In February, a spokeswoman for the newly formed pro-Inslee super PAC, Act Now On Climate, said Steyer “would be our first call” to ask for donations if Inslee entered the race. He announced his candidacy March 1. But the money never arrived...On Tuesday, Steyer scrapped any idea he’d rescue Inslee’s struggling campaign, saying he’s running for the Democratic nomination after all — and will spend $100 million on his own candidacy.
Tina Podlodowski, chair of the Washington State Democrats, criticized Steyer’s announcement on Twitter, urging him to reconsider how he’d spend his money. She compared his candidacy to the presidential aspirations of another billionaire, former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz.“$100M would give SUCH a boost to every State Party in the country, allowing us to win up & down the ballot & invest in our organizers and volunteers. Invest in OUR people and THEIR power … not this bid. Please don’t Schultz it up!,” Podlodowski wrote on Twitter.
Time Magazine ‘Hero of the Environment’ Michael Shellenberger on Tom Styer: "Head of Sierra Club calls billionaire fossil fuel magnate turned megalomaniacal Democratic presidential candidate 'another climate champ.' Not the Onion, sadly.
NYT: Over the past 15 years, Mr. Steyer’s fund, Farallon Capital Management, has pumped hundreds of millions of dollars into companies that operate coal mines and coal-fired power plants from Indonesia to China, records and interviews show. The expected life span of those facilities, some of which may run through 2030, could cloud Mr. Steyer’s image as an environmental savior and the credibility of his clean-energy message, which has won him access to the highest levels of American government. Together, those mines have increased their annual production by about 70 million tons since they received money from the hedge fund, according to corporate records, government data and interviews with industry experts...
That is more than the amount of coal consumed annually by Britain. “I am disappointed, I have to say,” said Dale Jamieson, a professor of environmental studies at New York University, who said he admired Mr. Steyer’s campaign to curb climate change. When it comes to large-scale investments in coal, Professor Jamieson said, “you can’t undo what you’ve done in the past.”
"Tom Steyer has decided that the Democratic party desperately needs yet another white man to fix the problems caused by a white man, and he feels he is just the white man for the job. So he’s planning to blow $100m of his own money to do it. At a time when the Democratic party seems completely uninterested and unimpressed by rich white men, this rich white man has made the calculation that what the Democratic party is greatly lacking in its enormous candidate pool is another rich white man specifically put his riches front and center."
NYT: There is little doubt that a message of government reform has broad appeal to Democrats. But Mr. Steyer is also now on his third signature issue in little more than half a decade — after first championing climate change as a campaign topic, and then presidential impeachment — and he will have to compete with more than a handful of other Democrats trumpeting clean-government themes.
Some of those candidates can be expected to push back on Mr. Steyer’s self-presentation: Mr. Sanders, for one, said on MSNBC that he liked Mr. Steyer personally but was “a bit tired of seeing billionaires trying to buy political power.”