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 »
"Christopher Steele, the former British intelligence officer who wrote the explosive dossier alleging ties between Donald Trump and Russia," says in a new book by The Guardian's Luke Harding that "Trump's land and hotel deals with Russians needed to be examined. ... Steele did not go into further detail, Harding said, but seemed to be referring to a 2008 home sale to the Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev. Richard Dearlove, who headed the UK foreign-intelligence unit MI6 between 1999 and 2004, said in April that Trump borrowed money from Russia for his business during the 2008 financial crisis."
"The British publicist who helped set up the fateful meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a group of Russians at Trump Tower in June 2016 is ready to meet with Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller's office, according to several people familiar with the matter. Rob Goldstone has been living in Bangkok, Thailand, but has been communicating with Mueller's office through his lawyer, said a source close to Goldstone."
"Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak said on Wednesday that it would take him more than 20 minutes to name all of the Trump officials he's met with or spoken to on the phone. ... Kislyak made the remarks in a sprawling interview with Russia-1, a popular state-owned Russian television channel."