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Tom Steyer

D

Twitter Followers: 317.8K

Running, 2020, Presidential Primary Election

August States
Quick Facts
Personal Details

Steyer was born in 1957 and grew up in New York City. He studied economics and political science at Yale University, graduating summa cum laude. After college, he worked on mergers and acquisitions for the investment bank Morgan Stanley. He went back to school to earn an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

After graduate school, Steyer worked for the New York investment bank Goldman Sachs and moved to San Francisco in 1986 to join the private equity firm Hellman & Friedman. He then started his own hedge fund, Farallon Capital Management, which he managed until 2012, when he retired to focus on political advocacy and philanthropy.

In 2013, Steyer founded NextGen Climate. According to its website, NextGen Climate was formed "to prevent climate disaster and promote prosperity for all Americans." Steyer rebranded NextGen Climate as NextGen America in July 2017 to reflect a broader focus on opposition to President Donald Trump and support for a range of progressive policies. "This is a fight for the soul of American democracy and we have expanded our mission to meet the challenge at hand," he said.

According to Investor's Business Daily, Steyer spent more money on the 2014 and 2016 elections—$73 million and approximately $100 million, respectively—than any other individual donor. In May 2016, Forbes listed Steyer at number 387 on its list of the 400 wealthiest people in the United States. He spent $74 million during the 2018 elections.

Education

  • MBA, Graduate School of Business, Stanford University, 1981-1983
  • Graduated, Yale University, 1975-1979

Professional Experience

  • MBA, Graduate School of Business, Stanford University, 1981-1983
  • Graduated, Yale University, 1975-1979
  • Founder/President, NextGen America, 2013-present
  • Co-Founder, Beneficial State Bank, 2007-present
  • Founder/Senior Managing Member, Farallon Capital Management, 1986-2012

Political Experience

  • MBA, Graduate School of Business, Stanford University, 1981-1983
  • Graduated, Yale University, 1975-1979
  • Founder/President, NextGen America, 2013-present
  • Co-Founder, Beneficial State Bank, 2007-present
  • Founder/Senior Managing Member, Farallon Capital Management, 1986-2012
  • Candidate, President of the United States, 2020
Elections

2020

Presidency

An election for president of the United States will be held on November 3, 2020. Steyer announced that he was running for president on July 9, 2019.

Policy Positions

2020

Abortion

Do you generally support pro-choice or pro-life legislation?
- Pro-choice

Budget

1. In order to balance the budget, do you support an income tax increase on any tax bracket?
- Yes

2. Do you support expanding federal funding to support entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare?
- Unknown Position

Education

Do you support requiring states to adopt federal education standards?
- Unknown Position

Energy & Environment

1. Do you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions?
- Unknown Position

2. Do you support government funding for the development of renewable energy (e.g. solar, wind, geo-thermal)?
- Yes

Guns

Do you generally support gun-control legislation?
- Yes

Health Care

Do you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")?
- Unknown Position

Campaign Finance

Do you support the regulation of indirect campaign contributions from corporations and unions?
- Yes

Economy

1. Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth?
- Unknown Position

2. Do you support lowering corporate taxes as a means of promoting economic growth?
- Unknown Position

Immigration

1. Do you support the construction of a wall along the Mexican border?
- No

2. Do you support requiring immigrants who are unlawfully present to return to their country of origin before they are eligible for citizenship?
- No

National Security

1. Should the United States use military force to prevent governments hostile to the U.S. from possessing a weapon of mass destruction (for example: nuclear, biological, chemical)?
- Unknown Position

2. Do you support reducing military intervention in Middle East conflicts?
- Yes

Trade

Do you generally support removing barriers to international trade (for example: tariffs, quotas, etc.)?
- Unknown Position

