Thursday, November 21, 2013

Billionaires in Politics: Tom Steyer

How often do we Americans hear that money in politics is bad. Those Koch brothers are always scheming to buy elections. Corporations buying politicians. Pay no attention to union money. Does the average OWS sympathizer know Tom Steyer? Tom Steyer is a billionaire with an aggressive attitude about his pet dream, climate change, poured millions into McAuliffe's Virginia victory. He spent $8 million himself to paint the GOP opponent as a climate denier. Buried in the politico article is the quote from a NextGen turnout director that they needed to get an emotional response from voters that Cuccinelli was a wild man. They proceeded to paint his as an extremist on everything. This worked, per exit polls, as even conservative voters viewed him as too conservative. The rational discussion is that Cuccinelli can't do squat about the CO2 issue as a one term governor (Virginia has an odd limit) in Virginia, but the goal is to punish those who do not align with Steyer on environmental issues, Steyer has just begun is already listed as one of the top three individual donors for the 2014 cycle. Steyer is another symptom of modern democracy.

He is a huge climate change advocate and is against the Keystone pipeline. This is all while investing heavily in pipelines, oil and gas. He's cloaking protection of his economic interests in the currently cool blanket of climate change. Steyer's support for sustainability and climate change initiatives are the same as the Saudis supporting anti-fracking and anti-tar sands oil production. It's their entrenched position that is suddenly subject to disruption. Thankfully in the American system, money can buy protection and halt technological change. Similar to the banks advocating for expanding access to loans by poor credit risks and government programs to expand credit affordability and eligibility while charging higher and higher rates, Steyer can protect and advance his interests by covering it with green concerns.

Steyer is a Rubin man and worked under him in the risk arb department in the early '80s. He left Goldman to found Farallon Capital, which has grown to be the 12th largest hedge fund in the world. His fund was the first to reach out to universiites to tap that source of capital. Steyer managed money for Yale. Roughly 25 years after working under Robert Rubin, Steyer was a bundler for Obama's election victories. He was an early Clinton supporter, but switched to Obama. His donation history is a steady stream of money to the Wall Street wing of the Democrats.

Always check the NY Times wedding announcements, so you know who runs the world. Here is Steyer's wedding announcement. Dad was a partner at Sullivan + Cromwell, who advise Goldman Sachs and may be the legal team for Satan himself. Brother Jim Steyer is intimately linked between academia and the media with a special focus on the media's effect on children. He teaches at Stanford, and runs organizations that rate and guide media aimed at children. Maybe Jim is the guy in charge of forcing a progressive lesson into every cartoon and puppet show on television today. Considering his brother's interests, Jim Steyer might be pushing all of the green messages in those Sesame Street skits. Got to make sure voters in 2020 are primed from an early age.

Jim Steyer might represent the academic media wing for the left's brain trust, but Tom is a better representative of what has happened to the left. The new left that trounced the old left, fighting first in the streets at the '68 Democrat convention, then debating for hours on the convention floor at the '72 convention and eventually winning through the delegate and primary scheduling in '84 left the party's relationship with the productive economy so sickly that anyone could offer them money and be heard. Robert Rubin showed big business in '92 through '96 what was possible, and other industries followed suit. Steyer is just the next wave of those who hold the strings. Steyer does seem a bit more symbolic of the leftist tapestry in 20th century America. Tom Steyer is the product of the marriage between an Episcopalian and a Jew, working at the pinnacle of the financial sector yet controlling Yale's money and hiding true motives of financial self interest by vigorously leading the latest crusade to make the world a true heaven on earth.

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