioned off at the Champions of Jewish Values International Awards Gala here. Auctioneers wanted the bidding to start at $100,000. No one raised their paddle. So they brought it down to $50,000. And someone immediately said yes.
Adelson pledged $1 million to the organization that put on the gala, the World Values Network. It's run by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, spiritual adviser to the stars, author of books including "Kosher Sex" and sage of reality television. In an interview with northjersey.com Adelson said Boteach is "one of the smartest guys I've met."
Adelson told a packed ballroom here that he doesn't just pledge money — he gives it. Quickly. If a gift is promised Monday and he's in the office the check will go out Tuesday. Two people in the room were likely paying close attention: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who is running for president, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who is expected to run.
But he's not really the one with all the cash, he said.
"I don't have the money. My wife's got all the money," Adelson said.
Boteach recommended that the organization, which launched a $25 million campaign, should auction off Adelson.
"Who wants to buy Sheldon Adelson? That’s not cheap," Boteach said.