Billionaire Tom Steyer turning his anti-Keystone offensive into an all-out climate crusade for 2014

posted at 1:21 pm on February 18, 2014 by Erika Johnsen

If we had to assign a name to the most tangible reason why Keystone XL is still only a proposed pipeline extension and not yet a physical one, then reason, they name is hedge fund billionaire Tom Steyer and his well-monied, self-fancied “green,” and heavily Democrat-donating ilk. Ahead of his reelection, President Obama did not want to forgo this largely California- and Manhattan-based set’s sweet cash monies by green-lighting the project onto which pharisaic environmentalist groups have symbolically foisted all of their climate-change hopes (and only they know why), and that campaign-minded motivation hardly holds any less true going into the midterms or even 2016.

Steyer specifically took it upon himself to create a self-funded, serial ad campaign of ultra-lame, ultra-deceitful TV spots to try and convince the masses that the Keystone XL pipeline somehow isn’t in America’s best interest (a feat of misinformation on which even WaPo’s fact checker called him out with four Pinocchios), but he’s really looking to throw his weight around in the midterms by expanding his super PAC into the climate-change equivalent of Michael Bloomberg’s single-issue Mayors Against Illegal Guns. Via the NYT:

The donor, Tom Steyer, a Democrat who founded one of the world’s most successful hedge funds, burst onto the national political scene during last year’s elections, when he spent $11 million to help elect Terry McAuliffe governor of Virginia and millions more intervening in a Democratic congressional primary in Massachusetts. Now he is rallying other deep-pocketed donors, seeking to build a war chest that would make his political organization, NextGen Climate Action, among the largest outside groups in the country, similar in scale to the conservative political network overseen by Charles and David Koch.

In early February, Mr. Steyer gathered two dozen of the country’s leading liberal donors and environmental philanthropists to his 1,800-acre ranch in Pescadero, Calif. — which raises prime grass-fed beef — to ask them to join his efforts. People involved in the discussions say Mr. Steyer is seeking to raise $50 million from other donors to match $50 million of his own. …

So that’ll be at least $100 million for an all-climate-change, all-the-time approach to various midterm campaigns, but will he content himself with attacking Republicans, or also wield his operation against non-true-believing Democrats, too? Unclear, but I can think of at least one senator for whom that kind of attention would be most annoying:

The new fund-raising push seeks to tap into the booming fortunes of Silicon Valley, where many donors rank climate change as their top political issue. It also signals a shift within the environmental movement, as donors — frustrated that neither Democratic nor Republican officials are willing to prioritize climate change measures — shift their money from philanthropy and education into campaign vehicles designed to win elections. …

This month, NextGen asked supporters to pick one congressional candidate, from five running this year, for the group to target in its next ads. Four of the five candidates were Republicans, including Senator Marco Rubio of Florida. But the fifth was a vulnerable Democratic incumbent, Senator Mary L. Landrieu of Louisiana, who has close ties to the oil and gas industries and has been an outspoken supporter of the Keystone pipeline.

Then again, maybe an attack from a hyper-progressive, anti-fossil fuels group could only help her in red-state Louisiana.


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Odd, how billionaires are okay once they support “the cause.” Very odd.

307wolverine on February 18, 2014 at 1:22 PM

Senator Mary L. Landrieu of Louisiana, who has close ties to the oil and gas industries and has been an outspoken supporter of the Keystone pipeline.

I hope she fails…

OmahaConservative on February 18, 2014 at 1:23 PM

A billionaire fool and his billions of money are soon parted.

22044 on February 18, 2014 at 1:25 PM

As California returns the central valley to the desert it once was, how long will it be until clowns like this are shunned as the insane extermists they truely are?

Freddy on February 18, 2014 at 1:25 PM

Heads Up: The Hopey Titanic is Sailing!!

