George Soros has rightfully built himself a reputation as a massive backer of Left wing political causes, donating hundreds of millions of his $25-plus billion (and growing) wealth to a portfolio of leftist think tanks, action groups, political action committees and candidates. Enjoying a position as the 19th richest man in America, the man seems hellbent on fighting the system of free enterprise that has allowed him to enjoy such success.
And while he’s often the go-to “boogeyman” for those in the Right when it comes to the influence of money in politics, he’s not the Left’s biggest spender as of late.
Enter, Tom Steyer, another billionaire (net worth: $1.6 billion) owing his wealth to the hedge fund industry.
As for how he compares to Soros, Conservative Review has the stats.
The Washington Post reported Steyer spent $66.3 million helping Democrats in the 2016 cycle, and the Washington Times reports that the final spend was north of $87.6 million. That makes him the largest individual donor of the 2016 election cycle. He spent $75.4 million on federal races in 2014, a year he was also the top donor.
How much did legendary leftist George Soros spend in 2016? A meager $17.5 million.
So who is Tom Steyer?
Steyer is the founder of Farallon Capital, a hedge fund that Fortune reported in 2008 had $33 billion in assets. He has since left the daily management of Farallon to run a non-profit committed to saving the climate, called NextGen Climate. At first it is confusing that on the non-profit’s website it is noted that Steyer “founded a successful California business,” but it doesn’t state that business is Farallon.
It seems odd that Steyer wouldn’t list Farallon, until you remember that the hedge fund made its money in the fossil fuel industry, including investing in coal mines, pipelines, and other companies doing business in the sector. Steyer, it seems, either has a case of serious remorse or hypocritically sees activism as a way to boost his fortune.
Steyer has been involved in not only funding left-wing candidates, but also many of the protests you’ve seen over the last few years regarding the environment.
Luckily for us, Steyer has a godawful record when it comes to funding winning candidates. In the 2014 midterms the candidates he backed for House and Senate went 3-for-7, and obviously didn’t get the president he wanted. As Simon Lomax of the Independence Institute put it, “He has spent at least $163 million trying to keep Republicans from running Congress and the White House, and failed miserably on both counts. He spent that money lecturing voters about climate change and dismissing their very real economic concerns about the cost of fringe environmental proposals that would dramatically increase energy prices.”
What a shame he isn’t putting his money towards something more productive…. like literally anything else.
[Note: This post was authored by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]