Politics

Billionaire Tom Steyer Will Not Run For Public Office, Despite Months Of Speculation

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Chris White Tech Reporter
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Democratic financier Tom Steyer announced Monday that he will forgo running for public office in 2018 and will instead focus on dumping more money on an effort to impeach President Donald Trump.

Steyer, a former hedge fund manager and liberal philanthropist, ended months of speculation that he is running for governor in California. He will instead spend 2018 dumping millions of dollars on campaigns to unseat Republicans.

“My fight isn’t just in California. My fight is for the removal of Donald Trump from office, and from power,” Steyer said during a press conference in Washington, D.C. He also laid out a three-pronged plan to flip the Republican-controlled Congress, which includes using his impeachment campaign as an engine for that goal.

Steyer will first dump $30 million on a renewed push from his political group, NextGen America, to get young people out to vote in this year’s election. In addition, he is “redoubling” his effort to get Trump impeached.

The San Francisco-based mega donor financed a nationwide ad campaign in 2017 urging the president’s removal from office. Steyer alleged that Trump colluded with Russia during the 2016 presidential election and heightened tensions with North Korea. He put $20 million behind a national ad campaign urging impeachment, which includes both television and digital ads.

“By my count, Trump has committed eight impeachable offenses, he’s trampling on the rule of law, and risking nuclear conflict,” Steyer said.

Many of Congress’ most entrenched Democrats are not enamored with his full-throated push to oust Trump. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called an impeachment campaign unpractical last year, suggesting that it distracts from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation and could jeopardize Democratic efforts to take back Congress in 2018.

Steyer, supports the Mueller investigation, but thinks there is an “open and shut case that [Trump] has met the criteria for impeachment.” He has yet to produce evidence supporting his position, and Democrats have unsuccessfully scrounged for several months to find incriminating evidence against Trump.

Steyer spent about $86 million in the 2016 election cycle in a losing bid to get Democrats elected. His political group, NextGen Climate, spent $56 million in 2016, according to campaign finance data.

It also plowed nearly $21 million in the 2014 election cycle, but only had a 38 percent rate of supporting winning candidates, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Steyer spent more than $73 million of his personal fortune that election cycle, only to see Republicans take control of the Senate.

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