Another Bites Ye Dust:

New Jersey, US
5m
New Jersey Rep. Rush Holt, an 8-term Democrat, will not seek reelection in 2014 – @politico
end of alert
=============

Casualty List: 113th Congress (2013-2014)

Rush D. Holt, D-N.J., 65, 8 terms

http://www.rollcall.com/politics/casualtylist.html/

canopfor on February 18, 2014 at 1:28 PM

Odd, how billionaires are okay once they support “the cause.” Very odd.

307wolverine on February 18, 2014 at 1:22 PM

Funny how once you make lots of money you become oh-so-interested in making sure everyone else’s life is that much harder…..these billionaire types never have to pump their own gas (into their limos, yacht’s, private jets, etc) and never even see the bills that come due to heat and cool their super-huge jumbo mansions and sky-high apartment towers but they’re perfectly happy make everyone else pay more of their hard-earned money for energy….

This is exactly why the French invented the guillotine…..

powerpickle on February 18, 2014 at 1:28 PM

I want details on how he powers all of his homes and how much it cost to install.

djl130 on February 18, 2014 at 1:28 PM

I also want to know if he flies commercial.

djl130 on February 18, 2014 at 1:29 PM

Obviously, billionaires can be fools.

SC.Charlie on February 18, 2014 at 1:30 PM

For every political endeavor one should ask, “What do you stand to gain?” (You can’t very well suggest that you’re trying to save the planet for your children and grandchildren while simultaneously advocating endebting them to a lifetime of taxation servitude.) In the case of the greens, it is most certainly the idea of getting in on the ground floor of the government takeover of energy.

BKeyser on February 18, 2014 at 1:30 PM

Odd, how billionaires are okay once they support “the cause.” Very odd.

307wolverine on February 18, 2014 at 1:22 PM

Par for the course with diehard leftists. Trying to talk to them logically is about as successful as trying to talk to a three year old throwing a tantrum.

Wanderlust on February 18, 2014 at 1:31 PM

Steyer specifically took it upon himself to create a self-funded, serial ad campaign of ultra-lame, ultra-deceitful TV spots to try and convince the masses that the Keystone XL pipeline somehow isn’t in America’s best interest (a feat of misinformation on which even WaPo’s fact checker called him out with four Pinocchios), but he’s really looking to throw his weight around in the midterms by expanding his super PAC into the climate-change equivalent of Michael Bloomberg’s single-issue Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

I suspect that it’s going to be about as effective as the Nanny’s ‘Mayors Against Illegal Guns’ effort.

When progressive shill, Glenn Kessler, is forced to award four Pinocchios towards a claim made by a progressive, you know that you’ve crossed the line into farce.

But then, with the MSM, the focus will remain on the Koch brothers, not on those like Steyer or Soros or the Unions / Union leadership.

Athos on February 18, 2014 at 1:31 PM

Newt is right

Schadenfreude on February 18, 2014 at 1:32 PM

Apparently Steyer wasn’t born into money. He’s got a history with heavy emphasis on investment, especially land investment. Can’t help but wonder what angle he’s playing. This obviously isn’t a move of philanthropy. He’s looking to profit from it somehow.

lineholder on February 18, 2014 at 1:32 PM

Anyone have his mailing address? Seems that I have an “income equity” issue with him, he needs to send me some money.

Farnsworth on February 18, 2014 at 1:32 PM

Koch bad
Steyer good
-lsm

cmsinaz on February 18, 2014 at 1:32 PM

If we had to assign a name to the most tangible reason why Keystone XL is still only a proposed pipeline extension and not yet a physical one, then reason, they name is hedge fund billionaire Tom Steyer and his well-monied, self-fancied “green,” and heavily Democrat-donating ilk.
========================================================

Despite stimulus, middle class still struggles
By Mitch McConnell
February 17, 2014
******************

No wonder so many people now feel as if no one in Washington is looking out for them.
The real tragedy here is that none of this was necessary. Republicans have always been willing to work with the president on reforms that would have broad bipartisan support, and, we believe, a far better impact on the lives and livelihoods of ordinary Americans.

