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Difference between revisions of "Thomas Steyer"

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| Name= Thomas Steyer
 
| Name= Thomas Steyer
 
| Profile picture = SteyerHeadshot.jpeg
 
| Profile picture = SteyerHeadshot.jpeg
| Org1 2012 = [[California Proposition 32, the "Paycheck Protection" Initiative (2012)|Proposition 32]]
+
| Org1 2014 = [[California Proposition 45, Public Notice Required for Insurance Company Rates Initiative (2014)|Proposition 45]]
| Org1 2012 side = Opposing
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| Org1 2014 side = Supporting
| Donations1 2012 = $500,000
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| Donations1 2014 =  
| Org2 2012 = [[California Proposition 39, Income Tax Increase for Multistate Businesses (2012)|Proposition 39]]
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| Net worth = $1.55 billion
| Org2 2012 side = Supporting
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| Donations2 2012 = $29,580,000
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| Net worth = $1.2 billion
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| Profession = Management firm founder
 
| Profession = Management firm founder
 
| Personal website =  
 
| Personal website =  
 
| High school = Phillips Exeter Academy
 
| High school = Phillips Exeter Academy
 
| Bachelor's = Yale University
 
| Bachelor's = Yale University
| Master's = MBA, Stanford
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| Master's = M.B.A., Stanford
 
| Other =  
 
| Other =  
}}{{tnr}}'''Thomas Steyer''' is the founder and co-senior managing partner of Farallon Capital Management. ''CNN'' has described him as "California's hedge fund king."<ref>[http://money.cnn.com/2008/09/17/news/newsmakers/lashinsky_steyer.fortune/index.htm ''CNN'', "California's hedge fund king", September 17, 2008]</ref>  According to ''Forbes'', in 2008, Steyer's net worth was $1.2 billion.<ref>[http://www.forbes.com/lists/2008/10/billionaires08_Thomas-Steyer_RUIR.html ''Forbes'', "The World's Billionaires: #962 Thomas Steyer", March 5, 2008]</ref> In 2011, the magazine ranked his fortune at $1.3 billion.<ref name=forbes>[http://www.forbes.com/sites/kerryadolan/2011/09/21/an-accidental-billionaires-political-emergence/ ''Forbes'', "Tom Steyer: Hedge Fund Billionaire's Foray Into Politics", September 21, 2011]</ref>
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}}{{tnr}}'''Thomas Steyer''' is the founder and co-senior managing partner of Farallon Capital Management and a major donor to Democratic Party causes. ''CNN'' described him as "California's hedge fund king."<ref>[http://money.cnn.com/2008/09/17/news/newsmakers/lashinsky_steyer.fortune/index.htm ''CNN'', "California's hedge fund king," September 17, 2008]</ref>  According to ''Forbes'', in 2008, Steyer's net worth was $1.2 billion.<ref>[http://www.forbes.com/lists/2008/10/billionaires08_Thomas-Steyer_RUIR.html ''Forbes'', "The World's Billionaires: #962 Thomas Steyer," March 5, 2008]</ref> In 2011, the magazine ranked his fortune at $1.3 billion.<ref name=forbes>[http://www.forbes.com/sites/kerryadolan/2011/09/21/an-accidental-billionaires-political-emergence/ ''Forbes'', "Tom Steyer: Hedge Fund Billionaire's Foray Into Politics," September 21, 2011]</ref> An estimate in March 2014 put Steyer's net worth at $1.55 billion.<ref>[http://www.oaoa.com/editorial/columns/guest_columns/article_4c7cf822-aa4b-11e3-ba42-001a4bcf6878.html ''OA Online'', " ENERGY MATTERS: Rich environmentalists’ influence," March 13, 2014]</ref>
  
