Tom Steyer isn’t giving away his millions to some stranger. He’s building his own political apparatus (both a super PAC and a nonprofit, of course) from scratch. Michael Bloomberg is executing the same do-it-yourself strategy. So are a growing number of big donors who are rejecting the established old guard. Some of these mega-donors have grown disillusioned; some have narrow agendas; others just think they know better.
— One of these solo super PAC practitioners is John Jordan, the wine executive who funded the $1.4 million super PAC that failed to defeat Sen. Ed Markey (D) in last year’s Massachusetts special election. Count Jordan, the subject a magazine profile in this week’s National Journal, among the disillusioned. He’d been a “seven-figure” Crossroads contributor but said, “With Crossroads, all you got was Karl Rove would come and do his little rain dance.”
— Jordan’s latest venture: Helping fund $250,000 (and counting) in worth of ads for pediatric neurosurgeon Monica Wehby (R), a candidate many Republicans believe could give Sen. Jeff Merkley (D) a real race in Oregon.
— And for those thinking that the McCutcheon Supreme Court decision might shift substantial power back to the political parties, think again. “It is a tempest in a teapot in terms of practical politics,” Jordan says. That’s because the big, unlimited money remains outside money.
What’s most interesting about Jordan and donors like him is that because of the rise in DIY activity, money is increasingly not just beyond the party’s grasp, but the broader establishment’s as well, as more and more donors go it alone.
— Shane Goldmacher
What We're Following See More »
If a new poll is to be believed, Hillary Clinton has a big lead in the all-important swing state of Pennsylvania. A new Suffolk University survey shows her ahead of Donald Trump, 50%-41%. In a four-way race, she maintains her nine-point lead, 46%-37%. "Pennsylvania has voted Democratic in the past six presidential elections, going back to Bill Clinton’s first win in 1992. Yet it is a rust belt state that could be in play, as indicated by recent general-election polling showing a close race."
"President Barack Obama has chosen Jackson Park, a lakefront park that once hosted the world’s fair on the city’s South Side, for his $500 million presidential library, according to a person familiar with the matter."
Wednesday was the third night in a row that the Democratic convention enjoyed a ratings win over the Republican convention last week. Which might have prompted a fundraising email from Donald Trump exhorting supporters not to watch. "Unless you want to be lied to, belittled, and attacked for your beliefs, don't watch Hillary's DNC speech tonight," the email read. "Instead, help Donald Trump hold her accountable, call out her lies and fight back against her nasty attacks."
The Clintons will retain their Secret Service "code names from the last time they lived in the White House. Hillary Clinton is EVERGREEN and Bill ClintonEAGLE. Donald Trump is MOGUL, according to reports, and Melania Trump MUSE. The vice presidents get code names, too: Mike Pence is HOOSIER—a little on the nose—and his wife HUMMINGBIRD. Tim Kaine is DAREDEVIL, somewhat ambitiously. His wife's? To be determined."