Things like paring back regulations, tapping into vast domestic energy resources through projects like the Keystone XL pipeline,

and putting the nation’s finances on a more solid footing, just to name a few.
(More….)
===========

http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2014/02/16/despite-stimulus-middle-class-still-struggles/

canopfor on February 18, 2014 at 1:37 PM

The only thing Steyer and his ilk need changed are their diapers.

vnvet on February 18, 2014 at 1:39 PM

Funny how once you make lots of money you become oh-so-interested in making sure everyone else’s life is that much harder…..these billionaire types never have to pump their own gas (into their limos, yacht’s, private jets, etc) and never even see the bills that come due to heat and cool their super-huge jumbo mansions and sky-high apartment towers but they’re perfectly happy make everyone else pay more of their hard-earned money for energy….

This is exactly why the French invented the guillotine…..

powerpickle on February 18, 2014 at 1:28 PM

I laugh at how naive some people can be.

Do you think that it’s always about the environment?

Aren’t you at least a little bit skeptical that Burlington Northern is making a killing transporting oil, and is owned by Warren Buffet?

Aren’t you just a little curious that Al Gore sold his network to the oil sheiks?

Is it possible that some billionaires support legislation because it blocks competition?

itsspideyman on February 18, 2014 at 1:39 PM

Because being an Ivy League MBA hedge fund expert means you are also an expert in climate science, even if you’ve never studied science. After all, he is one of the “smart ones.”

Shut up and sing manage hedge funds.

CJ on February 18, 2014 at 1:41 PM

What is it with rich people thinking they have opinions more worthy just because they are rich? Why do they think their wealth automatically entitles them to control how others live?

Lucy43 on February 18, 2014 at 1:42 PM

Another world-saver — a deluded and self-loathing mega-capitalist who’s found God (or Baal, or Gaia, whatever) trying to redeem himself (but never to the extent of simply quietly giving his money away). No, his ego demands he save the world with a multi-million dollar ad campaign.

rrpjr on February 18, 2014 at 1:44 PM

Stupid, on an unlimited budget.

Pork-Chop on February 18, 2014 at 1:47 PM

LIVE NOW:

3m
Live video shows protest camp in Kiev, Ukraine, in flames – Espreso TV via @NBCNews
see original on youtube.com

Espreso TV – LIVE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_LFrMcoEm4

canopfor on February 18, 2014 at 1:52 PM

This month, NextGen asked supporters to pick one congressional candidate, from five running this year, for the group to target in its next ads. Four of the five candidates were Republicans, including Senator Marco Rubio of Florida. But the fifth was a vulnerable Democratic incumbent, Senator Mary L. Landrieu of Louisiana, who has close ties to the oil and gas industries and has been an outspoken supporter of the Keystone pipeline.

Um, since when is Rubio running “this year”?

The stupid is especially strong with NextGen. Let’s hope they pick Rubio as their target and waste their money on someone not running “this year”

Bitter Clinger on February 18, 2014 at 1:53 PM

Odd, how billionaires are okay once they support “the cause.” Very odd.

307wolverine on February 18, 2014 at 1:22 PM

Some pigs 1%ers are more equal than others.

Bitter Clinger on February 18, 2014 at 1:55 PM

And yet a bunch of retired (meaning unbiased) NASA engineers and scientists have a different view of globull warming.

http://www.therightclimatestuff.com/SummaryPrelimReport.html

dentarthurdent on February 18, 2014 at 1:59 PM

looks like Jim Messina’s more sinister older brother…

ToddPA on February 18, 2014 at 1:59 PM

Tweets

The Hill ‏@thehill 6m

Obama orders new green rules http://trib.al/iKF1sVJ by @JTSTheHill pic.twitter.com/FxF1COdm9H

canopfor on February 18, 2014 at 2:11 PM

As a Nebraskan, I am sick and tired of these out of state a@@holes and in state a@@holes that are pouring money into stopping this project!