Steyer and his wife Kathryn Taylor have four children. They have pledged to donate half their fortune to charity.<ref>[http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38556042/ns/us_news-giving/ ''MSNBC'', "40 billionaires pledge to give away half of wealth", August 5, 2010]</ref> They own homes in San Francisco and Lake Tahoe, as well as a 2,000-acre ranch in the coastal town of [[wikipedia:Pescadero|Pescadero]].<ref name=forbes/>
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Steyer and his wife Kathryn Taylor have four children. They have pledged to donate half their fortune to charity.<ref>[http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38556042/ns/us_news-giving/ ''MSNBC'', "40 billionaires pledge to give away half of wealth," August 5, 2010]</ref> They own homes in San Francisco and Lake Tahoe, as well as a 2,000-acre ranch in the coastal town of [[wikipedia:Pescadero|Pescadero]].<ref name=forbes/>
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Former United States Vice President Al Gore called Steyer "Mr. Tipping Point" regarding the climate change political conversation.<ref>[http://www.politico.com/story/2014/02/al-gore-tom-steyer-mr-tipping-point-103719.html?hp=l2 ''Politico'', "Al Gore calls Tom Steyer ‘Mr. Tipping Point’," February 20, 2014]</ref> Steyer's brother, Jim Steyer, announced his entrance into the political arena in February 2014. "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.<ref>[http://www.politico.com/story/2014/02/billionaire-jim-steyer-tom-steyer-education-103890.html?hp=f1 ''Politico'', "The Steyer brothers: 'We're fearless'," February 24, 2014]</ref>
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According to the Center for Public Integrity, Steyer gave more than $11.1 million to his two [[Super PAC|super PACs]] in [[Thomas Steyer#2013|2013]] -- the most of any individual, union or company during 2013.<ref>[http://www.publicintegrity.org/2014/02/05/14210/billionaires-use-super-pacs-advance-pet-causes ''Center for Public Integrity'', "Billionaires use super PACs to advance pet causes," February 5, 2014]</ref> In 2014, Steyer raised $78 million, more than any other super PAC, for [[NextGen Climate Action]].<ref>[http://www.publicintegrity.org/2014/12/29/16562/numbers-2014-money-politics-index ''Center for Public Integrity'', "By the numbers: a 2014 money-in-politics index," December 29, 2014]</ref>
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==Political issues==
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===Keystone pipeline===
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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."<ref>[http://www.kspr.com/news/nationworld/Steyer-Keystone-is-pipeline-to-dirty-future/21051646_24588572 ''KSPR'' "Steyer: Keystone is pipeline to dirty future," February 20, 2014]</ref> Steyer said the Keystone pipeline makes "no sense" for the United States government and the world.<ref>[http://www.npr.org/2014/02/24/281916784/tom-steyer-on-keystone-xl-pipeline ''NPR'' "Steyer: Keystone XL Pipeline Would Get Canada Better Oil Price," February 24, 2014]</ref>
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Steyer argued that the Keystone pipeline would not create jobs, as proponents have argued.<ref>[http://www.siliconbeat.com/2014/03/13/tom-steyer-keystone-xl-doesnt-meet-the-presidents-test-for-approval/ ''Silicon Beat'', "Tom Steyer: Keystone XL doesn’t meet the President’s test for approval," March 13, 2014]</ref>
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{{quote|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.|author = Thomas Steyer|source=http://www.siliconbeat.com/2014/03/13/tom-steyer-keystone-xl-doesnt-meet-the-presidents-test-for-approval/}}
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During the [[United States Senate special election in Massachusetts, 2013|Massachusetts U.S. Senate special election primary]] in 2013, Steyer's organization [[NextGen Climate Action]] ran negative ads critical of [[Democratic]] [[United States House of Representatives|U.S. Representative]] [[Stephen Lynch]], who supported the Keystone Pipeline. Lynch ultimately lost the primary to [[Ed Markey]], who went on to win the special election.<ref>[http://www.nationalreview.com/article/373664/greens-malleable-principles-jim-geraghty ''National Review'', " The Greens’ Malleable Principles," March 19, 2014]</ref>
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On April 17, 2014, Steyer issued a "Courage Pledge" via his organization [[NextGen Climate Action]], in which he maintained his opposition to Keystone XL and criticized any individual or entity that supported the project.<ref>[http://action.nextgenclimate.org/page/-/Courage.pdf ''NextGen Climate Action'', "An Open Letter from Thomas F. Steyer," April 17, 2014]</ref> In the letter, Steyer also weighed-in on non-energy policy areas like [[Minimum wage on the ballot|minimum wages]], [[Health insurance policy cancellations since Obamacare|healthcare]] and unions.<ref>[http://www.nationalreview.com/article/376138/non-koch-good-billionaire-tom-rogan ''National Review'', "The Non-Koch Good Billionaire," April 21, 2014]</ref>
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====Subpoena of executives====
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Steyer sent a letter to Senator [[Mary Landrieu]] (D-LA) and requested that she use her power as chair of the [[United States Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources|Energy and Natural Resources Committee]] to subpoena executives of TransCanada.<ref>[http://www.nola.com/opinions/index.ssf/2014/03/out-of-state_billionaires_for.html ''New Orleans Times Picayune'', "Out-of-state billionaires for me, but not for thee: James Varney," March 28, 2014]</ref> Steyer said in his letter that the prior testimony given by the executives was not good enough.<ref>[http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/201738-overnight-energy-epa-flexes-power-over-waterways ''The Hill'', "OVERNIGHT ENERGY: EPA flexes power over waterways," March 25, 2014]</ref>
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====Appearance on Bill Maher show====
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In April 2014, Steyer appeared on the HBO show ''Real Time with Bill Maher.'' During his appearance, Steyer said he would be happy to debate Charles and David Koch about energy policy.<ref>[http://dailycaller.com/2014/04/25/democrats-billionaire-sugar-daddy-tom-steyer-challenges-koch-brothers-to-a-debate/ ''Daily Caller'', "Democrats’ Billionaire Sugar Daddy Tom Steyer Challenges Koch Brothers To A Debate," April 25, 2014]</ref><ref>[http://www.vancouverobserver.com/news/billionaire-vs-billionaire-tom-steyer-challenges-koch-bros-energy-debate ''Vancounver Observer'', "Billionaire vs. billionaire: Tom Steyer challenges Koch Bros. to energy debate ," April 26, 2014]</ref> Steyer's organization [[NextGen Climate Action]] later posted a petition on its website, challenging the Koch brothers to a debate on climate change.<ref>[https://nextgenclimate.org/petitions/kochchallenge/ ''NextGen Climate'', "Call on the Koch brothers to have a public debate on climate change," April 2014]</ref> A spokeswoman for the Koch brothers declined the invitation, calling instead for a "free and open debate on the climate issue" within the scientific community.<ref>[http://www.kansascity.com/2014/05/02/4998578/koch-brothers-decline-personal.html ''Kansas City Star'', "Koch brothers decline invitation to debate climate change," May 2, 2014]</ref>
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====Criticism over Keystone====
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Steyer had received criticism for his campaign against the Keystone pipeline. According to [[United States House of Representatives|U.S. House Representative]] [[Lee Terry]] (R-Nebraska), Steyer would profit personally if Keystone is not implemented. Farallon Capitol, the hedge fund that Steyer founded and [[Thomas Steyer#Personal|resigned from in January 2013]], had invested billions in the TransMountain Pipeline System, which would compete with Keystone XL.<ref>[http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/mar/27/lee-terry-billionaire-poised-profit-block-keystone/ ''Washington Times'', "Rep. Lee Terry: Billionaire Tom Steyer poised to profit from blocking Keystone XL pipeline," March 27, 2014]</ref> [[United States Senate|U.S. Senator]] [[David Vitter]] (R-Louisiana) also accused Steyer of hypocrisy because of the possible financial connection between Farallon Capitol and the TransMountain pipeline. Steyer's spokesman said he had divested himself completely from Farallon.<ref>[http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/06/27/critics-accuse-keystone-foe-hypocrisy-over-oil-investment-history/ ''Fox News'', "Critics accuse Keystone foe of hypocrisy over oil investment history," June 27, 2013]</ref> Steyer has yet to criticize the TransMountain pipeline, focusing his efforts on Keystone XL.<ref>[http://dailycaller.com/2013/10/08/tom-steyer-the-shady-billionaire-with-millions-of-reasons-to-kill-keystone-xl/ ''Daily Caller'', "Tom Steyer: The shady billionaire with millions of reasons to kill Keystone XL," October 8, 2013]</ref><ref>[http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertbradley/2013/08/20/keystone-xl-amounts-to-americas-pipeline-vs-president-obamas-cronies/ ''Forbes'', "Keystone XL Amounts To America's Pipeline Vs. President Obama's Cronies," August 20, 2013]</ref> A March 2014 ad from the [[501(c)(4)]] group ''American Commitment'' compared Steyer and his brother to being the liberal version of Charles and David Koch. The ad was only released online, using a video clip of Senate Majority Leader [[Harry Reid]] (D) criticizing the Koch brothers for spending large sums of money on campaigns.<ref>[http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2014/03/31/new-gop-ad-hits-steyer-brothers-as-democrats-own-koch-brothers/ ''Washington Post'', "New GOP ad hits ‘Steyer brothers’ as Democrats’ own Koch brothers," March 31, 2014]</ref>
