|Profession||Management firm founder|
|Net Worth||$1.2 billion|
|High School||Phillips Exeter Academy|
- 1 Political issues
- 2 Political giving
- 3 Family background
- 4 See also
- 5 External links
- 6 Recent news
- 7 References
Steyer and his wife Kathryn Taylor have four children. They have pledged to donate half their fortune to charity. They own homes in San Francisco and Lake Tahoe, as well as a 2,000-acre ranch in the coastal town of Pescadero.
Former United States Vice President Al Gore called Steyer "Mr. Tipping Point" regarding the climate change political conversation. Steyer's brother, Jim Steyer, announced in February 2014 that he would also be entering the political arena. "You don’t bring a squirt gun to a fight where the other guys have AK-47s. I will tell you this: We’re fearless," Jim Steyer told Politico in February 2014.
Steyer opposes the Keystone Pipeline. In a February 2014 op-ed he wrote: "If approved, Keystone XL will unlock the Alberta tar sands, spur investment in and production of dirty fossil fuels at an irreversible rate and undermine the President's global efforts to reduce carbon emissions." Steyer said the Keystone pipeline makes "no sense" for the United States government and the world.
2008 Financial crisis
Although he previously worked for Goldman Sachs, Steyer criticized the company for receiving preferential treatment from the government during the 2008 financial crisis. In a February 2014 article in Men's Journal, Steyer said his former company "got deferential access and deferential outcomes, and that anybody who doesn't get that is a [expletive] idiot."
In early October 2012, Steyer and other mega-donors were profiled in the Wall Street Journal. Steyer told that newspaper's reporter that until the reporter informed him of this fact, he had had "no idea" that he was #1 on the list of Bay Area political contributors. He also said, "The only times I've gone to a ballot measure was when I felt the system wasn't functioning." A New York Times report in March 2014 mentioned Steyer in the context of big-money donors who are shifting the flow of power in political giving. According to the article, Super PACs are being "overshadowed by donors like Tom Steyer."
In March 2014, U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell (R) questioned why Harry Reid and other Democratic officials were not criticizing Steyer and his campaign spending, despite the attention they give to the Koch brothers. "I noted with interest the majority leader was hammering the Koch brothers again today, and I wondered why he left out billionaire Tom Steyer, who plans to spend as much as $100 million pushing the issue of climate change in the 2014 election and appears positioned to rival the deep-pocketed Koch brothers. It strikes me as curious that if we are going to demonize people for exercising their constitutional rights to go out and speak and participate in the political process, we would just pick out the people that are opposed to us and leave out the people who are in favor of us."
In February 2014, Steyer announced that his efforts would also look toward 2016 elections. His strategy detailed focusing on states where a candidate who supports acting on climate change faces an opponent who’s a “denier.”
A February 2014 article in the New York Times profiled Steyer and his plans for the 2014 election season. According to the report, Steyer plans to spend as much as $100 million to pressure federal and state officials to enact climate change laws. The campaign would include attack ads against governors and lawmakers. In February 2014, Steyer hosted a retreat asking donors to raise $50 million which he said he would then match. Among the targets mentioned in the article were Governor of Florida Rick Scott (R) and the U.S. Senate election in Iowa.
According to Betsy Taylor, a leader wealthy climate donors, Steyer’s operation “is going to be very aggressive” and will set itself apart from the efforts of mainstream environmental groups. "They’re fearless. They don’t worry about access to Democratic Party leadership," she said. During the February climate treat, Steyer reportedly mentioned three races that would be targeted in 2014 -- Florida Governor, U.S. Senator from Iowa and U.S. Senator from New Hampshire.
In February 2014, Mary Landrieu, U.S. Senator from Louisiana, said she would find it valuable for Steyer to run ads in her re-election campaign. "It would probably help me in my state if he would run his ads," she said.
Although Steyer said his mission is not to help the Democratic Party, he told NPR in February 2014 that his efforts would likely focus on Democratic candidates. "I am a Democrat. I spoke at the Democratic Convention in 2012. We believe that the Democrats are leading the way on this issue. So it is true that, by and large, we're supporting Democrats. And it is true that when there's a big disparity it tends to be the Democrat who is, in fact, thinking about advanced energy and the need for us to have new and progressive policies. But it isn't true that therefore we are going to go wherever there's a race and support the Democrat. We're going to choose specific races that need our mission," Steyer said.
In March 2014, a consultant for Steyer said that NextGen would not spend money on behalf of Democratic candidates who oppose climate regulation. However, they would not spend money against them.