Gothguy on February 18, 2014 at 2:12 PM

As a Nebraskan, I am sick and tired of these out of state a@@holes and in state a@@holes that are pouring money into stopping this project!

Gothguy on February 18, 2014 at 2:12 PM

Ditto, brother…

OmahaConservative on February 18, 2014 at 2:14 PM

If Tom Steyer the hedge-fund tycoon wants a shovel-ready experience of global warming, let him take a nice long walk from Wall Street to the Empire State Building, facing a balmy north wind from the melted Arctic Ocean. No subways allowed–they use electricity that required fossil fuels to produce. No buses or taxis–they burn fossil fuels. OK, he can take a bicycle, if he can pedal it across the ice and snow.

How ’bout it, Tom? A first-hand experience of global warming!!!

Steve Z on February 18, 2014 at 2:16 PM

…phuck HIM!

KOOLAID2 on February 18, 2014 at 2:21 PM

Steyer is a perfect example of the corruption of money in politics. This guy has a personal agenda that if implemented would cause economic harm to a majority of Americans by causing higher energy prices but he doesn’t care.

Matt Damon tried to represent the evil 1% in his film Elysium as Koch types but in reality, Elysium would be the home of Steyer types; smug, arrogant, elitist wealthy people who have theirs and stop at nothing to prevent other people from becoming wealthy.

He perfectly represents the duplicity of the Limousine Liberal who claims to represent the little guy but constantly prevents the little guy from attaining independence from the state via job crushing regulations, high taxes, green energy schemes, the blocking of domestic fossil fuel development etc.

He doesn’t care about prices, he’s above price.

Charlemagne on February 18, 2014 at 2:26 PM

If Steyer were smart, he’d look at the results Bloomberg got. But it’s his money to piss away.

Somehow I don’t think the proles are going to listen to a mega-bucks greenie, telling them that they have to do with less.

GarandFan on February 18, 2014 at 2:27 PM

FYI – Some info on Tom Steyer’s recent political activities from the April 3, 2013 San Francisco Chronicle:

On Wednesday, Steyer will have a priceless opportunity to raise the pipeline issue with President Obama, who will be a guest in his San Francisco home for a Democratic Party campaign fundraiser.

Steyer and his wife, Kat Taylor, will host the president at a $5,000-a-head fundraiser for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee – one of two political fundraisers that Obama will headline Wednesday on his first trip to the Bay Area since the 2012 election.

That’s one reason, the hedge fund manager said, that he is hosting Obama for the Wednesday fundraiser in his home.

We want to support Nancy (Pelosi) as much as we can,” he said of the House minority leader from San Francisco, who wants the Democrats to win 17 more seats in 2014 and take back the House of Representatives.

Steyer, who increasingly is mentioned as a possible future candidate for governor in California, has become a leading opponent to Keystone XL.

http://www.sfgate.com/politics/article/Tom-Steyer-S-F-activist-to-host-Obama-4404908.php

wren on February 18, 2014 at 2:27 PM

I could have sworn I’ve heard liberals say they hate billionnaires who try to buy elections….

dentarthurdent on February 18, 2014 at 2:34 PM

Remember when the leftists said the wealthy had too much political influence? Well, now the wealthy are on the side of the leftists. And still the leftists rail against the 1%.

oldennis on February 18, 2014 at 2:34 PM

Don’t you guys have an editor? What a tortured sentence.

If we had to assign a name to the most tangible reason why Keystone XL is still only a proposed pipeline extension and not yet a physical one, then reason, they name is hedge fund billionaire Tom Steyer and his well-monied, self-fancied “green,” and heavily Democrat-donating ilk.

ignatzk on February 18, 2014 at 2:35 PM

Apparently Steyer wasn’t born into money. He’s got a history with heavy emphasis on investment, especially land investment. Can’t help but wonder what angle he’s playing. This obviously isn’t a move of philanthropy. He’s looking to profit from it somehow.

lineholder on February 18, 2014 at 1:32 PM

Are you pretending to be naïve, or just stupid?