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====Keystone events====
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On April 18, 2014, the [[U.S. Department of State]] announced that it was extending the review period for the Keystone XL project. A new deadline for a decision was not announced. A ''Politico'' report indicated the final Keystone decision may have been delayed until after the [[United States Congress elections, 2014|midterm elections]].<ref>[http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/04/18/304573708/keystone-xl-pipeline-review-extended-by-state-department ''NPR'', "Keystone XL Pipeline Review Extended By State Department," April 18, 2014]</ref> TransCanada officials called the delay "inexplicable", while Republican congressional officials criticized the delay.<ref>[http://www.politico.com/story/2014/04/keystone-xl-pipeline-decision-delayed-105825.html ''Politico'', "Keystone decision delayed yet again," April 18, 2014]</ref> Steyer said he had nothing to do with the administration's decision.<ref>[http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2014/04/26/tom_steyer_no_i_had_nothing_to_do_with_obamas_keystone_pipeline_decision.html ''RealClearPolitics'', "Tom Steyer: No, I Had Nothing To Do With Obama's Keystone Pipeline Decision," April 26, 2014]</ref>
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====November 18, 2014 senate vote====
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On November 18, 2014 the [[United States Senate]] defeated the bill on the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline. The Senate voted against the bill with 59 in favor and 41 opposed. The bill required 60 votes in favor to pass.<ref>[http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/19/us/politics/keystone-xl-pipeline.html?_r=0 ''New York Times'', "Senate Defeats Bill on Keystone XL Pipeline," November 18, 2014]</ref>
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Steyer praised the Senate for defeating the bill. “This is a legacy-defining issue where one's position signifies whether they are standing up for or against the next generation on the issue of climate—and with today's vote, the Senate chose to stand up for the American people," Steyer said.<ref>[http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/224630-steyer-lauds-senate-for-rejecting-keystone ''The Hill'', "Steyer lauds Senate for defeating Keystone bill," November 18, 2014]</ref>
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According to the ''The Wall Street Journal'', the vote signified a potential split among Senate Democrats. Moreover, a number of Senate Democrats who lost their re-election bids voted in favor of the bill. Most notable was [[Joe Manchin]] (D-WV) of West Virginia. [[Mary Landrieu]], who was defeated in a runoff election against challenger [[Bill Cassidy]] (R), was also a staunch supporter of the bill.<ref>[http://online.wsj.com/articles/the-tom-steyer-democrats-1416442845 ''Wall Street Journal'', "Tom Steyer's Democrats," accessed November 20, 2014]</ref>
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===2008 financial crisis===
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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."<ref>[http://www.mensjournal.com/magazine/tom-steyer-an-inconvenient-billionaire-20140218 ''Men's Journal'', "Tom Steyer: An Inconvenient Billionaire," March 2014]</ref><ref>[http://www.businessinsider.com/tom-steyer-goldman-sachs-2014-2 ''Business Insider'', "HEDGE FUND BILLIONAIRE: Anyone Who Doesn't Think Goldman Got Preferential Treatment During The Crisis Is An Idiot," February 20, 2014]</ref>
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===Fracking===
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Steyer maintained various positions on [[fracking]]. He said 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.<ref>[http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2014/03/steyer-laydown.html ''Sacramento Bee'', "March 8, 2014," Tom Steyer calls for public votes on California fracking]</ref>
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Steyer helped fund a study by the University of Texas in 2013 that supported [[fracking]].<ref>[http://www.utexas.edu/news/2013/09/16/understanding-methane-emissions/ ''University of Texas'', "Unprecedented Measurements Provide Better Understanding of Methane Emissions During Natural Gas Production," September 16, 2013]</ref><ref name="wsj">[http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304518704579521931354340724?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702304518704579521931354340724.html ''Wall Street Journal'', "Tom Steyer's Glass House," April 24, 2014]</ref> At an April 2013 conference, Steyer said [[fracking]] would help move the energy sector away from [[coal]].<ref>[http://freebeacon.com/national-security/environmentalist-funded-study-boosts-fracking/ ''Free Beacon'', "Steyer-Funded Study Boosts Fracking," September 17, 2013]</ref>{{quote|I am one of the people who believes that we’re going to end up fracking responsibly, and that it’s not a long-term solution, but it’s going to get us to kill coal|author=Thomas Steyer|source=http://freebeacon.com/national-security/environmentalist-funded-study-boosts-fracking/}}
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Reports appeared in early May 2014 that Steyer was preparing to come out against [[natural gas]], fracking and all fossil fuels. He was reported to be aligned with [[Jared Polis]] (D), [[United States congressional delegations from Colorado|U.S. House member from Colorado]], on anti-fracking policies.<ref>[https://web.archive.org/web/2/http://www.northcentralpa.com/feeditem/2014-05-06_billionaire-steyer-taking-aim-obama%E2%80%99s-policy-natural-gas ''North Central PA'', "Is Billionaire Steyer Taking Aim at Obama’s Policy on Natural Gas?," May 6, 2014]</ref>
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====California extraction tax proposal====
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At an April 9, 2014 town hall in [[San Jose, California|San Jose]], Steyer proposed that a tax of 9.9 percent be levied on each barrel of oil produced in [[California]]. He said this proposal would generate $1.5 to $2 billion in tax revenue annually, which he proposed to be then paid back to residents as a dividend, similar to the process in [[Alaska]] where residents get direct dividends from oil taxes. The proposal was called an "extraction tax."<ref>[http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-09/steyer-pushes-fracking-tax-to-pay-californians.html ''Bloomberg'', " Steyer Pushes Oil Tax to Pay Dividends to Californians ," April 9, 2014]</ref>
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===Climate change===
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In October 2013, Steyer published an op-ed with former [[New York, New York|New York City]] mayor [[Michael Bloomberg]] and former [[U.S. Department of the Treasury|U.S. Treasury Secretary]] Hank Paulson, detailing a project called the [http://riskybusiness.org/ Risky Business Initiative] that they collaborated on.<ref>[http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/a-climate-change-risk-assessment/2013/10/03/d4f70e3c-2bb5-11e3-8ade-a1f23cda135e_story.html ''Washington Post'', "We need climate-change risk assessment," October 3, 2013]</ref> The initial report was released in June 2014. According to Paulson, it is a year-long effort to quantify and publicize the economic risks the United States faces from the impacts of a changing climate. Paulson said: "We like the fact that we came from different political backgrounds. The whole idea was: Let’s stay out of politics."<ref>[http://www.forbes.com/sites/kerryadolan/2014/04/03/why-mike-bloomberg-teamed-with-former-treasury-secretary-hank-paulson-and-hedge-fund-billionaire-tom-steyer-on-a-project-called-risky-business/ ''Forbes'', "Why Mike Bloomberg Teamed With Former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson And Hedge Fund Billionaire Tom Steyer On A Project Called "Risky Business"," April 3, 2014]</ref>
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====Clean Energy Challenge====
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Steyer delivered the keynote address at the Clean Energy Challenge on April 3, 2014. At the event, Steyer said the energy field was awaiting a technological revolution but policy changes are required to create a clean energy economy. "When you make a ton of money off a subsidy, you will fight really hard to keep it. That is what's happening today," he said.<ref>[http://www.eenews.net/stories/1059997352 ''E&E Publishing'', "Steyer, NRG's Crane share visions for energy industry's future," April 4, 2014]</ref> The Clean Energy Challenge awarded $500,000 to help Midwestern entrepreneurs, students and researchers bring new clean energy technology to the market.<ref>[http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20140227006191/en/Clean-Energy-Trust-Presents-Tom-Steyer-David#.U0aE8ldrlRI ''Business Wire'', "Clean Energy Trust Presents Tom Steyer, David Crane at 2014 Clean Energy Challenge," February 27, 2014]</ref>
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===Natural gas===
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In January 2012, Steyer co-wrote an op-ed in the ''Wall Street Journal'' that supported more [[Methane|natural-gas]] extraction.<ref>[http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052970203718504577178872638705902 ''Wall Street Journal'', "We Don't Need More Foreign Oil and Gas," January 24, 2012]</ref>
  
