Rep. Bill Sali's 2006 victory relied heavily on a single outside group that accounted for half of all spending on his behalf. Club For Growth, after spending $1.1 million for Sali, hasn't re-engaged in 2008 and typically doesn't support re-election campaigns.
In that vacuum, Sali just got some outstanding news: A new group, funded in part by the third-richest man in America, has joined the race.
Freedom's Watch opened shop last year with a $15 million ad campaign backing President Bush's troop surge in Iraq. It's now involved in 12 House races on behalf of Republicans, paying for polling, radio and TV ads, direct mail and computer-generated phone calls. So far, the effort targets Democrats - including Sali foe Walt Minnick - for opposing oil exploration.
The group's biggest backer is Sheldon Adelson, a Las Vegas casino owner and GOP contributor. According to Forbes magazine, Adelson is worth about $26 billion. His wealth has ballooned since he opened casinos in Macau, an island controlled by China that led the world in gambling revenues with $10.3 billion in 2007.
Read the complete story at idahostatesman.com
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