Published Monday, Jan. 30, 2012 | 5:02 p.m.
Updated Monday, Jan. 30, 2012 | 6:44 p.m.
Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, who has given millions to help GOP presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich, was not involved in organizing an evening caucus for Orthodox Jews to be held at the private school bearing his name, according to a spokesman.
Ron Reese, vice president of communications for the Las Vegas Sands, issued a written statement today countering accusations from Gingrich’s rivals that Adelson helped organize the evening caucus to benefit his candidate.
“At no point did either Mr. Adelson or (his wife Dr. Miriam) Adelson provide any input into the process or intervene in any way,” Reese said.
Reese said during a board meeting of the Adelson Education Campus, board member Philip Kantor brought up his concern that Orthodox Jews could not participate in the morning caucus because it coincides with their Sabbath.
The Adelsons were both at the board meeting and shared Kantor's concern "that some people would not be able to participate in the process, but they had no involvement in securing the evening caucus at the Adelson campus," Reese said.
Kantor then passed his concerns along to the Clark County Republican Party, which scheduled the evening caucus. Kantor also asked the school’s headmaster to make the school available for the evening caucus.
“The headmaster said it would not be a problem as the campus hosts a variety of community and civic functions, including previously offering to hold the Democratic caucuses,” Reese said.
Clark County Republican Chairman David Gibbs also said the selection of the school as the site of the caucuses was not prompted by Adelson and noted that it occurred before Adelson contributed $5 million to the super PAC supporting Gingrich.
Reese said the Adelsons are not Orthodox and would be able to participate in the morning caucus.
Sun columnist Jon Ralston reported today that the county party, in an effort to protect the integrity of the process, will create a "declaration" for participants in the evening caucus to sign, stating why they were unable to attend a morning caucus.
The party’s decision to hold the evening caucus at the Adelson Education Campus rankled Texas Rep. Ron Paul’s campaign staff, who accused Adelson of meddling in the caucus process.
“It’s his private school, and it happened in the last two weeks, conveniently,” Paul’s Nevada director Carl Bunce told the Las Vegas Sun. “It’s ridiculous. You can’t change the rules midstream.”
Adelson and his wife have given a total of $10 million to the Winning Our Future super PAC — money that helped keep Gingrich’s campaign alive long enough to win South Carolina.