Tags: midterms | Senate races | global warming | Michigan

Tom Steyer's Bad Investment: Dems in Senate Races

Tom Steyer's Bad Investment: Dems in Senate Races
Hedge-fund billionaire Tom Steyer. (Karl Mondon/MCT/Landov)

By    |   Wednesday, 15 October 2014 12:05 PM

In the last 18 months, hedge fund billionaire and global warming activist Tom Steyer has spent over $42 million of his personal fortune backing national candidates who share his views about climate change and opposing those who don't.

So far, it doesn't appear to be working out very well for him.

USA Today reports that Steyer has spent $4.7 million fighting Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Utah, in his drive to unseat Sen. Mark Udall, D-Utah.

However, Gardner has a four-point lead in polls, according to CNN.

Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, recipient of $15,447 from Steyer's NextGen Climate Action super PAC, is down 1.3 percent to his opponent, Republican Joni Ernst, despite $2.7 million the PAC spent opposing Ernst for the Senate seat, according to RealClearPolitics.

In the New Hampshire Senate race, Steyer's group has spent $3.1 million in an attempt to stop Republican Scott Brown from unseating Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, but a New England College poll shows Brown pulling ahead of Shaheen for the first time, by 1.1 percent.

Meanwhile, a new Gallup poll shows that among 13 issues foremost in voters' concerns, global warming comes in dead last, with the top 10 being — the economy, jobs, federal government performance, ISIS (the Islamic State), equal pay for women, the federal budget deficit, Obamacare, distribution of wealth, abortion and contraception.

However, Steyer continues his crusade to see the United States "transform its energy economy and to lead the world to transform its energy economy," he told USA Today during a campaign stop in Detroit, adding, "I'm very, very convinced of the rightness of what we are doing. It's not clear exactly how we're going to win, but it's pretty clear that we have to win."

Gail Gitcho, spokesperson for the Republican Governors Association, told Sunshine State News, "It’s time liberal billionaire Tom Steyer’s agenda was addressed for what it really is: extreme, out-of-touch and hypocritical
.
"Steyer struck it rich by investing in 'dirty' energy, and then did an about-face when it became politically convenient."

Steyer is widely viewed as the liberal antithesis to the Koch brothers, whose Americans for Prosperity PAC has spent $2.5 million to back Republican Terri Lynn Land, running against Rep. Gary Peters,  a Democrat, for the Michigan Senate seat vacated by retiring Democratic Sen. Carl Levin. Steyer has spent $3.2 million opposing Land, who is running five points behind Peters according to the latest Huffington Post poll.

Steyer claims that the Koches and other opponents are out-spending him by "many multiples," USA Today reports.

Bill Ballenger, founder of Inside Michigan Politics, said the 2014 Michigan Senate race is the most expensive in the state's history, and ties Peter's showing more to Democratic strength in Michigan than to the environmental concerns posed by Steyer.

Most of the state "doesn't really know much" about global warming, he told USA Today.

Rich Robinson, head of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network which tracks campaign spending in the state, told MLive.com, "There is so much money in politics now that you have multi-million dollar experiments: way more dollars than sense."

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Hedge fund billionaire and global warming activist Tom Steyer has spent over $42 million of his personal fortune backing national candidates who share his views about climate change and opposing those who don't, but has little to show for the money.
midterms, Senate races, global warming, Michigan
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2014-05-15
Wednesday, 15 October 2014 12:05 PM
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