Environmental activist and billionaire Tom Steyer served notice on Monday that he will use his wealth to try to bring climate change into the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign, vowing to target Republican hopefuls who deny the connection between burning fossil fuels and rising global temperatures.
Steyer’s NextGen Climate political action committee launched what it calls the Hot Seat campaign aimed at calling out Republican candidates for taking money from the billionaire Koch brothers. The group will target Senator Rand Paul, who is expected to launch his presidential campaign on Tuesday.
Steyer’s PAC found limited success turning climate change into a wedge issue in the 2014 midterm elections, despite spending over $70 million on candidates backing strong climate change policies. Only three of seven candidates backed by NextGen won their races.
This time, it hopes to use the conservative Koch brothers as foils, highlighting the connection between their campaign spending and politicians who deny the science underpinning the rise in global temperatures.
It’s adorable that this piece pretends Steyer wasn’t using the Koch brothers as foils when his candidates were getting shellacked last November. However, as I pointed out last Thursday, this is a game the media is duty bound to play as Official Lap Dogs of the Democratic Party.
The media pretends that the Left’s benefactors aren’t really that rich, you know. Nothing like the KOCH BROTHERS FINANCIAL BEHEMOTH. In this post alone, the writer lets Steyer’s NextGen PAC play coy about how much it will spend, while quoting a NextGen memo decrying “the Koch brothers’ unprecedented campaign spending…” In reality, Steyer spent almost $69 million more than the Koch brothers in the last election cycle.
But it’s the Koch name that everyone knows, because the media keep screaming it from the rooftops. Harry Reid spent much of the time he wasn’t getting his butt kicked by the mob (exercise bands, whatever) on the Senate floor accusing the Kochs pretty much influencing the entire electoral process in America.
Steyer’s name, on the other hand, is rarely mentioned in the media. He’s practically a publicity ghost. Hell, his name didn’t even make it into the headline of the Reuters post. They referred to him as “green donor.” In fact, the Koch brothers get mentioned twice as many times as Steyer does in the article, and it’s about him.
Tom Steyer is the $74 million elephant in the room and the press barely knows his name or acknowledges his existence.
Wise GOP presidential candidates would do well to mention him often.