The Steyer Brothers It’s likely you’ve never heard of the Steyer brothers. However, Jim Steyer and his billionaire brother Tom have donated millions — if not hundreds of millions of dollars — to their favorite Democratic causes. While progressive liberals regularly attack Republican donors, Democrat donors get a pass. Why? Because big money donors like Tom and Jim Steyer support liberal causes and candidates.
Tom Steyer, formerly an “evil” hedge fund manager and “villainous” executive at Goldman Sachs, donated $5 million in 2014 to the Senate majority super PAC run by Harry Reid’s former aides — a drop in the bucket to his pledge of $100 million to influence elections and kill the Keystone pipeline. He wound up donating about $75 million and was, by far, the largest single individual spender in the midterm elections. Liberal Michael Bloomberg was a distant second at $40 million.
Despite donating millions to liberal causes and elections, Steyer has been an outspoken critic of the Supreme Court decision to allow big money to enter politics, describing Democrat donors as the “small shepherd boy with five rocks and a sling” compared to a Goliath-sized Republican money-making machine. However, the facts belie this claim.
In 2008, according to the ABC news, then Democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama raised and spent over $770 million compared to challenger John McCain’s $238 million — more than triple. In 2012, President Obama became the first candidate in the history of the world to raise over $1 billion — $1,123,000,000 to be exact. According to a political analysis of the top 100 donors during the midterm election, Democrats received $174 million and Republicans received $40 million. Democratic donors routinely gave more to political campaigns while supporting the perception that Republicans buy elections.
Tom Steyer’s biggest crusade has been climate change, despite the fact his vast fortune was made primarily from huge investments in oil and coal. One major investment was a pipeline rivaling the Keystone pipeline. When his heavy investments in oil, coal and competing pipelines came to the attention of the media, he instructed brokers to divest from all fossil fuels. Doubt still remains as to whether the divestment ever took place.
It has been estimated that Steyer funded over the years CO2 production equivalent to about 28% of the total amount of CO2 produced in the United States by coal burned for electricity generation. Additionally, his personal “footprint” matches the size of his bank account.
Steyer’s primary home overlooks the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco — on each of its three stories. With an estimated value of $11.7 million, the home sits on a cliff with beautiful vistas, wrecking the area for all wildlife. He also has a second home in San Francisco for a total combined 11,000 square feet in the city. Add to that his humble, $8.5 million beach home in Marin County, his $2.6 million Sugar Bowl ski resort home in California and two homes at a Lake Tahoe ski resort, respectively valued at $15 million and a more modest $1.1 million. And last, but not least, Steyer owns a 2,000-acre California ranch — worth an estimated $23 to $50 million — where his wife keeps her show horses.
No honest capitalist would begrudge a billionaire of his luxuries. But when said billionaire makes a massive carbon footprint while preaching about catastrophic climate change and spending tens or hundreds of millions of dollars to influence elections and climate legislation, that sounds more like a man living in a glass house, casting around some mighty big stones.