Defense

Do you support increasing defense spending?
- Unknown Position

Speeches
Articles

Five Big Challenges Facing Democrats in 2020

Mar. 6, 2020

Divided Democrats can agree on one thing: The other guy would be a disaster. “In 30-plus years of politics, I’ve never seen this level of doom. I’ve never had a day with so many people texting, emailing, calling me with so much doom and gloom,” Matt Bennett of the center-left group Third Way told Politico after Bernie Sanders’ big win in Nevada. Progressives share an equal level of doom and gloom around the prospect of former Vice President Joe Biden winning the nomination. “Very often, we are told — by people on television and in political media, perhaps by the people in our social circle and our families — that Joe Biden is the only way that Democrats can win in 2020,” laments New York Magazine’s Rebecca Traister. “But when I look at these last decades, I don’t actually see how much we’ve won with a party run by Those Guys. I see how much we’ve lost.” Biden’s 2020 campaign, fellow New York Magazine contributor Jonathan Chait predicts, “is going to end in a disaster for the whole party.” Super Tuesday’s super-fast consolidation of the Democratic presidential field has appropriately been framed as a two-man race between Bernie’s progressive revolution and the moderates’ plan to play-it-safe with Uncle Joe. There’s no question that Biden vs. Bernie is another battle in the ongoing “struggles for the soul of the Democratic Party.” The nasty ideological fight is far from Democrats’ only problem. Here are five big challenges facing Democrats in 2020. 1. Democrats are equally divided along generational lines. For a half-century, moderates have battled liberals for control of the Democratic Party. That’s not new. This time, that split is also reflected in Democrats’ age.  According to an ABC News/Washington Post exit poll, nearly 60% of Democrats between the ages of 18 to 29 years old voted for Sanders on Super Tuesday compared to 17% for Biden. At the other end, voters 65 and older went 48% for Biden and 15% for Sanders. The age gap creates problems for how Democrats communicate, the style and tenor of campaign messages and what’s considered civil in political discourse. Young progressives, frustrated by the Establishment, relish the chance to match President Trump’s brash style and in-your-face tone. They see moderate Democrats as weak pushovers. Yet, that style is what’s driving independent older voters away from Trump. It won’t be easy for Democrats to reconcile those radically different approaches.   2. Democrats are overestimating the power of anti-Trump sentiments to drive turnout. Democrats clearly are banking on Trump to be the main driver for their “get out the vote” efforts. That worked to great effect during the 2018 midterms, which showed incredible strength for Democrats in turning out their base. But in the social media age, four years is a long time to sustain the resistance, and there are signs Trump might be losing his power to motivate Democrats to vote. In contrast, he is generating unprecedented enthusiasm among GOP voters in an uncontested primary. According to Rolling Stone, “In New Hampshire, Trump received 129,696 votes, which is more than double what Obama got in 2012 and George W. Bush in 2004.” 3. Enthusiasm among women is down. Trump’s 2017 inauguration was answered in an unprecedented way with the Women’s March on Washington. That enthusiasm was channeled into progressive meet-up groups. The #MeToo movement seemed to add more motivation for women to take action and become politically engaged. What happened to all that energy and enthusiasm among women? Democrats started the race with a promising field of six female candidates: Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar, Kirsten Gillibrand, Tulsi Gabbard, and Marianne Williamson. Now, it’s down to two rich white men who represented mid-Atlantic and New England states, respectively, in the U.S. Senate. “No matter which person or party wins now, the historical grid at the back of my son and daughter’s Little Presidents board book will be getting yet another white male face,” writes Vogue contributor Michelle Ruiz. “It’s a cruel and frankly outrageous bill of goods that women and girls are sold: to be bombarded by bedazzled ‘Who Run the World?’ T-shirts and ‘Girl Power’ buttons, only to be told by the general electorate over and over again that the best you can hope for is vice president (maybe) or first lady.” 4. Young voters aren’t showing up.    The drop in the youth turnout among Democratic primary voters is a big concern for Bernie’s chances to secure the nomination. “Have we been as successful as I would hope in bringing young people in? The answer is no," Sanders told the press after Super Tuesday’s mixed results. It should terrify all Democrats in advance of November.  In North Carolina, overall turnout was up 17% but youth turnout was down 9%. According to the Washington Post, “Youth turnout compared to 2016 is either flat or down in a majority of states that have voted.” 5. Will the two billionaires take their ball and go home? Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg effectively bankrolled the Democrats’ 2018 midterm campaigns.  The latter spent more than $100 million to aid candidates in swing congressional districts. The former kicked in another $123 million to build the “Biggest Political Machine You’ve Never Heard of.” To put those numbers in perspective, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spent $84 million during the 2018 cycle. Bloomberg and Steyer’s combined spending was nearly three times as much. Both billionaires’ largesse was driven, at least in part, by their 2020 presidential ambitions. Democrats should be concerned that both of them might temper their spending in the lead-up to November.Source: https://www.realclearpolitics.com/

