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Difference between revisions of "Thomas Steyer"

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In 2010, Steyer contributed over $5 million to the campaign for a "no" vote on [[California Proposition 23, the Suspension of AB 32 (2010)|California Proposition 23]] and $1 million to the campaign to defeat [[California Proposition 26, Supermajority Vote to Pass New Taxes and Fees (2010)|Proposition 26]]. According to [[MapLight]], Steyer together with his wife, Kathryn Taylor, were the [[Donations to California's 2010 ballot propositions#Top 20 donors|3rd largest donors]] to the [[California 2010 ballot propositions|ballot proposition campaigns for the November 2, 2010 ballot]].<ref>[http://maplight.org/content/72445 ''MapLight'', "$147 Million Spent on California's Nov. Ballot Measures", November 5, 2010]</ref><ref>[http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2014/03/03/allies-of-obama-steyer-endorse-keystone-pipeline/ ''Washington Post'', "Buffett and Shultz, allies of Obama and Steyer, endorse Keystone pipeline," March 3, 2014]</ref><ref>[http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/21/AR2010102102967.html ''Washington Post'', "Calif.'s Prop 23 battle pits Big Oil against environmental concerns," October 21, 2010]</ref>
 
In 2010, Steyer contributed over $5 million to the campaign for a "no" vote on [[California Proposition 23, the Suspension of AB 32 (2010)|California Proposition 23]] and $1 million to the campaign to defeat [[California Proposition 26, Supermajority Vote to Pass New Taxes and Fees (2010)|Proposition 26]]. According to [[MapLight]], Steyer together with his wife, Kathryn Taylor, were the [[Donations to California's 2010 ballot propositions#Top 20 donors|3rd largest donors]] to the [[California 2010 ballot propositions|ballot proposition campaigns for the November 2, 2010 ballot]].<ref>[http://maplight.org/content/72445 ''MapLight'', "$147 Million Spent on California's Nov. Ballot Measures", November 5, 2010]</ref><ref>[http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2014/03/03/allies-of-obama-steyer-endorse-keystone-pipeline/ ''Washington Post'', "Buffett and Shultz, allies of Obama and Steyer, endorse Keystone pipeline," March 3, 2014]</ref><ref>[http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/21/AR2010102102967.html ''Washington Post'', "Calif.'s Prop 23 battle pits Big Oil against environmental concerns," October 21, 2010]</ref>
  
==Family background==
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==Personal==
 
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===Family background===
 
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.<ref name=forbes/> Steyer served as Board Chair of the Advanced Energy Economy Institute.<ref>[http://www.fortmilltimes.com/2014/02/27/3318097/clean-energy-trust-presents-tom.html ''Fort Mill Times'' "Clean Energy Trust Presents Tom Steyer, David Crane at 2014 Clean Energy Challenge," February 27, 2014]</ref>
 
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.<ref name=forbes/> Steyer served as Board Chair of the Advanced Energy Economy Institute.<ref>[http://www.fortmilltimes.com/2014/02/27/3318097/clean-energy-trust-presents-tom.html ''Fort Mill Times'' "Clean Energy Trust Presents Tom Steyer, David Crane at 2014 Clean Energy Challenge," February 27, 2014]</ref>
 +
===Boards and service===
 +
Steyer sits on the Board of Directors of the Center for American Progress, a left-wing public policy research and advocacy organization.<ref>[http://www.americanprogress.org/about/c3-board/ ''Center for American Progress'' "CAP Board of Directors," accessed March 22, 2014]</ref><ref>[http://articles.latimes.com/2010/dec/09/opinion/la-oe-mcmanus-column-obama-stimulus-20101209 ''Los Angeles Times'' "Obama gets tough -- with liberals," December 9, 2010]</ref><ref>[http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/23/AR2010022304889.html ''Washington Post'' "Former White House adviser Van Jones lands new D.C. gig at liberal think tank," February 24, 2010]</ref>
  
 
==See also==
 
==See also==

Revision as of 19:46, 22 March 2014

Thomas Steyer
SteyerHeadshot.jpeg
2012 Activity
OpposingProposition 32
Total Donated$500,000
SupportingProposition 39
Total Donated$29,580,000
Personal
ProfessionManagement firm founder
Net Worth$1.2 billion
High SchoolPhillips Exeter Academy
Bachelor'sYale University
Master'sMBA, Stanford
Thomas Steyer is the founder and co-senior managing partner of Farallon Capital Management. CNN has described him as "California's hedge fund king."[1] According to Forbes, in 2008, Steyer's net worth was $1.2 billion.[2] In 2011, the magazine ranked his fortune at $1.3 billion.[3]

Steyer and his wife Kathryn Taylor have four children. They have pledged to donate half their fortune to charity.[4] They own homes in San Francisco and Lake Tahoe, as well as a 2,000-acre ranch in the coastal town of Pescadero.[3]

Former United States Vice President Al Gore called Steyer "Mr. Tipping Point" regarding the climate change political conversation.[5] 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.[6]

Political issues

Keystone pipeline

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."[7] Steyer said the Keystone pipeline makes "no sense" for the United States government and the world.[8] Steyer argued that the Keystone pipeline would not create jobs, as proponents have argued.[9]

This pipeline does not go to America, but through America. It doesn’t meet the President’s test for approval. I honestly don’t understand how they can approve it.[10]

—Thomas Steyer, http://www.siliconbeat.com/2014/03/13/tom-steyer-keystone-xl-doesnt-meet-the-presidents-test-for-approval/

