Stephen Cloobeck, a top-tier Democratic donor who owns 200+ resorts around the world, recently gave a revealing picture of what modern politics looks like.

In a recent interview with MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle prior to the Tuesday elections, Cloobeck was seen fuming about the Democratic Party’s gradual embrace of Bernie Sanders-style economic populism. The resort tycoon lamented about Democratic leaders’ use of the words “millionaire” and “billionaire,” and told Ruhle that he’s issued an ultimatum to recipients of his money to stop using those words if they want support for their reelections.

“I’ve told them to stop it. Knock it off,” Cloobeck said. “I’ve made it very clear — I’ll cut your money off, and others will do the same. We’ve had enough.”

Cloobeck, whose net worth is in excess of $100 million according to, has opened up his checkbook on numerous occasions to help Democratic candidates — most notably Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. FEC records show that in the 2015-2016 election cycle, Cloobeck gave almost $400,000 to the Hillary Victory Fund, and $200,400 to the Hillary Action Fund. He also donated $1,000,000 to Priorities USA — the Super PAC supporting Hillary Clinton.

Perhaps the most revealing exchange between the two was when Cloobeck acknowledged on live national TV that both House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-California) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) told him they will see to it that the Democratic Party looks out for the wealthy.

“So far they’ve given me great signals that they’re willing to participate and get there,” said Cloobeck, who gave the maximum allowable donation to Chuck Schumer’s campaign and $500,000 to the Senate Majority PAC, which is controlled by Schumer’s allies. “We shall see.”

Watch the full interview below:


Matthew P. Robbins is a freelance economics contributor covering wages, budgets, and taxes. He lives in Chicago, Illinois with his husband and two cats. 

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