Shouting Match Breaks Out on South Carolina Debate Stage

Feb. 26, 2020

CHARLESTON, S.C. -- One night after a dinner noted for its decorum and Southern civility, the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates eagerly savaged one another, seeking advantage just four days before the pivotal South Carolina primary. All of the candidates on the debate stage Tuesday night hold positions at least as progressive as the last Democratic president’s. The overarching narrative, then, tumbled into arguments about electability and effectiveness. CBS moderators asked Bernie Sanders, the current front-runner, how he planned to pay for $50 trillion in proposed new spending, including an estimated $30 trillion for “Medicare for All.” Could he do the math on stage? “How many hours do you have?” he shot back. “That’s the problem,” Joe Biden interrupted. Annoyed by the former vice president’s snarky aside, the self-described democratic socialist asserted that people’s overall health care outlays would go down as government spending goes up. “What we need to do,” Sanders said, “is to do what every other major country on Earth does: guarantee health care to all people, not have thousands of separate insurance plans." He barely got this answer out before Amy Klobuchar interrupted. Not only would his spending dwarf the American economy, the Minnesota senator complained, Sanders was out of step with what voters want. All of it, she continued, would amount to “a bunch of broken promises that sound good on bumper stickers.” Sanders tried shouting a rebuttal as Pete Buttigieg started talking over him. When the moderators finally quieted the cross-talk, the former South Bend, Ind., mayor had calculated the political cost to Democrats: “It adds up to four more years of Donald Trump, Kevin McCarthy as speaker of the House, and the inability to get the Senate into Democratic hands.” Sanders was hardly the innocent victim of this sort of exchange. He got the first question: How could he convince voters to turn away from President Trump when the economy is doing so well? The Vermont senator turned his answer into an attack on the former mayor of New York, a deep-pocketed latecomer to the race: “Well, you're right. The economy is doing really great for people like Mr. Bloomberg and other billionaires.” Bloomberg responded in kind, saying Russian President Vladimir Putin wants Trump to remain in the White House, which is “why Russia is helping you get elected, so you will lose to him.” It was a reference to unsubstantiated reports that Russia is backing the new front-runner with a disinformation campaign, and Sanders countered by citing Bloomberg’s past praise of the leader of communist China: “I'm not a good friend of President Xi of China. I think President Xi is an authoritarian leader.” The dueling references to foreign tyrants was unusual at a debate that was supposed to focus on kitchen table issues. Biden holds an eight-percentage-point lead in South Carolina and has long insisted that he would succeed in a more diverse state that better reflects the makeup of the country. But he was left sputtering as moderators failed to stifle all the shouting. “I guess the only way to do this is to jump in and speak twice as long as you should,” he said with exasperation when other candidates kept talking over the allotted 90-second limit. “I know you cut me off all the time, but I’m not going to be quiet anymore, OK?” he complained when a moderator tried to cut another answer short. "Why am I stopping? No one else stops," he later sighed. Biden has the most to lose in South Carolina after finishing fourth in Iowa, fifth in New Hampshire and second in Nevada. He has built a last-ditch firewall in the Southern state. To preserve it, he invoked the name of his old boss to attack Sanders, noting how Sanders had mulled a 2012 primary challenge against Barack Obama. Being a true progressive doesn’t mean passing purity tests, he said. “Progressive is getting things done,” Biden argued, “and that's what we got done. We got a lot done.” Critiques such as this one weren’t uttered only by moderates. Elizabeth Warren and Sanders share a similar policy portfolio, she noted, “but I think I would make a better president than Bernie” because “getting a progressive agenda enacted is going to be really hard, and it's going to take someone who digs into the details to make it happen.” No one accused Bloomberg of not getting things done. It was what the former mayor has done that drew his competitors’ criticism. They accused him of enforcing racist stop-and-frisk policies as mayor and of forcing female former employees to sign non-disclosure agreements in settling complaints about inappropriate comments he allegedly made. When Warren leveled that last charge, the billionaire objected. He had already released three women from those contracts, and besides she was just “relitigating” an old issue. At this, Buttigieg jumped in: “And if you get nominated, we'll be re-litigating this all year.” The barbs and counter-barbs and counter-counter-barbs went on and on. Should Sanders become the nominee, Trump will use the standard-bearer’s far-left ideology as a cudgel against him, billionaire philanthropist Tom Steyer said. He previewed the president’s attack, starting politely enough by  praising the front-runner for identifying many of the problems facing the country. “The difference is,” Steyer continued, “I don't like his solutions. I don't believe that a government takeover of large parts of the economy makes any sense for working people or for families.” This criticism was tamely expressed compared to the attacks Sanders received over his recent comments about Cuba, in particular his praise of Fidel Castro’s “literacy programs.” Yes, Sanders replied, he had trumpeted such social initiatives advanced by the late dictator. No, the senator continued, he had not endorsed the authoritarianism that accompanied them. But again, this was too much for Buttigieg: Democrats would fail, he said, if they must champion a nominee who encouraged the public to “look at the bright side of the Castro regime.” “I’m not looking forward to a scenario where it comes down to Trump, with nostalgia for the social order of the 1950s, and Sanders, with nostalgia for the revolutionary politics of the 1960s,” he continued. There were other arguments, most of them accompanied by raised voices. It was a noisy and final debate before the last dance ahead of not just the Palmetto State’s primary but Super Tuesday. Some were surprised by the tumult, including Steyer, who told RealClearPolitics that “the debate got a little away from the moderators from time to time, for sure.” Others were more than disappointed, including a senior South Carolina Democratic official. “The staff of these candidates are performing political malpractice,” the official said on condition of anonymity. “This was an opportunity to connect with the folks of South Carolina — to share the stories and heartaches, the dreams and pains of the people they have met over the past year.” “They all failed miserably,” the official concluded. South Carolina votes on Saturday.Source: https://www.realclearpolitics.com/