 
==Political giving==
 
==Political giving==
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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 "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."<ref name=bigca/> 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. The article emphasized that [[Super PAC]]s were being overshadowed by donors like Tom Steyer.<ref>[http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/02/us/politics/big-money-donors-demand-larger-say-in-party-strategy.html?_r=0 ''New York Times'', "Big-Money Donors Demand Larger Say in Campaign Strategy," March 1, 2014]</ref> According to Chris Lehane, a strategist for Steyer, the highly complex [[California ballot measures|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.<ref>[http://www.nationaljournal.com/magazine/meet-the-newest-member-of-the-super-pac-billionaires-club-20140310 ''National Journal'', "Meet the Newest Member of the Super PAC Billionaires Club," March 10, 2014]</ref>
  
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."<ref name=bigca/>
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{{quote|If you said to me, how much am I willing to spend to make this...the most important issue in the minds of Americans, then I would think $100 million bucks would be very low honestly.|author=Tom Steyer|source=http://www.politico.com/story/2014/04/tom-steyer-koch-brothers-keystone-xl-105922.html#ixzz305ZzvsrZ}}
  
===Ballot measures===
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===Republican response===
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In March 2014, [[United States Senate|U.S. Senator]] [[Mitch McConnell]] (R) questioned why [[Harry Reid]] and other Democratic officials had not criticized Steyer and his campaign spending, despite the attention they gave 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," McConnell said.<ref>[http://www.latimes.com/local/political/la-pn-mcconnell-steyer20140304,0,2659516.story#ixzz2v9d2lpmg ''Los Angeles Times'', "McConnell says liberal California billionaire just like the Kochs," March 4, 2014]</ref>
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Steyer told ''Politico'' and ''The Washington Post'' in April 2014 that he was not a liberal version of the Koch brothers, maintaining that there are "real distinctions" between them. Steyer accused the Koch's priorities of lining up "perfectly with their pocketbooks." Steyer insisted this was not true for himself and his goals.<ref>[http://www.politico.com/story/2014/04/tom-steyer-koch-brothers-keystone-xl-105922.html?hp=l2 ''Politico'', "Tom Steyer: I’m not the Koch brothers," April 22, 2014]</ref>
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===2014 midterm elections===
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Steyer reportedly spent close to $74 million on [[United States Congress elections, 2014| the congressional]] and [[State legislative elections, 2014| legislative]] elections.<ref>[http://www.forbes.com/sites/katiasavchuk/2014/11/03/billionaire-tom-steyer-on-money-in-politics-spending-74-m-on-the-election/ ''Forbes'', "Billionaire Tom Steyer spending 74 million on election night," November 3, 2014]</ref>  Three of the main races he targeted were the two Senate races in New Hampshire and Iowa, and the Governor's race in Florida. He also spent notable amounts of money in the Colorado Senate election.<ref>[http://www.politico.com/story/2014/11/election-results-tom-steyer-greens-112556.html ''Politico'', "Tom Steyer and Greens have a rough night at the polls," November 5, 2014]</ref>
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Steyer's funds were primarily used to finance Democratic backed Super-PACs. His aim was to back incumbents and newcomers who had a favorable view of climate change legislation. The Democratic Party however suffered significant loses in the Senate and House during the general election. Republican strategist Ron Bonjean stated: "The efforts by environmentalists to campaign on climate change have been a failure on the national and Senate battleground level."<ref>[http://www.politico.com/story/2014/11/election-results-tom-steyer-greens-112556.html ''Politico'', "Tom Steyer and Greens have a rough night at the polls," November 5, 2014]</ref>
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===Candidates===
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====2016====
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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.”<ref name="fearless"/>
 +
 
 +
While Steyer initially considered a run for California's open U.S. Senate seat in 2016, he announced that he would not seek election on January 22, 2015.<ref>[http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tom-steyer/senate-climate-change_b_6525724.html ''Huffington Post'', "The Fight for Justice Starts With Climate," January 22, 2015]</ref>
  
 
====2014====
 
====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 planned to spend as much as $100 million to pressure federal and state officials to enact climate change laws.<ref>[http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/18/us/politics/financier-plans-big-ad-campaign-on-environment.html ''New York Times'', "Financier Plans Big Ad Campaign on Climate Change," accessed February 17, 2014]</ref> Steyer's organization is called "NextGen Climate Action."<ref>[http://www.politico.com/story/2014/02/tom-steyer-campaign-donor-103617.html ''Politico'', "Tom Steyer planning $100 million campaign push," February 18, 2014]</ref>
  
* Steyer has so far given $200,000 to support the [[California Insurance Companies Required to Justify Their Rates to the Public Initiative (2014)|Insurance Companies Required to Justify Their Rates to the Public Initiative]]/<ref name=tom>[http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-health-insure-ballot-20120501,0,2428399.story ''Los Angeles Times'', "Insurance rate-hike initiative gains high-profile backers", May 1, 2012]</ref>
+
''Politico'' reported that the $100 million figure was not a ceiling on Steyer's possible spending in 2014.<ref>[http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/elections/wealthy-climate-change-activist-spend-millions-midterms-n32761 ''NBC News'', "Wealthy climate-change activist to spend millions on midterms," February 19, 2014]</ref> According to Forbes, Steyer ended up spending close to $74 million to bolster the position of climate change advocates in the elections.<ref>[http://www.forbes.com/sites/katiasavchuk/2014/11/03/billionaire-tom-steyer-on-money-in-politics-spending-74-m-on-the-election/ ''Forbes'', "Billionaire Tom Steyer spending 74 million on election night," November 3, 2014]</ref>  
  
====2012====
+
During the February climate treat, Steyer reportedly mentioned three races that he targeted in 2014 -- [[Florida gubernatorial election, 2014|Florida Governor]], [[United States Senate elections in Iowa, 2014|U.S. Senator from Iowa]] and [[United States Senate elections in New Hampshire, 2014|U.S. Senator from New Hampshire]].<ref name="fearless">[http://www.politico.com/story/2014/02/tom-steyer-political-spending-103636.html ''Politico'', "Climate billionaire aims to set stage for 2016" February 18, 2014]</ref>
  
* Steyer has so far contributed $500,000 to the campaign against [[California Proposition 32, the "Paycheck Protection" Initiative (2012)|Proposition 32]].<ref name=bigca>[http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444592404578030372566143526.html ''Wall Street Journal'', "New Players Amp Up Political Giving", October 3, 2012]</ref>
+
*The Florida Governor's race saw about $17 million of Steyer's money spent to elect [[Charlie Crist]] (D). Crist however lost to incumbent [[Rick Scott]] (R) in the general election.<ref>[http://online.wsj.com/articles/the-tom-steyer-democrats-1416442845 ''Wall Street Journal'', "Billionaire climate activist undaunted after losses in Tuesday’s election," November 9, 2014]</ref>
  
* Steyer is the main financial backer behind [[California Proposition 39, Income Tax Increase for Multistate Businesses (2012)|Proposition 39]].  He views Proposition 39 as closing a loophole. Proposition 39 will require multistate businesses to calculate their California income tax liability based on the percentage of their sales in California. He says, "We have a loophole. It is worth over $1 billion a year. We should close the loophole, and that is what we are doing."<ref name=tom>[http://www.sacbee.com/2012/01/29/4221039/tax-campaign-targets-capitols.html ''Sacramento Bee'', "Tax campaign targets Capitol's inside game", January 29, 2012]</ref>
+
*Around $8.5 million was spent in the Colorado Senate election to support incumbent [[Mark Udall]] (D). Udall however lost to challenger [[Cory Gardner]] (R) in the general election.<ref>[http://online.wsj.com/articles/the-tom-steyer-democrats-1416442845 ''Wall Street Journal'', "Billionaire climate activist undaunted after losses in Tuesday’s election," November 9, 2014]</ref>
  
====2010====
+
*In the Iowa Senate election, around $11 million was spent to support [[Bruce Braley| Bruce Braley's]] (D) bid for the open seat. He was however defeated by [[Joni Ernst]] (R) in the general election.<ref>[http://online.wsj.com/articles/the-tom-steyer-democrats-1416442845 ''Wall Street Journal'', "Billionaire climate activist undaunted after losses in Tuesday’s election," November 9, 2014]</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>
+
*$12 million of Steyer's financial contributions were also used in the Senate elections in Michigan and New Hampshire, where the Democratic incumbents won, and in the Pennsylvania governor's race, where [[Tom Wolf]] (D) unseated incumbent [[Tom Corbett]] (R).<ref>[http://online.wsj.com/articles/the-tom-steyer-democrats-1416442845 ''Wall Street Journal'', "Billionaire climate activist undaunted after losses in Tuesday’s election," November 9, 2014]</ref>
  