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."[11][12]

Fracking

Steyer opposes fracking. He supports a public vote on whether fracking should be allowed in California. "In California, it takes a two-thirds vote by the Legislature to impose taxes, and in local communities it requires a two-thirds vote to impose taxes," Steyer told delegates at the California Democratic Party's annual convention. "The business community has argued for years that this two-thirds vote is important to make sure they are not taken advantage of. Well, that exact same logic should apply when it comes to fracking," he said.[13]

Political giving

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."[14] 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."[15] According to Chris Lehane, a strategist for Steyer, the highly complex California ballot initiatives helped serve as an experiment for an expansion into national politics in 2014. "He didn't necessarily go into California ballot initiatives as if they'd be a beta test for what he's doing nationally, but in effect they served as a beta test," Lehane said.[16]

Republican response

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."[17]

Candidates

2016

In February 2014, Steyer announced that his efforts would also look toward the 2016 elections. His strategy outlined a focus on states where a candidate who supports acting on climate change faces an opponent who is a “denier.”[18]

2014

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.[19]

Politico reported that the $100 million figure was not a ceiling on Steyer's possible spending in 2014. Steyer's organization is called "NextGen Climate Action."[20][21]

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.[18]

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.[22]

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.[23]

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.[24]

2013

Steyer spent close to $8 million supporting Terry McAuliffe (D) in his successful campaign for Governor of Virginia against Ken Cuccinelli.[25][26]

2004

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.[3]

Ballot measures

2014

2012

  • As of October 2013, Steyer contributed $500,000 to the campaign against Proposition 32.[14]
  • 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."[27]

2010

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.[28][29][30]

Personal

Family background

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.[3] Steyer served as Board Chair of the Advanced Energy Economy Institute.[31]

Boards and service

Steyer sits on the Board of Directors of the Center for American Progress, a left-wing public policy research and advocacy organization.[32][33][34]

See also

External links

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References

  1. CNN, "California's hedge fund king", September 17, 2008
  2. Forbes, "The World's Billionaires: #962 Thomas Steyer", March 5, 2008
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Forbes, "Tom Steyer: Hedge Fund Billionaire's Foray Into Politics", September 21, 2011
  4. MSNBC, "40 billionaires pledge to give away half of wealth", August 5, 2010
  5. Politico "Al Gore calls Tom Steyer ‘Mr. Tipping Point’," February 20, 2014
  6. Politico "The Steyer brothers: 'We're fearless'," February 24, 2014
  7. KSPR "Steyer: Keystone is pipeline to dirty future," February 20, 2014
  8. NPR "Steyer: Keystone XL Pipeline Would Get Canada Better Oil Price," February 24, 2014
  9. Silicon Beat "Tom Steyer: Keystone XL doesn’t meet the President’s test for approval," March 13, 2014
  10. Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  11. Men's Journal "Tom Steyer: An Inconvenient Billionaire," March 2014
  12. Business Insider "HEDGE FUND BILLIONAIRE: Anyone Who Doesn't Think Goldman Got Preferential Treatment During The Crisis Is An Idiot," February 20, 2014
  13. Sacramento Bee "March 8, 2014," Tom Steyer calls for public votes on California fracking
  14. 14.0 14.1 Wall Street Journal, "New Players Amp Up Political Giving", October 3, 2012
  15. New York Times "Big-Money Donors Demand Larger Say in Campaign Strategy," March 1, 2014
  16. National Journal "Meet the Newest Member of the Super PAC Billionaires Club," March 10, 2014
  17. Los Angeles Times "McConnell says liberal California billionaire just like the Kochs," March 4, 2014
  18. 18.0 18.1 Politico "Climate billionaire aims to set stage for 2016" February 18, 2014
  19. New York Times "Financier Plans Big Ad Campaign on Climate Change," Accessed February 17, 2014
  20. NBC News "Wealthy climate-change activist to spend millions on midterms," February 19, 2014
  21. Politico "Tom Steyer planning $100 million campaign push," February 18, 2014
  22. National Journal "Could Tom Steyer's Anti-Keystone Campaign Help Mary Landrieu? She Thinks So.," February 17, 2014
  23. NPR "Billionaire Steyer Puts Money Toward Climate, Energy Issues," February 24, 2014
  24. Washington Post, "Rich donors press Democrats on climate change," March 2, 2014
  25. Huffington Post "Billionaire Climate Change Activist Tom Steyer Plans $100 Million Ad Push In 2014 Elections," February 19, 2014
  26. Fiscal Times "Clash of the Billionaire Titans," February 18, 2014
  27. 27.0 27.1 Los Angeles Times, "Insurance rate-hike initiative gains high-profile backers", May 1, 2012
  28. MapLight, "$147 Million Spent on California's Nov. Ballot Measures", November 5, 2010
  29. Washington Post, "Buffett and Shultz, allies of Obama and Steyer, endorse Keystone pipeline," March 3, 2014
  30. Washington Post, "Calif.'s Prop 23 battle pits Big Oil against environmental concerns," October 21, 2010
  31. Fort Mill Times "Clean Energy Trust Presents Tom Steyer, David Crane at 2014 Clean Energy Challenge," February 27, 2014
  32. Center for American Progress "CAP Board of Directors," accessed March 22, 2014
  33. Los Angeles Times "Obama gets tough -- with liberals," December 9, 2010
  34. Washington Post "Former White House adviser Van Jones lands new D.C. gig at liberal think tank," February 24, 2010