Dem Megadonor Says Trump’s Victory Made Him Reconsider Running For Office

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Chris White Tech Reporter
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One of Hillary Clinton’s biggest donors said President Donald Trump’s November victory made him rethink running for office in 2018.

Tom Steyer, a California billionaire who earned most of his money working as a hedge fund manager with Farallon Capital, told reporters last week that his past flirtations with running for governor were predicated on Clinton winning the presidency.

“The truth of the matter is, it’s different. The world did not play out on November 8 the way I expected it to, and I want to make sure whatever I do is well considered and responds to the reality of what’s going on,” Steyer said. “I’m still intending to do the most impactful service I can in terms of standing up for the values I care most about.”

Clinton’s mega-donor also said he still plans on using his political action group — NextGen Climate — to sell traditionally Democratic constituents on the importance of trading coal for clean energy.

But up until now, NextGen has been primarily interested in making it more difficult for coal producers. The group, for instance, published a report in 2016 urging Democratic political candidates to create policies that will help the U.S. transition to 50 percent carbon-free energy by 2030 and 100 percent by 2050.

Steyer spent more than $75 million on this year’s election, with most of his efforts going toward registering young people to vote. His money didn’t seem to matter, because Trump won despite Steyer’s best efforts.

NextGen supposedly registered 1 million voters, including nearly 750,000 in California and about 300,000 in battleground states like Pennsylvania and Florida —  Steyer called the surge of registered voters a “positive signal about the future of our country.”

The group justified its spending by pointing to a June, 2015, poll showing that 73 percent of young voters believe the U.S. should receive 50 percent of its energy from solar panels and windmills, among other renewable sources, by 2030.

Steyer meanwhile still believes that clean energy can help Democrats win future elections so long as they focus on selling blue collar workers on the virtues of solar panels and wind-farms.

“No one votes for polar bears. People care about local, human issues, period,” the California billionaire said in early January. “On an economic basis, acting on clean energy is positive in every single fashion, including creating millions of net good jobs.”

He’s going to have to work double time to convince rural voters green energy is the wave of the future, because Trump won partially by making revitalizing coal country a central part of his presidential campaign.

The former reality TV star’s pro-coal message likely helped Trump gain much-needed votes in Ohio and Pennsylvania, both of which are considered battleground states for Republicans.

West Virginia and Kentucky saw a similar drop in coal jobs, with the former seeing a 16 percent drop and the latter a 17 percent decrease.The former reality TV star won 63 percent of the vote in Kentucky and just shy of 70 percent of the votes in West Virginia.

Coal employment tumbled 12 percent in 2015 to its lowest level in nearly 40 years.

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