===Federal===
+
Although the majority of candidates he backed lost in these races, Steyer noted that he was undaunted by the results.<ref>[http://www.sacbee.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/dan-morain/article3652605.html ''Sacramento Bee'', "Billionaire climate activist undaunted after losses in Tuesday’s election," November 9, 2014]</ref>
  
 +
=====State-level races=====
 +
Steyer also focused on down-ballot races, such as those for [[State executive official elections, 2014|governors]] and [[State legislative elections, 2014|state legislatures]]. The criteria required candidates to be in line with Steyer's environmental concerns in order to financial backing.<ref>[http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/11/04/Democrat-Billionaire-Tom-Steyer-May-Have-Blown-74-Million-on-Elections ''Breitbart'', "Democrat billionaire may have blown over $74 million on elections," November 4, 2014]</ref>
 +
 +
Steyer focused most of his money for state-level races in his home state of California.<ref>[http://www.sacbee.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/dan-morain/article3652605.html ''Sacramento Bee'', "Billionaire climate activist undaunted after losses in Tuesday’s election," November 9, 2014]</ref>
 +
 +
=====California=====
 +
::''See also: [[State legislative elections, 2014]]''
 +
Steyer spent close to $1 million in [[State legislative elections, 2014#California|California's 2014 legislative elections]]. According to an August 28, 2014 article in the ''Sacramento Bee'', Steyer planned to devote resources to voter registration and turnout operations for Democratic candidates whose issue values align with Steyer's on environmental causes.<ref>[http://www.sacbee.com/2014/08/28/6662246/video-tom-steyer-plans-to-spend.html ''Sacramento Bee'', "Tom Steyer plans to spend money on legislative races," August 28, 2014]</ref> Of all the money spent, Steyer donated more than $200,000 to the [[Democratic Party]] of California and around $77,000 to the incumbent governor, [[Jerry Brown]].<ref>[http://www.sacbee.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/dan-morain/article3652605.html ''The Sacramento Bee'', "Billionaire Climate Activist Undaunted after Loses," November 9, 2014]</ref>
 +
 +
=====Marco Rubio=====
 +
In April 2014, [[NextGen Climate Action]] ran an ad against [[United States Senate|U.S. Senator]] [[Marco Rubio]] (R-Florida). The ad specifically attacked Rubio's position on the controversial [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keystone_Pipeline| Keystone XL Pipeline]. It specifically stated that: "Sen. Marco Rubio says Keystone will help make America energy independent. But under oath, TransCanada can't commit to keeping Keystone oil in the U.S. The oil lobbyists take Rubio for a sucker."<ref>[http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2014/04/25/tom-steyers-super-pac-runs-ad-against-sen-marco-rubio/ ''Washington Post'', "Tom Steyer’s super PAC runs ad against Sen. Marco Rubio," April 25, 2014]</ref>
 +
 +
=====Democratic candidates=====
 +
In February 2014, [[Mary Landrieu]], U.S. Senator from [[United States Senate elections in Louisiana, 2014|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.<ref>[http://www.nationaljournal.com/daily/could-tom-steyer-s-anti-keystone-campaign-help-mary-landrieu-she-thinks-so-20140217 ''National Journal'', "Could Tom Steyer's Anti-Keystone Campaign Help Mary Landrieu? She Thinks So.," February 17, 2014]</ref> A March 2014 article in ''The Hill'' indicated the Steyer would not support Landrieu because she had come out in favor of the Keystone Pipeline. In addition, his [[SuperPAC]] NextGen Climate Action was considering running a negative ad against Landrieu because of her stance on the issue.<ref>[http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/200919-climate-and-the-midterms-billionaire-vs-billionaire ''The Hill'', "In midterms, a battle of billionaires," March 17, 2014]</ref> Landrieu survived the general election but was defeated by [[Bill Cassidy]] (R) in a runoff election on December 6, 2014.<ref>[http://www.politico.com/2014-election/results/map/senate/louisiana/ ''Politico'', "Senate Elections Results," accessed November 20, 2014]</ref> Polls showed Cassidy maintaining a resounding lead over Landrieu.<ref>[http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2014/senate/la/louisiana_senate_cassidy_vs_landrieu-3670.html ''Real Clear Politics'', "Louisiana Senate - Cassidy vs. Landrieu (Dec. 6)," accessed November 20, 2014]</ref>
 +
 +
Although Steyer said his mission was not to help the Democratic Party, most of the money he spent went to assist Democratic candidates.<ref>[http://www.forbes.com/sites/katiasavchuk/2014/11/03/billionaire-tom-steyer-on-money-in-politics-spending-74-m-on-the-election/ ''Forbes'', "Billionaire Tom Steyer spending 74 million on election night," November 3, 2014]</ref>  "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.<ref>[http://www.npr.org/2014/02/24/281916777/billionaire-tom-steyer-puts-his-money-toward-climate-issues ''NPR'' "Billionaire Steyer Puts Money Toward Climate, Energy Issues," February 24, 2014]</ref>
 +
 +
In March 2014, a consultant for Steyer said that NextGen would not spend money on behalf of Democratic candidates who opposed climate regulation. However, they would not spend money against them.<ref>[https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2014/03/02/rich-donors-press-democrats-climate-change/hzqwCqUh4CPz5Voz3abiSL/story.html ''Washington Post'', "Rich donors press Democrats on climate change," March 2, 2014]</ref>
 +
 +
In the November 2014 midterm elections, Steyer spent around $74 million that went almost exclusively to Democratic candidates.<ref>[http://online.wsj.com/articles/the-tom-steyer-democrats-1416442845 ''Wall Street Journal'', "Billionaire climate activist undaunted after losses in Tuesday’s election," November 9, 2014]</ref> Steyer however continued his position of not assisting Democratic candidates who were not supportive of his organization's views on climate change. As a result, [[Mary Landrieu]] and [[Joe Manchin]] did not receive financial support, mostly due to their favorable views of the Keystone XL Pipeline.<ref>[http://online.wsj.com/articles/the-tom-steyer-democrats-1416442845 ''Wall Street Journal'', "Tom Steyer's Democrats," accessed November 20, 2014]</ref>
 +
 +
====2013====
 +
=====Virginia gubernatorial race=====
 +
::''See also: [[Virginia gubernatorial election, 2013]]''
 +
Steyer spent close to $8 million supporting [[Terry McAuliffe]] (D) in his successful [[Virginia gubernatorial election, 2013|campaign]] for [[Governor of Virginia]] against [[Ken Cuccinelli]].<ref>[http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/18/tom-steyer-2014-elections_n_4809013.html ''Huffington Post'', "Billionaire Climate Change Activist Tom Steyer Plans $100 Million Ad Push In 2014 Elections," February 19, 2014]</ref><ref>[http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Articles/2014/02/18/Clash-Billionaire-Titans ''Fiscal Times'', "Clash of the Billionaire Titans," February 18, 2014]</ref>
 +
=====Whatcom County, Washington=====
 +
Steyer also gave heavily to local races in [[Whatcom County, Washington]]. Steyer's organization [[NextGen Climate Action]] gave $275,000 to the Washington Conservation Voters Action Fund, which then spent $210,000 on four seats that were up for election in 2013. In 2009, candidates for those seats spent about $7,000 each. Local pundits in Washington called the spending "unprecedented", with some alleging that the money was spent in an nontransparent way that hides how much funding actually poured into the races.<ref>[http://www.nationalreview.com/article/377333/steyer-strikes-blow-against-small-town-unions-jillian-kay-melchior ''National Review'', " Steyer Strikes Blow against Small-Town Unions," May 6, 2014]</ref>
 +
=====State legislative special election=====
 +
Through his organizations Steyer supported [[Nathan Schlicher]] (D) in his unsuccessful bid in the [[Washington State Senate]], District 26 [[State legislative special elections, 2013|special election]].<ref>[http://www.opb.org/news/article/npr-washington-governor-finds-wealthy-partner-in-fight-against-climate-change/ ''Northwest News Network'', "Washington Governor Finds Wealthy Partner In Fight Against Climate Change," May 6, 2014]</ref>
 +
====2010====
 +
Steyer donated $2,400 to [[Pennsylvania House of Representatives|Pennsylvania State Representative]] [[Joe Sestak]] (D) in a race for the [[United States Senate]]. Sestak was defeated by [[Pat Toomey]].<ref name="wpost"/>
 
