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Politics

POLITICAL NOTEBOOK

Romney got last-minute boost from billionaire casino mogul

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was in Washington seeking more federal aid after Hurricane Sandy.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was in Washington seeking more federal aid after Hurricane Sandy.

WASHINGTON — Final campaign finance tallies trickled out Thursday for a presidential race expected to be the most expensive in US political history, showing a last-minute $10 million donation 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 his total contributions for the 2012 campaign to at least $72 million, all for Republicans.

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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 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, owner of 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.

His postelection super PAC total does not match that figure, but the casino magnate also hinted he would also give millions more to GOP-leaning nonprofits that do not have to report their war chests to the FEC, but instead provide confidential figures to the Internal Revenue Service.

Along with his dominant presence in the presidential race, Adelson also poured money into super PACs backing several GOP Senate candidates in the final weeks of the election. More than $1.5 million in Adelson money went to a super PAC backing GOP candidate George Allen in Virginia, $1 million to a committee aiding Michigan candidate Peter Hoekstra, and $500,000 to a super PAC supporting Senator Scott Brown. All were defeated.

Other top last-minute donors to the pro-Romney Restore committee included Larry Ellison, head of software giant Oracle Corp., who gave $3 million, and Houston Texans owner Robert McNair, who gave $1 million. The Renco Group, a New York firm lead by investor Ira Rennert,gave $1 million.

Adelson recently told The Wall Street Journal that he would double his investment in GOP causes by the next election, and he has the financial muscle to do it. His massive campaign donations are backed by his casino holdings. The most recent November quarterly statement of his Las Vegas Sands Corp. estimated that Adelson’s casino revenues surged $1.11 billion in the first nine months of 2012 compared with the same period in 2011.

N.J. governor, Obama hold unannouced meeting

WASHINGTON — New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie reunited with President Obama on Thursday for the first time since they teamed up after Hurricane Sandy.

Christie made an unannounced visit to the White House, where he met with Obama to press for $83 billion in extra disaster aid for his state plus New York and Connecticut.

Obama is expected to ask Congress for about $50 billion in additional emergency aid for 11 states struck by the late October storm.

Christie made a similar pitch to a fellow Republican, House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, later at the Capitol.

He also met with Senator Mary Landrieu, a Louisiana Democrat, who chairs the appropriations subcommittee on homeland security, which oversees aid.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg have made trips to Washington recently to seek federal money.

Christie would not talk with reporters about his meeting with the president.

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