This guy is nothing more than a butt-kissing liberal jack-hole. If you can’t help but wonder what angle he’s playing, I’m going for stupid.

You wrote a lot of PC BS, just to get to “Duh”.

ZeusGoose on February 18, 2014 at 2:40 PM

The real reason he’s invested in green energy is because of what else he’s invested in, or possibly invested in.

Steyer has in the past been invested in an alternative to Keystone – Kinder Morgan. He claimed late last year to be divesting, but it raises the question as the Financial Post asked – what is he invested in now? If it is green energy, that’s something that benefits from higher oil prices and his motivation is less than pure.

A little disclosure might shed some light on why a former oil investor has mysteriously changed his tune.

Dean_L_Can on February 18, 2014 at 2:40 PM

In early February, Mr. Steyer gathered two dozen of the country’s leading liberal donors and environmental philanthropists to his 1,800-acre ranch in Pescadero, Calif. — which raises prime grass-fed beef —

That’s deforested pasture grazing, water-consuming, methane-emitting-climate-changing-global-warming beef…

de rigueur on February 18, 2014 at 2:54 PM

Koch bad
Steyer good
-lsm

cmsinaz on February 18, 2014 at 1:32 PM

Of course the Kochs are bad…..they only act for their own greedy self interest to keep and accumulate even more billions!!!!

Steyer, on the other hand, uses his billions wisely and generously to help protect Mother Gaia and all repressed, abused and exploited peoples of the world.

Right?

hawkeye54 on February 18, 2014 at 3:16 PM

People involved in the discussions say Mr. Steyer is seeking to raise $50 million from other donors to match $50 million of his own.

Why does he need “to match” anyone else’s money? 100 million is nothing to this douchebag. He’s a friggin billionaire.

Sounds like he’s kinda pathetically lonely and knows that he’s a lowlife POS. He needs others to be lowlife PiecesOS with him. Typical self-hating douchebag leftist. He should do the Earth a favor and reduce the population starting with himself. He knows he wants to. Maybe if someone else will go into oblivion with him, he can match the act?

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on February 18, 2014 at 3:36 PM

Capitalism is evil unless it’s them. They only make money to benefit all of mankind.

I’m sure there’s a financial benefit for this guy. At least that would be logical. The other possible reason for his thinking processes is that he spent too much time sitting in the park imbibing illegal substances when he was young.

crankyoldlady on February 18, 2014 at 3:40 PM

How many houses does he own? How many square feet are they in total? How many bathrooms, swimming pools, and hot tubs? How many cars does he own and what mileage does each one of them get? How many other gasoline-powered vehicles – riding lawn mowers, snow blowers, leaf blowers, boats/yachts, motorcycles, snowmobiles, etc. How many miles does he fly on average each year?

ProfessorMiao on February 18, 2014 at 3:44 PM

FYI – More info on Tom Steyer’s political plans from today’s San Francisco Chronicle:

Sources close to Steyer’s Next Generation say they are in the process of choosing what races to play in. Right now, they’re going to play in the Florida governor’s race where incumbent GOP Gov. Rick Scott does not believe in the science of climate change and in the race to replace retiring Iowa Democrat Tom Harkin. The hope, sources say, is that a convincing win by Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley could reshape the 2016 presidential campaign in the early primary/swing state.

But for now, the Next Generationers are still deciding their list of what could be more than 10 targeted races. Their criteria:

1. Federal races where an outspoken climate change supporter is on the ballot — or a climate change denier is ripe for a take-down. Steyer dropped $8 million in support of Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe last year in Virginia.

