Tom Steyer

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Tom Steyer dropped out of the presidential race on February 29, 2020. This page is no longer being updated.
Steyer has been a funding force in Democratic politics in recent years, bankrolling candidates and organizations that promote a liberal agenda. He jumped into the race in July after funding an effort to pressure Congress into impeaching Trump.
Yale University, B.A., 1979; Stanford Business School, MBA, 1983
June 27, 1957
Kat Taylor
Samuel, Charles, Evelyn and Henry
Founder, Farallon Capital Management, 1986-2012;
Partner, Hellman and Friedman, 1985-1986;
Associate, Goldman Sachs, 1983-1985;
Financial analyst, Morgan Stanley, 1979-1981


Tom Steyer ends 2020 presidential campaign
Updated 10:17 PM ET, Sat Feb 29, 2020
Tom Steyer ended his presidential campaign on Saturday night after the billionaire businessman failed to gain traction in a large field of Democratic candidates. Steyer exited the race after he failed to claim victory in South Carolina, a state he invested heavily in, hoping it would turn around his sputtering run. "I said if I didn't see a path to winning that I'd suspend my campaign," he said. "And honestly, I can't see a path where I can win the presidency." The businessman's decision comes after disappointing showings in the race's first three contests in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada. In Nevada, Steyer outspent the rest of the Democratic field on advertisements by more than $13 million. Visit CNN's Election Center for full coverage of the 2020 race Steyer spent more than $200 million on advertising for his presidential campaign, and contributed about $155 million in the fourth quarter of 2019. But the power of Steyer's money was partially blunted late in his campaign by the entrance of former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has spent more than $500 million on ads in a few short months, effectively watering down Steyer's omnipresence. Steyer spent considerable time and money in South Carolina, and there were signs his investment was paying off. The billionaire businessman spent more than $22 million on television and radio ads in the state, hoping that direct and persistent outreach to black voters could cut into former Vice President Joe Biden's strength with the powerful voting bloc. A recent Monmouth University poll found Steyer at 15% in the state, neck-and-neck with the race's front-runner Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and behind Biden. Steyer said he supports reparations for African Americans, and pledged he would, if elected, establish a commission on race led by African Americans aimed at coming up with solutions. Before officially launching his campaign in July, Steyer operated as a funding force in Democratic politics. He spent millions bankrolling candidates and organizations that promoted liberal causes and the impeachment of President Donald Trump. Steyer starred in self-funded television commercials calling for Congress to remove Trump from office. Those ads were powerful in the early states, where voters who backed Steyer said they liked the fact that he spearheaded the impeachment effort. The longtime Democratic donor, whose net worth reached $1.6 billion this year according to Forbes, said he would make tackling the global climate crisis a top priority of his administration and vowed to combat what he called the "undue influence" of corporate power on the US economy. He called for a $15 minimum wage, congressional term limits and the repeal of Citizens United, the 2010 Supreme Court decision that eased restrictions on corporate campaign spending. Steyer said he would repeal the Trump tax cuts and install a 1% wealth tax on those whose net worth is above $32 million. Steyer broke with progressive leaders on "Medicare for All," and said he would prefer to build on the current system, as it exists under the Affordable Care Act, and push for a public option, or a government-backed insurance plan. In the end, though, Steyer's campaign became a case study of how even hundreds of millions in personal spending cannot directly lead to success in a presidential election. Steyer did get a burst of attention in the final days of his campaign, turning in his most aggressive debate performance on Tuesday. And on the eve of the South Carolina primary, a video of Steyer dancing onstage with rapper Juvenile at an event in South Carolina went viral.