In Iowa Debate, Mild Feuding and No Fireworks

Jan. 15, 2020

The six top Democratic presidential candidates had their last chance Tuesday night to throw some punches as they stood on stage together for the final time before their nomination battle officially begins in 20 days. Defying expectations, however, the gloves largely stayed on as the contenders appeared reluctant to take forceful shots and risk alienating some of their opponents’ supporters -- voters they will need in the long run to have a shot of defeating President Trump. As a result, caution may have been the most active dynamic in a debate heavy on policy issues — health care, trade, climate change, childcare and international relations— and nearly absent of fireworks despite the high stakes and dwindling days before the first primary voting begins in Iowa on Feb. 3. In fact, the most contentious clash between the candidates this week came one day before the Des Moines debate when Elizabeth Warren accused Bernie Sanders of privately telling her in 2018 that he didn’t think a woman could beat Trump in 2020 – an apparent effort to rattle her fellow progressive, who the latest polls show is running neck-in-neck with Warren and Joe Biden in the Hawkeye State. The Massachusetts senator delivered the most memorable line of the night just 24 hours after launching that political grenade at Sanders. She noted that of the candidates on stage, the men had lost 10 races, while the women -- she and Sen. Amy Klobuchar -- had never lost once. Warren followed up by saying she was the only person on stage to defeat a Republican incumbent in the past 30 years. More than just canned feminist zingers, the assertions had the dual purpose of putting Sanders on his heels for a few moments when he struggled to count how long it had been since he defeated a GOP incumbent for office. It also reminded Democratic voters of widespread criticism in the party that Sanders didn’t sufficiently support Hillary Clinton in 2016 after she won the hard-fought primary against him. After a shaky beginning on foreign policy, the moment clearly boosted Warren’s confidence and she came out swinging later on health care and plans to tax the nation’s wealthiest to pay for a host of government freebies, including “Medicare for All,” free college tuition and preschool for all. Klobuchar, too, got a boost out of the Warren-Sanders feuding, as it highlighted her winning record in Minnesota, one of the battleground states Democrats aim to capture to deny Trump a second term. Klobuchar’s clear goal in last night’s debate was to continue carving out that middle ground in the race by casting herself as a younger -- but not too young (see Buttigieg, Pete) -- and even more pragmatic alternative to national front-runner Joe Biden. Once again, the Midwest Democrat presented herself as a candidate who rejects the big-government proposals of Warren and Sanders while still coming up with bold solutions to the nation’s biggest problems. After Warren rattled off her reasons for supporting free college, Klobuchar said that’s not thinking big enough. Instead, she argued, government should try “to connect our education systems with our economy.” “Where are our job openings, and what do we need? We have over a million openings for home health care workers that we don’t know how to fill in the next 10 years.” On health care, the issue that dominated the debate, Klobuchar continued to advocate efforts to augment Obamacare, not throw it out. “I think it is much better to build on the Affordable Care Act, and if you want to be practical and progressive at the same time and have a plan and not a pipedream, you have to show how you are going to pay for it,” she said. Sanders, for his part, needed to emerge from the debate without letting Warren rattle him enough to have a major misfire when it comes to women’s ability to win the White House or other gender issues. The clash gave the Vermont senator a brief stumble when he realized it had been 30 years since he had beaten a Republican incumbent, but he quickly recovered to continue