Winding Down Freedom's Watch

Freedom's Watch, the conservative 501(c)(4) organization that was set up earlier this year to help Republicans win elections, "is closing after just one cycle in business," reports Reid Wilson. "The group, which ran television, radio, phone and mail campaigns against dozens of Democrats this year, received most of its funding from wealthy gaming mogul Sheldon Adelson, chairman of the Las Vegas Sands Corp." Although Freedom's Watch originally said it would be spending as much as $200 million for ad campaigns, the reality was only about $30 million. The recession has hurt Adelson financially, cutting into tourism and gambling and sending Sands stock tumbling from $122.96 per share to just $2.89, a loss of 95 percent of its value. Freedom's Watch originally claimed to offer a conservative answer to the liberal advocacy group MoveOn. As one blogger pointed out, however, the "biggest difference" between the two groups is that Freedom's Watch "had a handful of mega-wealthy donors," while MoveOn "has an email list and funding base of 4 million."