Billionaire Tom Steyer Jumps into Democratic Presidential Contest
WASHINGTON – Tom Steyer, the billionaire investor and activist who has been advocating for President Donald Trump’s impeachment since shortly after the 2016 election, announced Tuesday he’s joining the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Steyer, 62, announced earlier this year that he had no intention to run for president. In January he traveled to Iowa to say he wanted to focus entirely on his impeachment campaign, Need to Impeach, rather than on a White House bid.
But he’s since said he’s grown frustrated over House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s resistance to impeaching the president. In reality, the two have been locking horns over the issue for ages.
Last year, after Pelosi suggested Steyer’s push to impeach Trump is actually helping Republicans, he pushed back in a Buzzfeed interview, saying “this is a historic time.”
“If you step back for one second and think about this president, the most corrupt president in American history, somebody who is breaking the law on a daily basis,” he added.
Steyer, a longtime Democratic donor, has never run for elected office.
He was raised in New York City and went to the prestigious Phillips Exeter Academy, before going to Yale, and later, Stanford.
He worked at Goldman Sachs in New York before moving to San Francisco to work in private equity and eventually start an investment firm where he made what Forbes magazine has said is a $1.6 billion fortune.
During these years, he also reportedly worked on the presidential campaigns of Walter Mondale, Bill Bradley and John Kerry.
He was also an early supporter of Hillary Clinton and was one of President Barack Obama’s top fundraisers, according to a Vox profile.
Steyer left the financial world to become a political activist full time in 2012.
Since then he’s been an outspoken proponent of renewable energy and climate change legislation, and he’s sought to increase millennials’ participation in politics and elections through NextGen America, an organization he founded in 2013.
Steyer also reportedly spent $120 million in the run-up to the 2018 midterm elections on behalf of Democratic candidates.
Steyer said he is resigning his leadership positions in both NextGen America and Need to Impeach to pursue his presidential bid. He also said he has committed more than $50 million through 2020 to the two organizations.
Despite the high profile he’s gained through his Need to Impeach television spots, Steyer made no mention of it in his campaign announcement.
“The other Democratic candidates for President have many great ideas that will absolutely move our country forward, but we won’t be able to get any of those done until we end the hostile corporate takeover of our democracy,” Steyer said.
In his campaign video, Steyer went on to say that in nearly every “major intractable problem, at the back of it, you see a big money interest for whom stopping progress, stopping justice is really important to their bottom line.”
“Americans are deeply disappointed and hurt by the way they’re treated by what they see as the power elite in Washington, D.C., and that goes across party lines and it goes across democracy,” Steyer continued. “We’ve got to take the corporate control out of our politics.”
In The News
NEW YORK - The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America kicked off veteran education week this morning, continuing a six-week campaign to highlight the priority issues of its members. Over the course of this week, IAVA is highlighting its advocacy efforts to expand and protect veteran... Read More
WASHINGTON – As they did last year, the New Democrat Coalition on Thursday endorsed the reintroduced H.R. 1, the For the People Act. H.R. 1 is a sweeping campaign finance and election reform bill that will make it easier for Americans to vote, end the dominance of money... Read More
WASHINGTON – This week, Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., Mark Warner, D-Va., Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.V., Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Tim Kaine, D-Va., Bob Casey, D-Pa., Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-Pa., introduced the bipartisan, bicameral COVID-19 Mine Worker Protection Act. The legislation requires the U.S.... Read More
The pandemic has made clear that broadband access goes hand-in-hand with economic opportunity, exposing the inequities and lack of resources for black-owned businesses across the country, according to Commissioner Geoffrey Starks of the Federal Communications Commission. Since the onset of the novel coronavirus pandemic, black business... Read More
WASHINGTON - There's no question that the once-every-10-year process of redistricting is off to a slow start. Though the U.S. Census Bureau ended its collection of data for the 2020 census on Oct. 15, 2020, it missed the December statutory deadline for the delivery of apportionment... Read More
Cryptocurrencies have the potential to decentralize systems of commerce across the world, leading to vast peer-to-peer markets absent of manipulation. In order for this to come to fruition, Sheila Warren, head of data, blockchain and digital assets and member of the executive committee at the World... Read More