driving home the same themes his loyal followers have come to expect over the last four years: health care as a human right, increasing the minimum wage, ending “endless” wars and saving the planet through the Green New Deal. Sanders has surged to the head of the pack in Iowa and New Hampshire, vying with Biden for the lead, depending on the poll. He led the marquee Iowa poll for the first time late last week. Warren managed to take him down a peg Tuesday night, but it’s unclear if it will blunt his late momentum. As he remains competitive in Iowa and New Hampshire, Buttigieg continued to play up his youth, D.C.-outsider status, and centrist views as his biggest contrasts to Trump – stark contrasts that he argues will help defeat the president. “We cannot take the risk with so much on the line of trying the same Washington mindset and political warfare that led us to this point,” he said. But Buttigieg also did something else in this debate – he used his status as a veteran of the Afghanistan war and knowledge of the Middle East to show how he would approach Iran and the issue of congressional war powers differently than Trump has. The now-former mayor of South Bend, Ind., cast the presidential decision to authorize a strike or send troops to war in highly personal terms. “There are enlisted people I served with barely old enough to remember those votes on the authorization after 9/11, or the war in Iraq,” he said. But Buttigieg was short on specifics when it comes to exactly how he would manage to do what other recent presidents haven’t: namely, bring home the vast majority of U.S. ground troops in the Middle East and South Asia without empowering a greater threat such as ISIS, Iranian proxies, or both. “We can continue to engage in [Iraq] without sending endless ground troops,” he said, without elaborating. Biden’s wide lead in the early primary states has dwindled each week and is now down to razor-thin status — less than a one-percentage-point margin in both Iowa and New Hampshire. (The former vice president continues to lead his closest opponent, Sanders, in the national RealClearPolitics average of polls by eight points.) In this last debate before the Iowa caucuses, Biden had to avoid a major pitfall that would crater his candidacy, and he largely succeeded. But the former vice president is by far the weakest debater in the remaining field of contenders and on Tuesday he delivered another halting performance full of self-corrections and jumbled phrasing, including a long defense of his vote in favor of the Iraq War. His scripted closing statement was the most powerful, however, as he called for the restoration of “America’s soul,” which he claimed was under attack by Trump, and he argued that another four years of Trump in the White House would be disastrous for the country and “fundamentally” would alter it. Tom Steyer needed a breakout moment to catapult him into a competitive position in Iowa. It never came. Instead, the former hedge fund manager continued to set himself up as the “climate change” candidate and the only Democrat on the stage who, as a former businessman, could go toe-to-toe with Trump on the president’s biggest strength, a record-breaking economy. While he agreed with Biden on the need to continue to build on Obamacare, he sided with Sanders and Warren when it came to casting corporate America as the problem and increasing taxes on businesses and the wealthy as the solution. “That’s what I’m talking about – how do we get government of, by, and for the people? How do we actually break the corporate stranglehold on our government?” he said.Source: https://www.realclearpolitics.com/

Events

2020

Mar. 1
AAPI Community Response Forum with Assemblymember Rob Bonta

Sun 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM PST

Chinese Historical Society of America San Francisco, CA

Mar. 1
Jazz & Jokes GO VOTE BRUNCH

Sun 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM CST

Minerva Avenue Nashville, TN

Feb. 29
SC Election Day (February 29th)

Sat 7:00 AM – 7:00 PM EST

www.TomSteyer.com/Vote/SC