The billionaire environmentalist widely considered responsible for pushing the Democratic Party toward anti-fossil fuel policies contributed $800,000 to help coordinate the 2016 Democratic National Committee, according to financial reports.
Former hedge fund manager Tom Steyer’s super PAC, NextGen Climate, donated the six-figure sum to help pay down the costs of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, PA. The Democrats’ Philadelphia 2016 Host Committee managed to raise $85 million, thanks in part to Steyer’s generous offer.
Steyer has so far contributed nearly $35 million to Democratic political candidates in 2016.
“Since the bid phase, the Host Committee had a robust, aggressive fundraising strategy in place, which enabled us to receive broad-based support, locally and nationally, and allowed us to raise funds month after month,” Kevin Washo, the executive director of the host committee, said in a statement after the Federal Election Commission (FEC) revealed the final numbers.
The Democratic host committee’s haul exceeded the $66 million raised by the Cleveland Host Committee by almost $20 million. The host committees have two months after the end of their respective conventions to file financial reports to the FEC. Democrats raised $42 million during the 2012 convention, while Republicans pulled in nearly $56 million that year.
Steyer’s massive donation raises questions about his overwhelming influence inside the Democratic Party.
His money heavily influenced the Democratic National Committee’s 2016 campaign platform on global warming and green energy, according to hacked Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails uncovered by the conservative legal group Energy and Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal).
The new party platform mirrors the wealthy Democratic donor’s mission, in that it requires the U.S. to generate at least half of its energy from non-carbon-emitting sources such as solar and wind by 2030. The DNC “adopted the Steyer agenda word-for-word,” reports E&E Legal.
NextGen Climate published a report earlier this year titled, “Fact Sheet: Powering America With More Than 50 Percent Clean Energy by 2030.” Steyer’s money accounts for nearly 100 percent of the group’s entire political war chest, a number totaling more than $7 million.
The report calls on political candidates to create policies that will help the U.S. transition t0 50 percent carbon-free energy by 2030 and 100 percent by 2050. The new Democratic Party platform, meanwhile, wants the U.S. to be powered by 50 percent of clean energy sources over the next ten years. The report and the platform mirror each other in other ways as well.
The host committee attracted donations from several other wealthy liberal organizations as well.
It managed to wrangle $1.5 million from Priorities USA, the super PAC supporting Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. Another devotee to the former secretary of state’s presidential campaign, venture capitalist J.B. Pritzker, shoveled the single largest cash donation of any individual — contributing $1.25 million. Alex Soros, the son of billionaire liberal George Soros, donated $200,000.
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