====2004====
 
====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.<ref name=forbes/>
  
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.<ref name=forbes/>
+
===Ballot measures===
 +
====2016====
  
==Family background==
+
*According to an April 2014 article in the ''San Francisco Chronicle'', Steyer is planning on supporting a ballot measure in 2016 relating to implementing an oil severance tax.<ref>[http://blog.sfgate.com/techchron/2014/04/15/tom-steyer-skewers-oil-industry-wnew-tax-day-ad-but-when-is-ballot-measure-coming-video/ ''San Francisco Chronicle'', "Tom Steyer skewers oil industry with new Tax Day ad (VIDEO)" April 15, 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/>
+
*A similar [[California Proposition 87, Alternative Energy Oil Tax (2006)|measure in 2006]] was defeated by voters 54-46 percent.<ref>[http://www.dallasnews.com/business/energy/20140409-billionaire-environmentalist-wants-california-to-enact-extraction-tax-on-energy-companies.ece ''Dallas Morning News'', "Billionaire environmentalist wants California to enact 'extraction tax' on energy companies," April 9, 2014]</ref>
  
==See also==
+
====2014====
  
 +
*Steyer gave $200,000 to support California Proposition 45, also known as the [[California Proposition 45, Public Notice Required for Insurance Company Rates Initiative (2014)|Insurance Companies Required to Justify Their Rates to the Public Initiative]].<ref name=tom>[http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article2620117.html ''Sacramento Bee'', "New California initiative donor ranking leaves out Steyer," November 3, 2014]</ref>
 +
 +
*Proposition 45 was ultimately defeated with 59 percent of the residents voting against the initiative.<ref>[http://vote.sos.ca.gov/returns/ballot-measures/ ''California Secretary of State'', "State Ballot Measures Results," accessed November 20, 2014]</ref>
 +
 +
====2012====
 +
 +
*As of October 2013, Steyer contributed $500,000 to the campaign against [[California Proposition 32, the "Paycheck Protection" Initiative (2012)|Proposition 32]].<ref name=bigca>[http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444592404578030372566143526.html ''Wall Street Journal'', "New Players Amp Up Political Giving," October 3, 2012]</ref> Proposition 32 was defeated with 56 percent of the residents voting against the initiative.<ref>[http://www.governing.com/blogs/politics/unions-defeat-california-proposition-32.html ''Governing'', "California Unions Help Defeat Ballot Measure Targeting Campaign Donations," accessed November 20, 2014]</ref>
 +
 +
*Steyer was the main financial backer behind [[California Proposition 39, Income Tax Increase for Multistate Businesses (2012)|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."<ref name=tom>[http://www.sacbee.com/2012/01/29/4221039/tax-campaign-targets-capitols.html ''Sacramento Bee'', "Tax campaign targets Capitol's inside game," January 29, 2012]</ref> Proposition 39 was ultimately approved by the residents of California.<ref>[https://web.archive.org/web/2/http://www.sacbee.com/2012/06/21/4577951/jerry-browns-proposal-and-two.html ''Sacramento Bee'', "Jerry Brown's proposal and two other tax measures qualify for November ballot," June 21, 2012]</ref>
 +
 +
====2010====
 +
 +
*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> Proposition 23 was ultimately defeated with the majority of residents voting against the measure.
 +
 +
====2008====
 +
 +
*Steyer spent more than $177,000 fighting the [[California Presidential Electoral College Reform Initiative (2008)|California Presidential Electoral College Reform Initiative]]. That initiative ultimately did not make the ballot.<ref name="wpost">[http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2014/02/27/tom-steyers-long-road-to-becoming-the-environments-donor-in-chief/ ''Washington Post'', "Tom Steyer’s long road to becoming the environment’s donor-in-chief," February 27, 2014]</ref>
 +
 +
==Personal==
 +
Steyer resigned on January 1, 2013 from his position as head of the hedge fund Farrallon Capitol.<ref>[http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/31/koch-brothers-spending-_n_5065245.html ''Huffington Post'', "Koch Brothers Accuse Democrats Of Being Backed By Evil Koch-Like Brothers," March 31, 2014]</ref> Steyer founded the firm in 1986.<ref name="wpost"/> Farallon invested heavily in pipelines and coal projects during and after Steyer's tenure with the company.<ref name="wsj"/>
 +
===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 M.B.A. 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 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==
 +
* [[NextGen Climate Action]]
 +
* [[Donations to California's 2012 ballot propositions]]
 
* [[Donations to California's 2010 ballot propositions]]
 
* [[Donations to California's 2010 ballot propositions]]
 +
* [[California Proposition 87, Alternative Energy Oil Tax (2006)]]
 +
* [[Fracking]]
 +
* [[Methane]]
 +
* [[United States Senate elections, 2014]]
 +
 +
==External links==
 +
*[http://nextgenclimate.org/ ''NextGen Climate'' Official Website]
 +
*[http://www.forbes.com/profile/thomas-steyer/ Profile at ''Forbes'']
 +
*[https://twitter.com/TomSteyer Official Twitter Feed]
 +
*[http://influenceexplorer.com/individual/thomas-steyer/cdafd032703c421b98a77947fc68c336 Profile at the ''Sunlight Foundation's'', "Influence Explorer" project]
 +
===Additional reading===
 +
*[http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2014/04/the-epic-hypocrisy-of-tom-steyer.php ''Powerline'', "The Epic Hypocrisy of Tom Steyer," April 20, 2014]
 +
*[http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303801304579409083427420634 ''Wall Street Journal'', "GOP Trouble in Pennsylvania," February 27, 2014]
 +
*[http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2014/02/27/tom-steyers-long-road-to-becoming-the-environments-donor-in-chief/ ''Washington Post'', "Tom Steyer’s long road to becoming the environment’s donor-in-chief," February 27, 2014]
 +
*[http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2014/02/steyers-100-million-would-put-enviros-on-the-map.html ''Open Secrets'', "Steyer's $100 Million Would Put Enviros on the Map," February 26, 2014]
 +
*[http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304703804579383302200142502?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702304703804579383302200142502.html ''Wall Street Journal'', "Environmentalist Democratic Donor Plays Hardball Over Keystone" February 14, 2014]
 +
*[http://www.mensjournal.com/magazine/tom-steyer-an-inconvenient-billionaire-20140218 Profile at ''Men's Journal'' in March 2014]
 +
 +
==Recent news==
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{{submit a bio}}
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This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "'''Tom + Steyer + California'''"
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:''All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.''
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{{RSS|feed=http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&gl=us&q=Tom+Steyer+California&um=1&ie=UTF-8&output=rss|template=slpfeed|max=10|title=Tom Steyer News Feed}}
  
