The oversized influence – starting last year – on Washington State Democrats of California billionaire Tom Steyer has been well documented on Shift, and even today in the Seattle Times. But nationally it was a different story.
Tom Steyer’s super PAC, NextGen Climate certainly made a splash, spending about $60 million during the 2014 election cycle. However, he had originally set a goal of $100 million, expecting donors to match the $50 million he would put up. However, failing to inspire much donor confidence, Steyer’s fundraising efforts did not quite pan out as he expected.
The results of spending $60 million on campaign efforts also did not turn out as Steyer may have expected. In fact, the Washington Post recently pointed to Steyer’s efforts as an example of how spectacularly attempts to buy elections may fail.
In seven races Steyer prioritized as targets, six Republican candidates moved up in the polls. Republicans gained a national momentum that Steyer—and his millions—could not stop. Steyer and NextGen simply failed to craft a message that appealed to voters.
As SHIFT reported, Steyer has attempted to influence state Senate races in Washington State by laundering millions through his super PAC and other liberal organizations. Of course, his goal is to hand the state Senate back to Democrats in order to remove all obstacles to Jay Inslee’s extreme environmental agenda. Whether or not Steyer is successful in our state remains to be seen.