In 2004, Steyer was among the country's top five donors to the presidential campaign of Democratic candidate John Kerry. He was a delegate to the 2004 Democratic Party presidential nominating convention. In 2008, he preferred Hillary Clinton to Barack Obama, but once Obama secured the Democratic Party's nomination, Steyer donated and fundraised for the Obama campaign.
- Steyer has so far given $200,000 to support the Insurance Companies Required to Justify Their Rates to the Public Initiative/
- Steyer was the main financial backer behind Proposition 39. He viewed Proposition 39 as closing a loophole. Proposition 39 requires multistate businesses to calculate their California income tax liability based on the percentage of their sales in California. He said, "We have a loophole. It is worth over $1 billion a year. We should close the loophole, and that is what we are doing."
In 2010, Steyer contributed over $5 million to the campaign for a "no" vote on California Proposition 23 and $1 million to the campaign to defeat Proposition 26. According to MapLight, Steyer together with his wife, Kathryn Taylor, were the 3rd largest donors to the ballot proposition campaigns for the November 2, 2010 ballot.
Steyer grew up on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. He attended the Buckley School, Phillips Exeter Academy and Yale, eventually going on to earn an MBA from Stanford. Steyer served as Board Chair of the Advanced Energy Economy Institute.
- Donations to California's 2012 ballot propositions
- Donations to California's 2010 ballot propositions
- Wall Street Journal "GOP Trouble in Pennsylvania," February 27, 2014
- Washington Post "Tom Steyer’s long road to becoming the environment’s donor-in-chief," February 27, 2014
- Open Secrets "Steyer's $100 Million Would Put Enviros on the Map," February 26, 2014
- Wall Street Journal "Environmentalist Democratic Donor Plays Hardball Over Keystone" February 14, 2014
- Profile at Men's Journal in March 2014
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Tom + Steyer + California"
- All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.
- CNN, "California's hedge fund king", September 17, 2008
- Forbes, "The World's Billionaires: #962 Thomas Steyer", March 5, 2008
- Forbes, "Tom Steyer: Hedge Fund Billionaire's Foray Into Politics", September 21, 2011
- MSNBC, "40 billionaires pledge to give away half of wealth", August 5, 2010
- Politico "Al Gore calls Tom Steyer ‘Mr. Tipping Point’," February 20, 2014
- Politico "The Steyer brothers: 'We're fearless'," February 24, 2014
- KSPR "Steyer: Keystone is pipeline to dirty future," February 20, 2014
- NPR "Steyer: Keystone XL Pipeline Would Get Canada Better Oil Price," February 24, 2014
- Men's Journal "Tom Steyer: An Inconvenient Billionaire," March 2014
- Business Insider "HEDGE FUND BILLIONAIRE: Anyone Who Doesn't Think Goldman Got Preferential Treatment During The Crisis Is An Idiot," February 20, 2014
- Wall Street Journal, "New Players Amp Up Political Giving", October 3, 2012
- New York Times "Big-Money Donors Demand Larger Say in Campaign Strategy," March 1, 2014
- Los Angeles Times "McConnell says liberal California billionaire just like the Kochs," March 4, 2014
- Politico "Climate billionaire aims to set stage for 2016" February 18, 2014
- New York Times "Financier Plans Big Ad Campaign on Climate Change," Accessed February 17, 2014
- NBC News "Wealthy climate-change activist to spend millions on midterms," February 19, 2014
- Politico "Tom Steyer planning $100 million campaign push," February 18, 2014
- National Journal "Could Tom Steyer's Anti-Keystone Campaign Help Mary Landrieu? She Thinks So.," February 17, 2014
- NPR "Billionaire Steyer Puts Money Toward Climate, Energy Issues," February 24, 2014
- Washington Post "Rich donors press Democrats on climate change," March 2, 2014
- Huffington Post "Billionaire Climate Change Activist Tom Steyer Plans $100 Million Ad Push In 2014 Elections," February 19, 2014
- Fiscal Times "Clash of the Billionaire Titans," February 18, 2014
- Los Angeles Times, "Insurance rate-hike initiative gains high-profile backers", May 1, 2012
- MapLight, "$147 Million Spent on California's Nov. Ballot Measures", November 5, 2010
- Washington Post "Buffett and Shultz, allies of Obama and Steyer, endorse Keystone pipeline," March 3, 2014
- Washington Post "Calif.'s Prop 23 battle pits Big Oil against environmental concerns," October 21, 2010
- Fort Mill Times "Clean Energy Trust Presents Tom Steyer, David Crane at 2014 Clean Energy Challenge," February 27, 2014