 
==References==
 
==References==
 
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{{winf stub}}
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{{2013-2014 congress election}}
[[Category:Political donors, California]]
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[[Category:Progressive influencers]]
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[[Category:Environmental policy influencers]]
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[[Category:National activists]]

Latest revision as of 11:48, 3 February 2015

Thomas Steyer
SteyerHeadshot.jpeg
2014 Activity
SupportingProposition 45
Personal
ProfessionManagement firm founder
Net Worth$1.55 billion
High SchoolPhillips Exeter Academy
Bachelor'sYale University
Master'sM.B.A., Stanford
Thomas Steyer is the founder and co-senior managing partner of Farallon Capital Management and a major donor to Democratic Party causes. CNN 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] An estimate in March 2014 put Steyer's net worth at $1.55 billion.[4]

Steyer and his wife Kathryn Taylor have four children. They have pledged to donate half their fortune to charity.[5] 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.[6] Steyer's brother, Jim Steyer, announced his entrance into the political arena in February 2014. "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.[7]

According to the Center for Public Integrity, Steyer gave more than $11.1 million to his two super PACs in 2013 -- the most of any individual, union or company during 2013.[8] In 2014, Steyer raised $78 million, more than any other super PAC, for NextGen Climate Action.[9]

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."[10] Steyer said the Keystone pipeline makes "no sense" for the United States government and the world.[11]

Steyer argued that the Keystone pipeline would not create jobs, as proponents have argued.[12]

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.[13]

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

During the Massachusetts U.S. Senate special election primary in 2013, Steyer's organization NextGen Climate Action ran negative ads critical of Democratic U.S. Representative Stephen Lynch, who supported the Keystone Pipeline. Lynch ultimately lost the primary to Ed Markey, who went on to win the special election.[14]

On April 17, 2014, Steyer issued a "Courage Pledge" via his organization NextGen Climate Action, in which he maintained his opposition to Keystone XL and criticized any individual or entity that supported the project.[15] In the letter, Steyer also weighed-in on non-energy policy areas like minimum wages, healthcare and unions.[16]

Subpoena of executives

Steyer sent a letter to Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and requested that she use her power as chair of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee to subpoena executives of TransCanada.[17] Steyer said in his letter that the prior testimony given by the executives was not good enough.[18]

Appearance on Bill Maher show

In April 2014, Steyer appeared on the HBO show Real Time with Bill Maher. During his appearance, Steyer said he would be happy to debate Charles and David Koch about energy policy.[19][20] Steyer's organization NextGen Climate Action later posted a petition on its website, challenging the Koch brothers to a debate on climate change.[21] A spokeswoman for the Koch brothers declined the invitation, calling instead for a "free and open debate on the climate issue" within the scientific community.[22]

Criticism over Keystone

Steyer had received criticism for his campaign against the Keystone pipeline. According to U.S. House Representative Lee Terry (R-Nebraska), Steyer would profit personally if Keystone is not implemented. Farallon Capitol, the hedge fund that Steyer founded and resigned from in January 2013, had invested billions in the TransMountain Pipeline System, which would compete with Keystone XL.[23] U.S. Senator David Vitter (R-Louisiana) also accused Steyer of hypocrisy because of the possible financial connection between Farallon Capitol and the TransMountain pipeline. Steyer's spokesman said he had divested himself completely from Farallon.[24] Steyer has yet to criticize the TransMountain pipeline, focusing his efforts on Keystone XL.[25][26] A March 2014 ad from the 501(c)(4) group American Commitment compared Steyer and his brother to being the liberal version of Charles and David Koch. The ad was only released online, using a video clip of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) criticizing the Koch brothers for spending large sums of money on campaigns.[27]

Keystone events

On April 18, 2014, the U.S. Department of State announced that it was extending the review period for the Keystone XL project. A new deadline for a decision was not announced. A Politico report indicated the final Keystone decision may have been delayed until after the midterm elections.[28] TransCanada officials called the delay "inexplicable", while Republican congressional officials criticized the delay.[29] Steyer said he had nothing to do with the administration's decision.[30]

November 18, 2014 senate vote

On November 18, 2014 the United States Senate defeated the bill on the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline. The Senate voted against the bill with 59 in favor and 41 opposed. The bill required 60 votes in favor to pass.[31]

Steyer praised the Senate for defeating the bill. “This is a legacy-defining issue where one's position signifies whether they are standing up for or against the next generation on the issue of climate—and with today's vote, the Senate chose to stand up for the American people," Steyer said.[32]

According to the The Wall Street Journal, the vote signified a potential split among Senate Democrats. Moreover, a number of Senate Democrats who lost their re-election bids voted in favor of the bill. Most notable was Joe Manchin (D-WV) of West Virginia. Mary Landrieu, who was defeated in a runoff election against challenger Bill Cassidy (R), was also a staunch supporter of the bill.[33]

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."[34][35]

Fracking

Steyer maintained various positions on fracking. He said 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.[36]

Steyer helped fund a study by the University of Texas in 2013 that supported fracking.[37][38] At an April 2013 conference, Steyer said fracking would help move the energy sector away from coal.[39]

I am one of the people who believes that we’re going to end up fracking responsibly, and that it’s not a long-term solution, but it’s going to get us to kill coal[13]

—Thomas Steyer, http://freebeacon.com/national-security/environmentalist-funded-study-boosts-fracking/

Reports appeared in early May 2014 that Steyer was preparing to come out against natural gas, fracking and all fossil fuels. He was reported to be aligned with Jared Polis (D), U.S. House member from Colorado, on anti-fracking policies.[40]

California extraction tax proposal

At an April 9, 2014 town hall in San Jose, Steyer proposed that a tax of 9.9 percent be levied on each barrel of oil produced in California. He said this proposal would generate $1.5 to $2 billion in tax revenue annually, which he proposed to be then paid back to residents as a dividend, similar to the process in Alaska where residents get direct dividends from oil taxes. The proposal was called an "extraction tax."[41]

Climate change

In October 2013, Steyer published an op-ed with former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and former U.S. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, detailing a project called the Risky Business Initiative that they collaborated on.[42] The initial report was released in June 2014. According to Paulson, it is a year-long effort to quantify and publicize the economic risks the United States faces from the impacts of a changing climate. Paulson said: "We like the fact that we came from different political backgrounds. The whole idea was: Let’s stay out of politics."[43]

Clean Energy Challenge

Steyer delivered the keynote address at the Clean Energy Challenge on April 3, 2014. At the event, Steyer said the energy field was awaiting a technological revolution but policy changes are required to create a clean energy economy. "When you make a ton of money off a subsidy, you will fight really hard to keep it. That is what's happening today," he said.[44] The Clean Energy Challenge awarded $500,000 to help Midwestern entrepreneurs, students and researchers bring new clean energy technology to the market.[45]

