In the post-Citizens United era, Sheldon Adelson became the public face of what critics cast as a plutocrat class trying to buy U.S. elections. But it's not clear how much the conservative casino magnate got for his money other than a heap of bad press. Adelson, 79, and his wife spent some $53 million to back Republican candidates, staking Newt Gingrich's underfunded presidential bid before forking over a big bet on GOP nominee Mitt Romney. After Barack Obama won re-election despite those efforts, Adelson a strong supporter of Israel and Jewish causes, whose fortune Forbes pegs at some $20 billion shrugged off the checks as the price of doing business. "Paying bills," he told a Norwegian reporter. "That's how you spend money."