Thursday, June 27, 2013

How GOP Consultants Convinced a Polluting Energy Heir to Waste $1.5 Million Fighting Ed Markey

UntitledJohn Jordan, heir to a polluting energy fortune who now runs his family's California vineyard, decided to dump $1.5 million into trying to defeat Ed Markey in the special election for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts. Markey won by 10 points, a big win for a Democrat in a low-turnout special election.

Why did Jordan think he had a shot at beating Markey? As the Wall Street Journal's Neil King, Jr. reports, a busload of Republican consultants paid for their three martini lunches in DC this spring by convincing the political neophyte Jordan to waste a considerable chunk of the family fortune on a race that was never particularly close:
The creation of Mr. Jordan’s super PAC, Americans for Progressive Action, stirred speculation earlier this month about the group’s origins and backers. Its treasurer, Nancy Watkins, used to work for Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, while its spokeswoman, Sheena Tahilramani, once served as chief of state to former Bush White House aide Karl Rove. [...]

Mr. Jordan has allied himself in recent months with conservative activist Dick Morris, who is also helping advise on Mr. Jordan’s campaign to assist Mr. Gomez. In February, Mr. Jordan financed and helped craft a poll of Latino immigrants to the U.S. The poll’s methodology was widely panned by critics.
Many of these same consultants just got done freeloading off the campaigns of the entire Republican ticket, from Mitt Romney on down, while running it straight into an Election Day ditch. Dick Morris famously predicted a Romney "landslide." Jordan apparently hired him anyway.

Look, when I started writing this post, I was going to make fun of John Jordan. He was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, posts lots of pictures of himself at fancy parties on Flickr, and actually kind of looks like a Chris Farley character - sure, he has fun stompin' grapes in the family vineyard, but can he take the reins of an oil & gas fortune? Hilarity ensues!

But the poor guy just got swindled out of $1.5 million by Republican consultancy hucksters. His chosen candidate of Gabriel Gomez was utterly clueless on how to solve America's problems. Jordan says he's a centrist, and if he is, I hope he learns from this experience and refocuses his efforts to get the Republican Party out of the fever swamp of consultant-run campaigns.
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