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Tue Feb 18, 2014, 12:32 PM

A Billionaire on Our Side pushes back against the Koch Brothers

Does a good cause make this different from the republican power brokers?

"A billionaire retired investor is forging plans to spend as much as $100 million during the 2014 election, seeking to pressure federal and state officials to enact climate change measures through a hard-edge campaign of attack ads against governors and lawmakers.

The donor, Tom Steyer, a Democrat who founded one of the world’s most successful hedge funds, burst onto the national political scene during last year’s elections, when he spent $11 million to help elect Terry McAuliffe governor of Virginia and millions more intervening in a Democratic congressional primary in Massachusetts. Now he is rallying other deep-pocketed donors, seeking to build a war chest that would make his political organization, NextGen Climate Action, among the largest outside groups in the country, similar in scale to the conservative political network overseen by Charles and David Koch."
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/18/us/politics/financier-plans-big-ad-campaign-on-environment.html?hpw&rref=us&_r=0

34 replies, 5110 views

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Arrow 34 replies Author Time Post
Reply A Billionaire on Our Side pushes back against the Koch Brothers (Original post)
Walk away Feb 2014 OP
steve2470 Feb 2014 #1
shenmue Feb 2014 #2
jwirr Feb 2014 #3
Cha Feb 2014 #33
Jackpine Radical Feb 2014 #4
TBF Feb 2014 #5
Walk away Feb 2014 #7
Wounded Bear Feb 2014 #15
TBF Feb 2014 #18
corkhead Feb 2014 #6
1000words Feb 2014 #8
1StrongBlackMan Feb 2014 #12
corkhead Feb 2014 #31
1StrongBlackMan Feb 2014 #32
polichick Feb 2014 #24
greymattermom Feb 2014 #9
Martin Eden Feb 2014 #10
LynneSin Feb 2014 #20
DeSwiss Feb 2014 #11
libodem Feb 2014 #13
DeSwiss Feb 2014 #16
Brigid Feb 2014 #14
DeSwiss Feb 2014 #17
LynneSin Feb 2014 #19
reformist2 Feb 2014 #21
polichick Feb 2014 #22
davidthegnome Feb 2014 #23
Walk away Feb 2014 #26
DirtyDawg Feb 2014 #25
Agnosticsherbet Feb 2014 #27
Wounded Bear Feb 2014 #28
Agnosticsherbet Feb 2014 #29
grahamhgreen Feb 2014 #30
Cha Feb 2014 #34

Response to Walk away (Original post)

Tue Feb 18, 2014, 12:33 PM

1. k&r nt

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Response to Walk away (Original post)

Tue Feb 18, 2014, 12:38 PM

2. I think so, yes

In my opinion, it makes a difference what a person does with his or her money and what kind of beliefs they have.

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Response to shenmue (Reply #2)

Tue Feb 18, 2014, 12:43 PM

3. The rich would not be whining if they followed the example of this man.

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Response to shenmue (Reply #2)

Wed Feb 19, 2014, 04:25 AM

33. Of course it does, shenmue. Nothing wrong

with being wealthy. But, it makes all the difference in the world what you do with your time and money.

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Response to Walk away (Original post)

Tue Feb 18, 2014, 01:02 PM

4. In an ideal world, billionaires would not be able to buy political results

with their money.

This is not an ideal world. It's nice to have a few on our side, just to level the playing field a little.

And I bet I would disagree with this guy on a lot of things. Being rational about global climate change is commendable--and necessary if we are to survive--but that stance doesn't automatically make him an ally on economic issues.

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Response to Walk away (Original post)

Tue Feb 18, 2014, 01:27 PM

5. In an ideal world we

wouldn't have billionaires - not while there are folks who are hungry and homeless.

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Response to TBF (Reply #5)

Tue Feb 18, 2014, 02:29 PM

7. But since it isn't a perfect world and taking...

into consideration that he has nothing to gain from spending his fortune and time trying to benefit the planet, couldn't you make a case for him?
Millions, maybe billions of people could be saved from poverty, starvation and natural disasters because of what he is doing right now.

I am not as sure as you. I might believe that how the money is used may somewhat mitigate the fact that he basically gambled his way into an obscene fortune.

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Response to Walk away (Reply #7)

Tue Feb 18, 2014, 03:04 PM

15. I'm a bit more cynical than you, I guess...

Last edited Tue Feb 18, 2014, 04:15 PM - Edit history (1)

There's probably a profit motive behind this. Perhaps he's thinking of taking his "hedge fund skills" into the renewable energy market? This would be a good investment if that is his plan.

In any event, it is nice to see at least one fat cat donating to progressive causes.

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Response to Wounded Bear (Reply #15)

Tue Feb 18, 2014, 03:33 PM

18. Right - that's about as

positive as I would get. I felt the same way when I wrote about Zuckerberg donating to a foundation that supports Planned Parenthood.

I don't like the whole concept of charity - give tax benefits to folks who are already making too much money (it absolves their guilt and helps others keep happy feelings about the "system" alive). In a perfect world we would distribute wealth more evenly and wouldn't have a need for charity.

But as the correspondent above reminds us, our current reality is capitalism and given this scenario a billionaire giving money to progressive causes is about as good as it gets.

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Response to Walk away (Original post)

Tue Feb 18, 2014, 01:27 PM

6. A Hedge Fund Billionare on MY side

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Response to corkhead (Reply #6)

Tue Feb 18, 2014, 02:33 PM

8. +1

 

What a ridiculous notion.

