A prominent billionaire some analysts say is buying the Democratic Party complained Monday night about the influence money has on American politics.
Environmentalist money man Tom Steyer told Bloomberg TV that the country needs financial reform, if not to restore the political system to the people, than at least to make certain that “self-interested” businessmen can’t purchase the government.
“And let me say one thing about campaign finance. We believe that Citizens United was a terrible decision,” Steyer said. “We believe that it should be overturned. We believe that there is too much emphasis on money in politics.”
Steyer deflected his influence on Democratic politics, telling the Bloomberg TV anchors that his money is based on strong values, not self-interest, and plays a smaller role than other billionaire organizations.
“When you look at money in politics — this is a David and Goliath situation; the other side has a lot more money. And that money is not transparent, self-interested, and it is much more sizeable,” Steyer added.
Conservative groups claim Steyer is a hypocrite on the issue.
“For Tom Steyer to criticize money in politics despite funneling millions to Democrats is just more hypocrisy from someone who advocates for ‘green’ energy after profiting massively from investments in fossil fuels,” Jeremy Adler, Communications Director for AR Squared, said in a statement to The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Steyer’s comments came shortly after the Energy and Environmental Legal Institute, or E&E Legal, published a report Monday showing former hedge fund manager using tens of millions of dollars in donations to environmental groups, candidates and political parties in an effort to make the U.S. coal-free.
Steyer, according to E&E Legal, transitioned from taking out millions in advertisements – which he tried in to use during the 2014 elections, with little success – to shoveling millions in donations to political candidates in an effort to cajole them into doing his bidding. His donations are contingent on the candidates accepting his global warming agenda, according to the report.
The Democratic donor’s political action group, NextGen Climate Action, spent about $20.7 million in independent expenditures in 2014, mostly opposing Republican candidates. Steyer has spent more than $13 million so far this election year, according to OpenSecrets.org.
E&E Legal also uncovered emails from the DNC leak showing a NextGen report titled, “Fact Sheet: Powering America With More Than 50 Percent Clean Energy by 2030,” which essentially mirrors the Democratic National Committee’s position on climate change. In fact, the DNC “adopted the Steyer agenda word for word,” according to the group’s report.
Adler, for his part, added that the leaked emails “have proven that Steyer’s huge political contributions have bought him special access to elected officials, dictating public policy with his checkbook.”
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