Tom Steyer made billions as a hedge-funder extraordinaire, and now he’s spending his fortune as an environmental activist and campaigner. The New Republic reports that:
At a time when a string of political defeats has demoralized and beaten down environmental activists, Steyer has offered up his bank account as their savior, and lavished gobs of money on green ballot initiatives and environmentally-friendly candidates.
Word has it Terry McAuliffe, Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s Democratic challenger in the gubernatorial contest in Virginia, is the latest “green” candidate to gain support from Steyer and his mullah. Steyer, it is reported, has ordered costly television ads in Virginia’s media markets and has plans to finance “an extensive voter turnout machine.”
This is not Steyer’s first rodeo. In the special election between Ed Markey and Stephen Lynch in Massachusetts in March, Steyer dropped $300,000 on ads attacking Lynch for his support of the Keystone XL pipeline and wrote a letter to Lynch demanding he un-support the pipeline. Steyer’s threats were ineffective and out of place.
Cuccinelli is especially repulsive to Steyer. The AG launched an ultimately unsuccessful campaign against University of Virginia climate scientist Michael Mann to prove he had fabricated evidence for climate change.
If environmental issues aren’t the priority of people’s voting minds, Steyer hopes to change that. He’s throwing greenbacks at the Virginia campaign to make the green initiative a prominent part of the gubernatorial election, though it might be in McAuliffe’s best interest to keep green initiatives out of his electorate’s minds. (The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is investigating a “green” automotive company McAuliffe helped found. Townhall reports that recently McAuliffe’s scandal “headache became a migrane.”)
From the New Republic:
“It is…not clear that Steyer’s dollars are necessary to defeat Cuccinelli; as of mid-July, McAuliffe’s campaign has raised about twice Cuccinelli’s $1.1 million. For Steyer’s money to make an impact on a race already slathered in cash—and he hasn’t made clear how much he plans to spend—he will have to dole it out with a lot of forethought.”
Steyer’s money-driven campaign appears to be little more than a personal crusade on behalf of his environmental religion. The effectiveness of a campaign which emphasizes the environment in a state wherein unemployment is on the rise may end up being in Cuccinelli’s favor.