The Washington Post recently ranked California extreme “green” billionaire Tom Steyer as the third most influential billionaire impacting national politics. The Post writes,
“One of the heavyweight billionaires on the liberal side, the 58-year-old former California-based hedge fund manager is almost singularly devoted to environmental issues. He raised his national profile significantly in 2014 with a promise to raise and spend an eye-popping $100 million on candidates who want to fight climate change and against candidates who don’t. Steyer and his super PAC, NextGen Climate Action, plan to be just as active in 2016: He purchased hundreds of thousands of dollars in TV ads ahead of the September Republican presidential primary debate, urging the candidates and hosts to address climate change.”
While Steyer may or may not be third nationally, he certainly is number one in our state. Steyer’s money has played a factor in Washington State elections the last few elections, including this year.
Democrat State Representative Carol Gregory faces a special election in the 30th Legislative District this fall, and Steyer is doing his part to ensure she keeps her seat. After all, trying to elect liberal Democrats is what he does.
Public disclosure reports reveal that Steyer’s NextGen PAC gave $200,000 to the Harry Truman Fund (the Hosue Democrats’ campaign account) last fall. Additionally, NextGen has been the largest contributor to this Frank Chopp political slush fund for the last 18 months.
Reports also reveal that the Truman Fund contributed $175,000 to the New Direction PAC in July. In turn, the New Direction PAC contributed to Gregory to the tune of $105,720. The money trail is convoluted—that’s how Steyer likes to operate in WA—but it it pretty clear.
For those who might be skeptical, even the left-leaning Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) confirmed the campaign claim that Gregory is dependent Steyer’s cash, ruling the “carry forward money (in the Truman Fund) cannot be segregated out for 2015 expenditures.” So, it is valid to point out that Steyer’s money has been used to keep Gregory afloat.
In 2014, Steyer attempted to influence Washington State politics by buying the state Senate for Jay Inslee, to ensure smooth sialing for their shared extreme green agenda. Groups funded by Steyer, like the Washington Conservation Voters (WCV), pumped millions into the attempt to unseat Senators Steve O’Ban, Andy Hill and Doug Erickson. Unfortunately for Steyer – but fortunately for Washinbgton taxpayers – voters rejected his message and he failed to hand Washington State’s Senate back to Democrats.