The liberal California billionaire famous for railing against money in politics is slated to become the biggest spender during the 2016 election season.
Former hedge fund manager turned environmentalist Tom Steyer will have spent more than $75 million on this year’s election when all the dust settles. Much of his efforts have gone toward registering millennials to vote, mostly on environmental issues.
Steyer has so far shoveled more than $56 million into elections on the local, state, and national level, according to Opensecrets.org. Nevada casino owner Sheldon Adelson has donated the second most amount of money this election year, dumping $47 million on Republican candidates.
Hedge fund manager Donald Sussman has plowed more than $34 million into the war chests of various Democratic candidates, including groups supporting Hillary Clinton’s Democratic presidential bid.
Notorious Democratic moneyman, George Soros, must be reevaluating his political donations, because he’s donated a meager $17 million to liberal concerns in 2016. He has called the infusion of money into the political system a type of cancer ruining democracy, yet the billionaire and his son have given more than $10 million to a pro-Clinton super PAC.
Steyer has echoed Soros’ viewpoint, telling reporters in September that he sees this election as “a David and Goliath situation,” with himself playing the “David” while rich conservatives like David Koch and Adelson play “Goliath.” David Koch’s brother — Charles Koch – has spent $3 million so far this election year, according to Opensecrets, org.
Steyer, who is also rumored to be exploring a run for California gubernatorial seat in 2018, plows most of his considerable political donations through the political action group, NextGen Climate Action, which spent about $20.7 million in independent expenditures in 2014 opposing Republican candidates.
His money accounts for nearly 100 percent of NextGen’s entire political war chest, a number totaling more than $7,000,620. Steyer has given the group $7,000,000.
The Democratic mega donor said Oct. 24 that NextGen has managed to register 1 million voters, including nearly 750,000 in California and about 300,000 in battleground states. Steyer called the surge a “positive signal about the future of our country.”
His political groups partnered with community groups such as Planned Parenthood, Latino Community Foundation, Democratic Party chapters, among other liberal groups.
Steyer is focusing the bulk of his campaign on seven swing states, from Pennsylvania to Ohio to Nevada. The swing state push, Steyer said, is part of NextGen’s $25 million initiative to engage young people and “awaken our sleeping progressive giant.”
“Everything that we’re doing, I’m extremely proud of. Everything we’re doing stands on its own,” he told reporters Wednesday, referencing NextGen’s work creating a legion of millennial voters committed to denying Republican Donald Trump the White House.
“Until November 8th, there’s no reason to do anything but what we’re doing. We’ve set up these programs, and we want to finish strong, and we want to make sure that we accomplish what we set out to do, and that we feel good about it,” Steyer said.
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