A Virginia-based conservative group created an ad accusing eco-billionaire Tom Steyer of creating a “rift” between two pillars of the Democratic Party: environmental activists and labor groups.
AR Squared, which runs the policy objectives of America Rising, released the ad Wednesday as part of an effort to blast Steyer and Democratic presumptive presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. The group announced in April a campaign to treat the mega-wealthy Democratic donor as a de facto political candidate, with the “rift” ad being the opening salvo against Steyer.
“Steyer formed a super PAC with the AFL-CIO – this has caused a rift between two traditional constituencies of the Democratic Party: labor unions and the environmentalists,” reads the ad, which is promoted on the group’s Core News Facebook page.
The ad goes on to accuse Clinton of siding with billionaires such as Steyer over workers, as well as suggest the wealthy environmentalist is angering union members by opposing policies that could help land jobs for blue collar workers.
“Billionaires and powerful people look out for each other,” the ad continues, “while workers just want a good paying job.”
Jeremy Adler, communications director for AR Squared, told reporters Wednesday that Clinton essentially supports the same policies as Steyer and wants to put workers “out of business.”
“Tom Steyer’s millions in political donations are driving a wedge in the Democratic Party between environmentalists and labor unions, who recently called him a ‘billionaire job-killer and environmental extremist,'” Adler said.
The rift became a chasm in May when the heads of seven unions sent a letter to AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka arguing America’s largest union federation has been aligning itself with outside groups that do not have worker’s best interests at heart.
“Unfortunately, a growing trend within the Federation seems to consistently minimize the importance of Building Trades jobs and our members’ livelihoods in the pursuit of a coalition strategy with outside organizations that has produced mixed results at best and disastrous results at worst for our members and their employment prospects in many instances throughout the country,” the union officials wrote.
The group of union bosses pin the problems on Steyer and his various environmental super PAC, NextGen Climate, among others, that opposed the Keystone XL Pipeline and work to divest the world of fossil fuels.
“The latest disturbing example of this dubious big tent strategy that has, in many instances, been detrimental to the economic well being of our members, is the reported formation of the aforementioned Super PAC that will be dominated by funds from billionaire activists Tom Steyer,” they wrote.
Steyer still appropriates the language and terminology of the down-and-out worker in many of the messages he sends to followers, including a tweet he sent in May announcing his endorsement of Clinton for president.
The California billionaire environmentalist said in the tweet that the former secretary of state “will put the needs of working families first. She will be fearless in her pursuit of solutions to the most urgent challenges we face,” as well as, “move us rapidly towards becoming “the clean energy superpower of the 21st century.”
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