Billionaire Tom Steyer: World Class Hypocrite
Democrats worry about the Koch brothers while happily lining their pockets with Steyer's cash.
“What is un-American is when shadowy billionaires pour unlimited money into our democracy to rig the system to benefit themselves and the wealthiest one percent. I believe in an America where economic opportunity is open to all. And based on their actions and policies they promote, the Koch brothers seem to believe in an America where the system is rigged to benefit the very wealthy.” —former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, denouncing the $14.5 million spent by Charles and David Koch on Senate races, March 4, 2014
“California billionaire hedge fund manager turned political activist Tom Steyer announced in a press conference on Thursday morning that he is ‘doubling down’ and committing another $10 million to his Need To Impeach campaign against President Donald Trump. The additional capital, which would bring Steyer’s total dollars spent to $20 million, will fund new advertisement buys and at least one new commercial which will be released next week.” —Forbes Magazine, Nov. 9, 2017
For terminally hypocritical Democrats, some billionaires and their spending are “more equal” than others. Thus Tom Steyer, a charter member of the “Archenemies of Liberty Club,” is their latest hero, not only because he spends money on their agenda but because he’s just as comfortable with rank hypocrisy as they are.
“The president is doing some awful things. That’s the point we’re trying to make in those TV ads: ‘Let’s come together and stand up against somebody who’s doing awful things,’” Steyer stated in an interview with Newsweek. “But [I’m] as disturbed by the good things that he’s not doing as by the awful things that he is doing.”
Steyer’s first ad is quite melodramatic. He accuses Trump of bringing America to the brink of nuclear war, obstructing justice at the FBI, taking money from foreign governments and threatening to shut down media organizations that report the truth. “If this is not a case for impeaching and removing a dangerous president, then what has our government become?” he asks.
What our government has become is largely a self-serving enterprise where the needs of the American people have been ignored for decades. That reality — no doubt to Steyer’s chagrin — is why Trump got elected in the first place.
Moreover, if Democrats still want to rail about the excess influence of shadowy billionaires, perhaps they might take note that no one contributed more of his own money to federal candidates, parties, political action committees, etc., during the 2016 election cycle than Tom Steyer. He donated a whopping $91.1 million, solely to Democrat and leftist entities.
The Koch brothers? Pikers by comparison. Only Charles made the list’s top 100. His total contribution? A little over $4 million.
Steyer is free to spend his wealth as he sees fit, but the man who likened Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris accord on global warming as “a traitorous act of war against the American people” is as self-serving as anyone on the planet. His group, Next Gen Climate, is a super PAC that aims to move the nation to a 100% renewable energy future within 25 years. And while it’s framed as a noble enterprise, a July 2016 report by the non-profit watchdog Energy & Environment Legal Institute reveals otherwise. Entitled “Buying the Democrat Party Lock, Stock and Barrel,” the report details Steyer’s efforts to “protect his solar energy investments by spending tens of millions of dollars on key 2016 races, buying a plank in the 2016 Democrat platform, and trying to silence debate from those who challenge his view on ‘climate change’ by using select attorneys general to prosecute ‘dissenters.’”
That would be Steyer’s current solar investments. After a career on Wall Street that included stints at Goldman Sachs and equity firm Hellman & Freidman, Steyer took $15 million in seed money and founded Farallon Capital Management in 1986. By 2011, Farallon had become the 12th largest hedge fund in the world, with $21.5 billion in assets.
How? Among other things, Farallon provided funding for acquisitions and expansions to six of the largest coal mine and coal power plant buyouts in Australia and Asia since 2003. Steyer’s hypocrisy is so egregious, a group of Yale students created the website UnFarallon.info to keep track of it.
It is hypocrisy that also surrounds his opposition to the Keystone pipeline. As a 2014 Wall Street Journal article noted, “Mr. Steyer and the [Democrat] party’s liberal financiers are climate-change absolutists who have made killing Keystone a non-negotiable demand.” Yet 2014 was also the year it was revealed Farallon had $40 million invested in Kinder Morgan, an entity building a competitor to Keystone. That inconvenient truth elicited a promise from Steyer to sell his stock shares and donate the profits to charity.
In May 2016, leaked corporate documents also showed that Steyer helped to finance a company used by the family of former Chinese premier Wen Jiabao “to park investments in overseas tax havens,” The Washington Free Beacon reported.
That revelation was part of the Panama Papers scandal precipitated by a leak of 11.5 million files from the database of Mossack Fonseca, the world’s fourth largest offshore law firm. The files detailed how the rich exploit offshore tax havens. “The documents shed light on the activities Steyer engaged in to earn his estimated $1.6 billion fortune, but that run counter to many political principles and causes he is now using that fortune to support,” the Free Beacon explains.
In short, Steyer was for anti-environmental profit-making before he was against it.
What about Steyer’s “conversion” to green energy? As The New York Times explained in 2014, Farallon “has pumped hundreds of millions of dollars into companies that operate coal mines and coal-fired power plants from Indonesia to China.” It further notes an examination of those records “shows that even after his highly public divestment, the coal-related projects his firm bankrolled will generate tens of millions of tons of carbon pollution for years, if not decades, to come.”
The Times thought this might “cloud” Steyer’s image as an environmental crusader. No doubt. But it certainly clarifies his image as a first-class fraud, one reportedly considering a run for Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s seat.
In the meantime, Steyer remains focused on Trump’s impeachment. “I believe we’re in an urgent political crisis,” he insists.
Republican National Committee spokesman Michael Ahrens isn’t particularly concerned. “If Democrats want to appease the far left and their liberal mega-donors by supporting a baseless radical effort that the vast majority of Americans disagree with, then have at it,” he told Newsweek in an email.
An American Left that believes it is entitled to rule, irrespective of election results, will undoubtedly do just that, embracing every effort to delegitimize the presidency of Donald Trump — by any means necessary.
Tom Steyer is leftists’ chief financier, a man so arrogant he believes global warming “deniers” should be prosecuted and that impeachment proceedings can literally be bought.
Along with Democrat politicians. “We need people like Tom Steyer,” Harry Reid stated on May 20, 2014, two months after hammering the Kochs — and three days after it was reported that Steyer contributed $5 million to the Senate Majority PAC run by former Reid aides.
Apparently some efforts to “rig the system” are also more equal than others.