Natural gas

In January 2012, Steyer co-wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal that supported more natural-gas extraction.[46]

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 "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."[47] 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. The article emphasized that Super PACs were being overshadowed by donors like Tom Steyer.[48] 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.[49]

If you said to me, how much am I willing to spend to make this...the most important issue in the minds of Americans, then I would think $100 million bucks would be very low honestly.[13]

—Tom Steyer, http://www.politico.com/story/2014/04/tom-steyer-koch-brothers-keystone-xl-105922.html#ixzz305ZzvsrZ

Republican response

In March 2014, U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell (R) questioned why Harry Reid and other Democratic officials had not criticized Steyer and his campaign spending, despite the attention they gave 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," McConnell said.[50]

Steyer told Politico and The Washington Post in April 2014 that he was not a liberal version of the Koch brothers, maintaining that there are "real distinctions" between them. Steyer accused the Koch's priorities of lining up "perfectly with their pocketbooks." Steyer insisted this was not true for himself and his goals.[51]

2014 midterm elections

Steyer reportedly spent close to $74 million on the congressional and legislative elections.[52] Three of the main races he targeted were the two Senate races in New Hampshire and Iowa, and the Governor's race in Florida. He also spent notable amounts of money in the Colorado Senate election.[53]

Steyer's funds were primarily used to finance Democratic backed Super-PACs. His aim was to back incumbents and newcomers who had a favorable view of climate change legislation. The Democratic Party however suffered significant loses in the Senate and House during the general election. Republican strategist Ron Bonjean stated: "The efforts by environmentalists to campaign on climate change have been a failure on the national and Senate battleground level."[54]

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.”[55]

While Steyer initially considered a run for California's open U.S. Senate seat in 2016, he announced that he would not seek election on January 22, 2015.[56]

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 planned to spend as much as $100 million to pressure federal and state officials to enact climate change laws.[57] Steyer's organization is called "NextGen Climate Action."[58]

Politico reported that the $100 million figure was not a ceiling on Steyer's possible spending in 2014.[59] According to Forbes, Steyer ended up spending close to $74 million to bolster the position of climate change advocates in the elections.[60]

During the February climate treat, Steyer reportedly mentioned three races that he targeted in 2014 -- Florida Governor, U.S. Senator from Iowa and U.S. Senator from New Hampshire.[55]

  • The Florida Governor's race saw about $17 million of Steyer's money spent to elect Charlie Crist (D). Crist however lost to incumbent Rick Scott (R) in the general election.[61]
  • Around $8.5 million was spent in the Colorado Senate election to support incumbent Mark Udall (D). Udall however lost to challenger Cory Gardner (R) in the general election.[62]
  • In the Iowa Senate election, around $11 million was spent to support Bruce Braley's (D) bid for the open seat. He was however defeated by Joni Ernst (R) in the general election.[63]
  • $12 million of Steyer's financial contributions were also used in the Senate elections in Michigan and New Hampshire, where the Democratic incumbents won, and in the Pennsylvania governor's race, where Tom Wolf (D) unseated incumbent Tom Corbett (R).[64]

Although the majority of candidates he backed lost in these races, Steyer noted that he was undaunted by the results.[65]

State-level races

Steyer also focused on down-ballot races, such as those for governors and state legislatures. The criteria required candidates to be in line with Steyer's environmental concerns in order to financial backing.[66]

Steyer focused most of his money for state-level races in his home state of California.[67]

California
See also: State legislative elections, 2014

Steyer spent close to $1 million in California's 2014 legislative elections. According to an August 28, 2014 article in the Sacramento Bee, Steyer planned to devote resources to voter registration and turnout operations for Democratic candidates whose issue values align with Steyer's on environmental causes.[68] Of all the money spent, Steyer donated more than $200,000 to the Democratic Party of California and around $77,000 to the incumbent governor, Jerry Brown.[69]

Marco Rubio

In April 2014, NextGen Climate Action ran an ad against U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida). The ad specifically attacked Rubio's position on the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline. It specifically stated that: "Sen. Marco Rubio says Keystone will help make America energy independent. But under oath, TransCanada can't commit to keeping Keystone oil in the U.S. The oil lobbyists take Rubio for a sucker."[70]

Democratic candidates

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.[71] A March 2014 article in The Hill indicated the Steyer would not support Landrieu because she had come out in favor of the Keystone Pipeline. In addition, his SuperPAC NextGen Climate Action was considering running a negative ad against Landrieu because of her stance on the issue.[72] Landrieu survived the general election but was defeated by Bill Cassidy (R) in a runoff election on December 6, 2014.[73] Polls showed Cassidy maintaining a resounding lead over Landrieu.[74]

Although Steyer said his mission was not to help the Democratic Party, most of the money he spent went to assist Democratic candidates.[75] "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.[76]

In March 2014, a consultant for Steyer said that NextGen would not spend money on behalf of Democratic candidates who opposed climate regulation. However, they would not spend money against them.[77]

In the November 2014 midterm elections, Steyer spent around $74 million that went almost exclusively to Democratic candidates.[78] Steyer however continued his position of not assisting Democratic candidates who were not supportive of his organization's views on climate change. As a result, Mary Landrieu and Joe Manchin did not receive financial support, mostly due to their favorable views of the Keystone XL Pipeline.[79]

2013

Virginia gubernatorial race
See also: Virginia gubernatorial election, 2013

Steyer spent close to $8 million supporting Terry McAuliffe (D) in his successful campaign for Governor of Virginia against Ken Cuccinelli.[80][81]

Whatcom County, Washington

Steyer also gave heavily to local races in Whatcom County, Washington. Steyer's organization NextGen Climate Action gave $275,000 to the Washington Conservation Voters Action Fund, which then spent $210,000 on four seats that were up for election in 2013. In 2009, candidates for those seats spent about $7,000 each. Local pundits in Washington called the spending "unprecedented", with some alleging that the money was spent in an nontransparent way that hides how much funding actually poured into the races.[82]

State legislative special election

Through his organizations Steyer supported Nathan Schlicher (D) in his unsuccessful bid in the Washington State Senate, District 26 special election.[83]

2010

Steyer donated $2,400 to Pennsylvania State Representative Joe Sestak (D) in a race for the United States Senate. Sestak was defeated by Pat Toomey.[84]

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

2016

  • According to an April 2014 article in the San Francisco Chronicle, Steyer is planning on supporting a ballot measure in 2016 relating to implementing an oil severance tax.[85]

2014

  • Proposition 45 was ultimately defeated with 59 percent of the residents voting against the initiative.[88]

2012

  • As of October 2013, Steyer contributed $500,000 to the campaign against Proposition 32.[47] Proposition 32 was defeated with 56 percent of the residents voting against the initiative.[89]
  • 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."[87] Proposition 39 was ultimately approved by the residents of California.[90]

2010

2008

Personal

Steyer resigned on January 1, 2013 from his position as head of the hedge fund Farrallon Capitol.[94] Steyer founded the firm in 1986.[84] Farallon invested heavily in pipelines and coal projects during and after Steyer's tenure with the company.[38]

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 M.B.A. from Stanford.[3] Steyer served as Board Chair of the Advanced Energy Economy Institute.[95]

Boards and service

Steyer sits on the Board of Directors of the Center for American Progress, a public policy research and advocacy organization.[96][97][98]

See also

External links

Additional reading

Recent news

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References

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  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
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