2. States that could influence the 2016 presidential race…like the Iowa 2014 Senate race.

3. Governor’s races where a climate denier is on the ballot, like Scott in Florida or Ken Cuccinelli in Virginia last fall.

So far in the 2014 cycle, Steyer is the No. 3 individual donor to super PACs, behind No.1, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.

http://blog.sfgate.com/techchron/2014/02/18/sf-billionaire-ready-to-spend-100-million-on-2014-races/

wren on February 18, 2014 at 4:38 PM

Isn’t this the sort of astroturf that the Left typically despises?

stevezilla on February 18, 2014 at 4:47 PM

Billionaire Tom Steyer turning his anti-Keystone offensive into an all-out climate crusade for 2014

Interesting.

So on one hand we have many Conservatives always rushing to the defense of the wealthy (like they need any help) just because they’re wealthy and to say mean things about them makes you a Commie. They fail to realize that not all of the wealthy are actually individuals who prospered through hard/smart work and successful competition.

Then the Liberals want to attack the “one percenters” (like they really feel threatened by that) for being rich and not “sharing” their vast wealth. Because they spread the propaganda that all of the wealthy are greedy, Republican, racist TEA Party types.

And if said uber wealthy guy or gal is a Lib, it’s only in the sense that they feel superior to the rest of Humanity (well, they are richer than most of Humanity after all, so I can kind of see the logic there) and know that Socialism is how to control others and increase their power and egos.

In short, both sides are being played for suckers while we argue with each other.

Dr. ZhivBlago on February 18, 2014 at 4:53 PM

You can be a billionaire yet have a negative balance in wisdom, and Steyer is an example.

Anti-Statist on February 18, 2014 at 4:56 PM

You can be a billionaire yet have a negative balance in wisdom, and Steyer is an example.

Anti-Statist on February 18, 2014 at 4:56 PM

Maybe – but I’m not so sure about that.
I’d guess he’s protecting his own investments.
He doesn’t care what might be best for the rest of the country – he’s looking at his own short-term gains.

dentarthurdent on February 18, 2014 at 5:03 PM

You can be a billionaire yet have a negative balance in wisdom, and Steyer is an example.

Anti-Statist on February 18, 2014 at 4:56 PM

I’ve thought for a while that some of these leftist billionaires are probably savants. They may have a particular talent for making money. It doesn’t mean that they’re any smarter than the average person. Indeed, they may actually be dumber than the average person when it comes to anything other than making money.

trigon on February 18, 2014 at 5:52 PM

You can be a billionaire yet have a negative balance in wisdom, and Steyer is an example.

Anti-Statist on February 18, 2014 at 4:56 PM

I’ve thought for a while that some of these leftist billionaires are probably savants. They may have a particular talent for making money. It doesn’t mean that they’re any smarter than the average person. Indeed, they may actually be dumber than the average person when it comes to anything other than making money.

trigon on February 18, 2014 at 5:52 PM

Absolutely; Ted Turner is my favorite example.

slickwillie2001 on February 18, 2014 at 5:57 PM

Somebody needs to find an endangered species on his ranch and bring suit so that he can’t grow beef any more.

flataffect on February 18, 2014 at 6:29 PM

I’ve thought for a while that some of these leftist billionaires are probably savants. They may have a particular talent for making money. It doesn’t mean that they’re any smarter than the average person. Indeed, they may actually be dumber than the average person when it comes to anything other than making money.

trigon on February 18, 2014 at 5:52 PM

.
Absolutely; Ted Turner is my favorite example.

slickwillie2001 on February 18, 2014 at 5:57 PM

.
I don’t know enough about Tom Steyer, to “rank” him. But I do know enough about Maurice Strong, to rank him.
If Steyer is on the “inside” with Strong, then he’s NOT stupid or crazy; just very calculating . . . against us.

On the other hand, maybe he is just a “useful idiot” billionaire.

listens2glenn on February 18, 2014 at 7:28 PM