Republican donor unloads on 'dirty' feeling of political donations

CLEVELAND — Multimillionaire Republican donor John Jordan says he sometimes feels dirty when politicians beg him for money. 
 
"It's kind of like somebody hitting on you," said Jordan in a Facebook Live interview with The Hill on the patio of the Metropolitan at the 9 hotel in Cleveland.
 
"Sometimes some of them are better than others and some of them just make you feel dirty," he added. 
 
"You know the ask is coming when this happens, when they become excessively familiar. When they talk about how they've known you and how they follow your business, and how's it going out there in California. Message: I care. 
 
"When you start getting that feeling, then you know it's kind of time to scoot over a bit because the ask is coming."
 
ADVERTISEMENT
Jordan, a California wine merchant, is an unconventional Republican donor who doesn't like to hand over control on anything.
 
He doesn't even let other people fly him around the country. A pilot, Jordan said he flew himself to the Republican convention on his Gulfstream private jet. 
 
Jordan has rubbed many political consultants the wrong way by taking a similarly controlling approach in the world of political advertising.
 
Instead of sending checks to super-PACs controlled by consultants, Jordan likes to set up his own super-PACs to keep control over his money and direct his own advertising. 
 
He's spent more than $2.7 million on super-PACs over the past three years, according to the Federal Election Commission, but he now believes most super-PAC spending is worthless. 
 
"I don't write checks anymore to super-PACs where they let other people spend the money," Jordan told The Hill.
 
"One of the dirty little secrets of politics is exactly how dirty the super-PAC world really is. ... The ad makers, the media buyers are just making a killing."
 
 
But Jordan said super-PACs have been "completely ineffective this cycle." 
 
"The biggest debacle of all was Jeb Bush and Right to Rise," he said, referring to the super-PAC that spent more than $118 million supporting the former Florida governor's failed presidential bid.
 
"The donors in that one really got trick rolled," Jordan added, later clarifying off-camera that the term means getting robbed by a pimp. 
  
Jordan said that many of his fellow GOP donors are "nervous" and "frightened" because their money isn't buying the political results they are used to.

"They're a little frightened because these are the people that were used to getting their way and determining in many ways the course of the Republican Party," he said.
 
"For the first time these quintessential insiders are on the outside looking in.
 
"They're nervous, frightened, the gamut of negative emotions."