California billionaire and environmental hypocrite Tom Steyer either does not know how his super PAC (NextGen) plays politics or he is lying. In a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times, Steyer claims that—unlike conservative groups—his super PAC is “committed to using our resources openly and transparently.”
That commitment to transparency must not exist for Washington State. Only last year, Steyer was caught trying to illegally funnel millions of dollars into his PAC in Washington State– and then was let off the hook almost immediately by our state’s suddenly quick-acting Public Disclosure Commission (PDC).
As Shift reported, Steyer’s NextGen PAC is closely coordinated with our state’s most liberal and secretive groups. In 2013, Steyer coordinated his investments in Democrat campaigns through the Washington Conservation Voters (WCV) and She’s Changed PAC. After being caught making a $3 million contribution to his PAC after a state deadline, he received a pardon from the PDC because his lawyer said that his was a federal PAC and that Steyer was no longer active in Washington campaigns at that point in October.
A little investigation on the PDC’s part would have proved that Steyer’s story did not line up. First, while true that his NextGen PAC was filed with federal authorities, it had not met the threshold for being a federal PAC because it had not spent any money on federal races after being formed in July. It was only active in Washington and Virginia on state races. Second, his NextGen PAC maintained a web site focused on our state’s elections long after he told the PDC he had shut down his operations here. Screen shots of that work was provided to our PDC, though mysteriously Steyer’s folks pulled down the web site after questions started being raised about his questionable activities.
That doesn’t sound like a commitment to using resources openly and transparently. In fact, it sounds a whole lot like Steyer is doing the exact opposite of “trying really hard to be transparent” (another claim he made in the interview).
Steyer does go on to say something with which we actually agree. He states, “People take in ideas and formulate opinions by contact with other people they perceive to be trustworthy — other voters, people from their communities.” Steyer is correct, that’s why all the candidates he supported lost and it’s why all the Seattle doorbellers he funded through state PACs like WCV to attack state Senators Andy Hill, Steve O’Ban and Doug Erickson failed so miserably.