13 'Millionaires' Who Control the Presidential Election

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Star donors have nabbed the 2012 election spotlight as they've beefed up super PACs supporting presidential candidates.

Already preparing heavily for Super Tuesday, super political action committee have spent $5.9 million since Wednesday , after the Arizona and Michigan primaries.

These massive expenditures might seem like chump change for a select group of donors who range from a Las Vegas casino magnate to a comedy talk-show host to a wealthy Dallas businessman -- each of whom have given $1 million or more.

Now here's a look at the 13 men and women who have broken seven-figure donations to let their voices be heard in the 2012 election process.

Sheldon Adelson: $5 million ($15 million reported ) Winning Our Future for Newt Gingrich.

Miriam Adelson: $5 million Winning Our Future for Newt Gingrich.

Adelson is a casino magnate who is worth $21.5 billion. He owns Las Vegas Sands ( LVS) and has said he might donate as much as $100 million .

Adelson's wife, Miriam, is a doctor and founder of Adelson Clinic. She founded the clinic in 2000 and it treats opiate addiction through methadone treatment and counseling.

"I gave the money because there is no other legal way to do it," Sheldon Adelson told Forbes. "I'm proud of what I do and I'm not looking to escape recognition."

Peter Thiel: $2.6 million Endorse Liberty for Ron Paul.

Thiel started hedge fund Clarium Capital Management in 2005 and made the majority of his $1.5 billion fortune on a $500,000 investment in Facebook in 2004. Thiel also co-founded PayPal, which is owned by eBay ( EBAY).

"With its unsustainable deficits, government spending is heading down the same path. Men and women who want freedom and growth should take action," Thiel told Slate. "A good place to start is voting for Ron Paul."

Jeffrey Katzenberg: $2 million Priorities USA Action for Barack Obama.

Katzenberg is the CEO of Dreamworks Animation SKG ( DWA) and has reportedly made his $35 million home in Beverly Hills, Calif., the site of a major fund-raiser for President Obama.

"I don't think that any president in modern history has had to face a deeper or more difficult or more complicated set of issues from the first moment he set foot in the White House, and I think he has done an exceptional job of methodically working his way through that horrendous set of problems," Katzenberg told Bloomberg Businessweek.

Julian Robertson Jr.: $1.25 million Restore Our Future for Mitt Romney.

Robertson is a legendary investor who founded Tiger Management, a private-equity firm and was a former Hillary Clinton backer.

"I met Mitt Romney ... and he was the smartest guy I've ever seen and met with; and I've gotten to know him a little bit since and I would still make that statement, and he's extremely decent," Robertson told CNBC during the 2008 election cycle.

John Paulson: $1 million Restore Our Future for Mitt Romney.

Paulson , who became a billionaire shorting subprime securities in 2007, runs the hedge fund Paulson & Co.

In the fourth quarter, Paulson sold his entire position in stocks such as Citigroup ( C), Bank of America ( BAC) and Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ), among others.

Paulson hosted a Romney fund-raising event at his Southampton estate in August 2011, according to the New York Post.

Foster S. Friess: $1 million Red, White and Blue Fund for Rick Santorum

Friess is the founder of Friess Associates, which manages Brandywine Funds, and has describes himself as a born-again Christian. He most recently grabbed headlines with a controversial statement about contraception.

"I guess the point I want to make is I'm not supporting him for how I've known him as a friend," Friess told The New York Times. "I'm supporting him because he has the best chance to beat Barack Obama."

Bill Maher: Reported $1 million Priorities USA Action for Barack Obama.

Maher is a comedian best known for his satirical commentary on American politics. He currently hosts the talk show Real Time with Bill Maher" on HBO ( TWX).

"The difference between a country governed by Obama and one governed by Rick Santorum is worth a million dollars to me," Maher told The Daily Beast. "Not just because I think the country would be better, but because I think it would actually better protect the money I have left."

Paul Singer: $1 million Restore Our Future for Mitt Romney.

Singer runs Elliot Associates, which manages $17 billion in assets. He's worth about $900 million.

Candidates have coveted Singer's endorsement after Singer's reportedly preferred candidate, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, opted not to run for the GOP nomination.

Edward Conard was a former top official at Bain Capital who originally made his $1 million contribution on April 28, 2011, through the company W Spann LLC. The company was dissolved by July 2011. Conard came forward in August and revealed that he had made the massive donation.

"I did so after consulting prominent legal counsel regarding the transaction, and based on my understanding that the contribution would comply with applicable laws," Conard told Politico in a statement. "To address questions raised by the media concerning the contribution, I will request that Restore Our Future PAC amend its public reports to disclose me as the donor associated with this contribution."

Robert Mercer has been a director of Nature's Sunshine Products ( NATR) since August 2010 and formerly served as vice president for dealer operations at Mazda North America.

William J. Dore founded Global Industries, Ltd., a provider of offshore construction and pipeline construction for the oil and gas industry.

Dore, according to a Mother Jones investigative article that called him a "mystery donor," has not been a prominent political donor in the past.

"I've never known him to really be too active in Louisiana politics or in the Republican party or any of that," Warren Caudle, a businessman and Republican activist from Lafayette, La., told Mother Jones. "There are other people in Louisiana that I would expect to be doing that other than him."

Harold Simmons is the chairman of holding company Valhi ( VHI), which has controlling interests in Keystone Consolidated and Titanium Metals, which is the leading manufacturer of titanium-based products.

If you think the $1 million Simmons gave to the super PAC supporting Gingrich is hefty, understand that he has given a cool $10 million to Karl Rove's super PAC, American Crossroads.

Simmons is a huge Republican donor as he reportedly gave some $8.6 million in 2011 to Republican super PACs.

-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.

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