Billionaire Democrat donor Tom Steyer plans to spend $100 million in mid-term elections ‘to enact climate change measures through a hard-edge campaign of attack ads’
Excerpts from Feb. 18, 2014 NYT article: Targets include the governor’s race in Florida, where the incumbent, Rick Scott, a first-term Republican, has said he does not believe that science has established that climate change is man-made. Mr. Steyer’s group is also looking at the Senate race in Iowa, in the hope that a win for the Democratic candidate, Representative Bruce Braley, an outspoken proponent of measures to limit climate change, could help shape the 2016 presidential nominating contests.
Mr. Steyer, 56, accumulated more than $1.5 billion during his days at the hedge fund Farallon Capital Management, before he retired in 2012. Today, he is among the most visible of a new breed of wealthy donors on the left who call themselves “donor-doers,” taking a page from the Kochs, Mr. Bloomberg and others to build and run their own political organizations — outside the two parties and sometimes in tension with them.
Mr. Steyer poured tens of millions of dollars into a successful 2012 ballot initiative in California that eliminated a loophole in the state’s corporate income tax and dedicated some of the resulting revenue to clean-energy projects. He also has helped finance opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline, appearing in a series of self-funded 90-second ads seeking to stop the project.
Those efforts cemented his partnership with Chris Lehane, a California-based Democratic strategist, and heralded the emergence of NextGen Climate, now a 20-person operation encompassing a super PAC, a research organization and a political advocacy nonprofit. The group employs polling, research and social media to find climate-sensitive voters and spends millions of dollars in television advertising to try to persuade them.
It already is among the biggest environmental pressure groups in the country: For example, the League of Conservation Voters, considered the most election-oriented of such groups, reported spending about $15 million on campaign ads in 2012. And while Mr. Steyer has been critical of Democrats who waver on climate issues, he has aimed most of his firepower so far at Republicans.
End NYT excerpt
NYE: ‘This is perfectly analogous to the cigarette industry and cancer, trying to introduce the idea that since you can’t prove any one thing, the whole thing is in — is in doubt.’
MORANO: ‘For Nye to bring up cigarettes – it’s the global warming scientists who are the ones fulfilling a narrative. I mean we have Michael Oppenheimer, one of the lead U.N. scientists, took an endowment from Barbra Streisand. Hollywood – he’s the climatologists to the stars. It’s so insulting to imply that somehow skeptical scientists are on the pay like tobacco companies. It’s the height of arrogance when you look at the actual data, the global warming scientists, through government grants, foundations, through media empowerment, have the full advantages of government money, foundation money, university money. There’s not even any comparison.’]
JOHN STOSSEL: As a consumer reporter, I’ve covered 1,000 scares. Lawn chemicals, cell phone radiation, pesticide residues, plastic bottles killing people, power lines, Mad Cow Disease was going to kill everybody. And always the example is, yes, there were doubters about cigarettes. I mean that one example doesn’t mean that the global warming scare is correct.’
Meet the Press to Host Climate Change Debate Featuring a Guy [Bill Nye] Who Played a Scientist on TV – ‘Nye has repeatedly debated Climate Depot’s Marc Morano, and, to steal part of a line from Muhammad Ali, during an early match-up, on CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight, Morano beat Nye so bad, Nye needed a shoehorn to put his bow tie back on. So did Nye come up with some new arguments when Fox hosted a re-match? No, he didn’t bother. He trotted out the same weak arguments…And so Marc Morano trounced him again.’
Watch Now: Morano V. Bill Nye Climate Debate on Fox With Stossel in Jan. 2014– Nye Cites ‘Hockey Stick’ as Proof – Says Politicians can fix potholes & the climate – Morano denounces as ‘medieval witchcraft’ – Full Transcript