Tags: Trump Administration | Climate Change | Global Warming | GOP2016 | Rand Paul | Tom Steyer | environmentalist

Billionaire Steyer to Target GOP Hopefuls, Link Them to Kochs

By    |   Monday, 06 April 2015 07:42 PM

Tom Steyer, the billionaire environmentalist who tried mostly unsuccessfully to make climate change a priority in the 2014 midterm elections, announced Monday that he will try again in the 2016 presidential race.

Steyer's super-PAC, NextGen Climate, says the effort will target battleground states and will attempt to tie candidates in their political crosshairs to the Koch brothers, USA Today reports.

Billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch already have made a pledge of their own. The fiscally conservative Kochs have said they will spend nearly $900 million to promote their free-market agenda in the 2016 elections.

"The Kochs and their allies are creating the new Koch Republican Party, the party of Big Oil," Steyer's top political strategist Chris Lehane said in making Monday's announcement. Lehane would not say how much the PAC is willing to spend, but said the group will spend "whatever it takes," National Journal reported.

Steyer is a retired hedge fund manager worth $1.6 billion. His PAC targeted seven governors and U.S. senators in 2014, but won only three of those races.

But 2016 will be "a crossroads election when it comes to climate," Lehane said. If there is no public policy to cut greenhouse gases, "the climate change apocalypse will be unleashed," he said.

NextGen plans "disruptive" tactics, beginning Tuesday when Sen. Rand Paul announces his presidential candidacy in Louisville, Kentucky.

The group plans to show up at the announcement with a lie-detector machine and challenge Paul to answer questions on whether he thinks there is a scientific consensus on climate change.

Paul's spokesman Sergio Gor told USA Today that the group's focus on Paul shows that liberals are worried about Paul's "appeal to conservatives, independents and even Democrats."

NextGen will target Iowa, New Hampshire, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, and Florida, specifically targeting young adults and college students, Lehane said. The effort is the first of many the group plans for the 2016 election cycle, he said.

NextGen faces an uphill battle, National Journal reports, because climate change ranks low among voters' priorities.

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Tom Steyer, the billionaire environmentalist who tried mostly unsuccessfully to make climate change a priority in the 2014 midterm elections, announced Monday that he will try again in the 2016 presidential race.
Tom Steyer, environmentalist, Kochs, presidential, priority, liberals, billionaires, conservatives, GOP
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2015-42-06
Monday, 06 April 2015 07:42 PM
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