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Response to corkhead (Reply #6)

Tue Feb 18, 2014, 02:44 PM

12. Yes ...

 

A hedge-fund Billioniare IS on your side ... on this issue.

I doubt, out side of your person, you will find a single other that agrees with you on every issue.

Baby => Bath Water.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #12)

Tue Feb 18, 2014, 10:07 PM

31. Bread and Circuses

let me know when he pays his fair share of taxes.
fuck him.

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Response to corkhead (Reply #31)

Tue Feb 18, 2014, 10:45 PM

32. Okay. eom

 

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Response to corkhead (Reply #6)

Tue Feb 18, 2014, 03:50 PM

24. Could be he's on his children's side.

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Response to Walk away (Original post)

Tue Feb 18, 2014, 02:37 PM

9. with money on our side

Citizens' United will be gone soon!

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Response to Walk away (Original post)

Tue Feb 18, 2014, 02:42 PM

10. Biggest Difference between Steyer & Koch:

Koch's political influence is intended to line his own pockets at the expense of the environment, while Steyer is donating for the good of the country rather than personal gain.

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Response to Martin Eden (Reply #10)

Tue Feb 18, 2014, 03:35 PM

20. You think?

Sure in the end Steyer will help the little people but trust me with these billionaires there is still a motive to benefit their own pockets.

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Response to Walk away (Original post)

Tue Feb 18, 2014, 02:43 PM

11. ....

 



- Battling billionaires, of course. It makes perfect sense in this fucked-up world.

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Response to DeSwiss (Reply #11)

Tue Feb 18, 2014, 02:48 PM

13. Bless my madam Deforge

Thank the Goddess some people still read!!! Those who forget are doomed to repeat or however that goes.

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Response to libodem (Reply #13)

Tue Feb 18, 2014, 03:13 PM

16. Here it goes.....

 

''Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. In the first stage of life the mind is frivolous and easily distracted, it misses progress by failing in consecutiveness and persistence. This is the condition of children and barbarians, in which instinct has learned nothing from experience.'' George Santayana, The Life of Reason, Volume 1, 1905


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Response to Walk away (Original post)

Tue Feb 18, 2014, 02:59 PM

14. Just hazarding a guess here:

Mr. Steyer was not born wealthy.

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Response to Brigid (Reply #14)

Tue Feb 18, 2014, 03:16 PM

17. Very good.

 

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Response to Walk away (Original post)

Tue Feb 18, 2014, 03:34 PM

19. It's sad we have to stoop to their level to fight back

I'd prefer we get rid of all these money from the elections. Why should the Koch Brothers or this Tom Steyer's vote count any more than mine or yours?

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Response to Walk away (Original post)

Tue Feb 18, 2014, 03:37 PM

21. NO. When a billionaire spends his money on a campaign to get money OUT of politics, then I'll approv


If they're not doing that, we are just their puppets. If we allow money to dominate our politics, we will be like fans who go to a game to cheer for one team, and jeer at the opposing team - this is OUR democracy, and yet we are still only spectators.

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Response to Walk away (Original post)

Tue Feb 18, 2014, 03:40 PM

22. Sort of wish it was the work of Hollywood or something instead of a hedge fund guy...

But imo climate change is issue #1 and if this helps, I'm all for it.

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Response to Walk away (Original post)

Tue Feb 18, 2014, 03:48 PM

23. It needs to be about more than money.

Money alone is not going to solve this issue. It's going to require a willingness to change the way we do things - to promote alternative energy, to stop doing the things that are increasing the effects of climate change. He can donate 100 million, or 100 billion... but unless we do these things, his money won't make one bit of difference.

I'm glad there's money on our side in regards to this particular issue - but what will be done with it? I'm curious also, as to what his true motivation is here. Perhaps he's simply intelligent enough to realize that climate change is as much a threat to him as it is to everyone else. Perhaps. On the other hand... I do not lightly trust the intentions or actions of the ultra wealthy.

One billionaire trying to make a difference is a good thing. It's going to take a whole hell of a lot more though, to truly combat climate change... and I honestly do not think we will do it. I believe we are in the last few decades of human existence as we know it.

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Response to davidthegnome (Reply #23)

Tue Feb 18, 2014, 03:59 PM

26. You should check out the entire article. He is funding...

political campaigns for candidates with good records on climate change. He has made his own ads attacking climate change deniers who are running for office. He is also recruiting other billionaires to be part of his pac. One issue only.

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Response to Walk away (Original post)

Tue Feb 18, 2014, 03:58 PM

25. It was...

 

....a hundred million, or hire a 'hit man', but since the latter is still against the law, the former wins out...mores the pity.

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Response to Walk away (Original post)

Tue Feb 18, 2014, 04:04 PM

27. The enemey of my enemy is my ally.

I am glad he is spending money for a critically important cause, but that doesn't mean we are going to take long watch on the beach together and then settle in for the evening with a chocolate and a nice bottle of wine.

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Response to Agnosticsherbet (Reply #27)

Tue Feb 18, 2014, 04:18 PM

28. I'm glad you said "ally"...

and not "friend." If you get what I mean.

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Response to Wounded Bear (Reply #28)

Tue Feb 18, 2014, 04:47 PM

29. I used that word on purpose.

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Response to Walk away (Original post)

Tue Feb 18, 2014, 07:11 PM

30. Id rather that it was illegal for him to do so, bu OK.

 

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Response to Walk away (Original post)

Wed Feb 19, 2014, 04:36 AM

34. I'll take a Billionaire who is fighting for our Environment and

against drooling rabid climate change deniers.

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