Liberal media outlets have promoted liberal billionaire 2020 candidate Tom Steyer as a “patrician populist” who has decried “‘the corporate stranglehold on democracy.’” But Steyer is also currently the top federal spender to outside groups this cycle.
According to data from Open Secrets, Steyer is the top federal contributor to outside groups. In total, he contributed $21,063,557 to liberal causes in the 2020 election cycle, outspending eight of the top conservative donors ($19,710,327).
Steyer, who led a $120-million campaign to impeach Trump during the 2018 election, will make his first appearance on stage during the Oct. 15, Democratic Party presidential primary debate.
The runners-up in the current funding race, liberal mega-donors George Soros and Donald Sussman, have donated $6,285,000 and $6,050,000 respectively so far. They are second and third in overall contributions and still, each less than one-third of the amount Steyer spent to support liberal causes.
Steyer has made much-a-do about how “Our system isn’t working for real people, because it’s been corrupted by corporate influence.” He should know.
Of the 96 top donors to outside spending groups through the second quarter and listed by Open Secrets, liberal mega-donors have donated $55,890,747 collectively. This amount vastly outweighed top conservative donor spending, who have contributed just $33,255,327 total.
That gives top liberal funders a $22,635,420 edge over conservative donors.
Even eliminating Steyer’s giving, liberal mega-donor spending would still total $34,827,190. That’s still $1,571,863 more than all top conservative donor spending to outside groups combined.
All of Steyer’s spending has gone exclusively to leftwing groups NextGen Climate Action and Need to Impeach, two organizations he founded in the recent past. He has contributed $10,627,671 to NextGen and $10,435,886 to Need to Impeach respectively so far this cycle.
The Wall Street Journal reported July 27, that NextGen America specifically had “received the vast majority of Mr. Steyer’s $300 million in federal political spending,” since its founding in 2013. NextGen has since contributed money and advertised for “candidates who want to address climate change,” and also worked “to build youth voter turnout,” the Journal noted.
Steyer purchased 8 million voter files compiled by the Need to Impeach super PAC and renting data from NextGen America in August. That gave him access to a treasure trove of information on people he was able to exploit to his benefit to reach the 130,000 donor threshold to qualify for the Sept. 12, Democratic debates.
Steyer also spent $120 million building Need to Impeach in 2018 to push pro-impeachment Democrats who supported ousting President Donald Trump. He also contributed $239 million to liberals and Democrats in the past three election cycles and was listed as the top individual contributor for the 2014 and 2016 cycles.
Steyer released 2,600 pages of his tax returns in the name of transparency but refused to reveal key documents detailing hundreds of millions made in investments (which also included fossil fuel investments) through his hedge fund Farallon Capital.
Note: One donor, Leslie Wexner, was an outlier. Open Secrets listed him as the only donor who “leaned Republican/Conservative.” He donated $150,000 in total, with $100,000 going to conservatives and $50,000 to liberals. The “$100,000” figure was included in calculations for total spending for top conservative donors. The “$50,000” figure was excluded from calculations for total spending for top liberal donors.