climate crisis
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Steyer, a longtime Democratic donor, established himself as a leading force on climate change with a $100 million campaign in the 2014 midterm elections through the advocacy group NextGen Climate, which was positioned as a foil to the oil and gas industry – specifically to the donor network established by billionaire conservative brothers Charles and David Koch. As a presidential candidate, Steyer says he would declare a national emergency on his first day in office over the climate crisis and use executive action to achieve his goals, including a clean-energy system with net-zero “global warming pollution” by 2045. Steyer would also stop the issuance of new leases for mining and drilling and would wind down existing production on federal land and offshore. Like other candidates, Steyer ties his climate plans to job creation, promising 1 million jobs. He calls for $2 trillion in federal funding over 10 years for infrastructure, which includes transportation as well as “water, operational systems, the energy grid, farms and rural development, building retrofits, maintenance, affordable housing, universal broadband, and more.” He also calls for issuing $250 billion in “climate bonds” over 10 years and investing $50 billion in programs to support miners and other “fossil fuel workers.” Steyer says he would keep the US in the Paris climate agreement, a landmark 2015 deal on global warming targets that Trump has pledged to abandon, as well as other international alliances and United Nations agreements aimed at mitigating the effects of climate change. More on Steyer’s climate crisis policy
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Steyer’s initial focus was his $2 trillion energy infrastructure investment plan, which he says would in turn unleash “trillions” more in private capital investment. He would also create what he calls “Green New Deal investment zones.” In October 2019, he released a new economic agenda aimed at “ensuring that economic power rests with the American people, not big corporations.” To address what Steyer calls the “undue influence” of corporate power on the US economy, his plan calls for a $15 minimum wage, along with congressional term limits and the overturning of Citizens United, the 2010 Supreme Court decision that eased restrictions on corporate campaign spending. Steyer says he would repeal the Trump tax cuts and install a 1% wealth tax on those whose net worth is above $32 million. But he said he favors regulation over moving to greater government control over parts of the economy. “I’m a progressive and a capitalist, but unchecked capitalism produces market failures and economic inequities,” Steyer said in a news release outlining the plan. “The people must be in charge of our economy — but socialism isn’t the answer.” Steyer has declared a right to a living wage as part of his “5 Rights” platform. He pledges in his climate plan to reward companies that follow fair labor practices and hire union workers. More on Steyer’s economic policy
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Steyer calls on his website for providing “free, quality, public education” from preschool through college “and on to skills training.” More on Steyer’s education policy
gun violence
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After the 2018 Parkland, Florida, school shooting, Steyer pledged $1 million for a voter registration drive in cooperation with two gun-control advocacy groups – Everytown for Gun Safety and former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords’ organization. At the time, Steyer accused the Republican Party and Trump of “putting NRA money ahead of the lives of Americans.” In August 2019, after mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, Steyer again expressed opposition to the National Rifle Association and called for “mandatory background checks” in an interview with PBS.
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Steyer supports universal health care, including it as one of his “5 Rights.” That includes coverage for undocumented immigrants, he said in an interview with CBS in July 2019. He tweeted in late July 2019 that “universal health care must be a right—not a privilege—so everyone has the chance to live a healthy life, and our government needs to act to protect the foundations of our health.” More on Steyer’s health care policy
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Steyer has spent millions supporting legal aid for immigrants facing deportation, including a $1 million pledge made during a speech in 2018 to the American Immigration Lawyers Association just as the Trump administration escalated its border enforcement against families and children. He has called for comprehensive immigration revisions and said in a July 2019 interview with CBS that he supports providing a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants currently in the US.


Texas is sending migrants to New York and Washington, DC, by bus. Many are glad to go
Updated 10:06 PM ET, Fri Aug 19, 2022
Genesis Figueroa and her husband spent more than a month traveling from Venezuela to the US border, an exhausting journey interrupted only briefly when she was hospitalized with pneumonia in Guatemala. Less than a week since finding shelter in Eagle Pass, Texas, after crossing the Rio Grande, they embarked on another trip Thursday morning: this time to Washington DC, on a bus. They're among the thousands of migrants sent by bus from the Lone Star state to DC and New York this year at the direction of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, in an effort to highlight his criticism of the Biden administration's immigration policies. "Before we began busing migrants to New York, it was just Texas and Arizona that bore the brunt of all the chaos and problems that come with it," the governor said in a statement this week. "Now, the rest of America can understand exactly what is going on." Abbott said Friday the state had sent more than 7,000 migrants by bus to Washington since April and more than 900 migrants to New York City since August 5. Many, like Figueroa, are happy to leave Texas. The buses stop at several cities along the way to the Northeast, allowing migrants to disembark to reunite with friends and family in other locations. In Washington DC, Figueroa and her husband will meet with their friends. But officials in New York have pointed to the conditions of the trip, saying migrants arriving in those buses are hungry, thirsty and "often sick." "We've been on the road for so long, we don't mind two or three more days," Figueroa, 28, told CNN in Spanish. Neither do Cousins Luis Pulido and Aynner Garrido, who spent six weeks traveling from Venezuela to Texas. Pulido's younger brother did not make it to the US with them. He disappeared when the group was swimming across the Rio Grande. Shelter officials in Texas told Pulido they found his brother's body; he had drowned. But the cousins have made it this far and are determined to continue with their plans. They will board the bus to DC and will get off before their destination, in Kentucky, where their relatives will be waiting to pick them up. "They want to go on the buses," said Valeria Wheeler, the executive director of Mission: Border Hope, a non-profit organization which serves the border community in Eagle Pass. "No one has been forced." The groups are going in part because they want to, Wheeler added, and in part because it is a free ride to New York or Washington. The cities on the receiving end have struggled to accommodate the surge in migrants and their needs. New York City officials said last week intake centers were already overwhelmed, and although they planned to open more emergency housing this month, they faced problems stemming from a lack of coordination from the state of Texas. "They've essentially weaponized this situation," Manuel Castro, commissioner of the mayor's immigrant affairs office, said in a recent city council hearing. "We've learned that the bus company that they've been working with has a nondisclosure agreement that does not allow them to communicate with the city of New York." Abbott's office did not answer CNN's prior questions concerning nondisclosure agreements for bus companies. New York City Mayor Eric Adams has also accused Abbott of forcing migrants onto the buses, which the governor has denied. Last week, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser renewed a request for the National Guard to assist with the ongoing arrival of migrants, after a prior request was declined. Her office has said the city has reached a "tipping point." The mayor's office had also requested to convert a "suitable federal location" in the area into a processing center for the migrants, saying a regional welcome center in Maryland was at capacity, CNN previously reported. Back in Eagle Pass, more than 40 people, including men, women and children, boarded the bus headed for DC Thursday morning along with cousins Pulido and Garrido, and Figueroa and her husband. When she gets there, Figueroa told CNN she hopes to be able to find work cooking, cleaning or in an office, to be able to support her family back home.