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 This page is no longer being updated.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
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
STEYER IN THE NEWS
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
A year before the Indianapolis FedEx mass shooting, the gunman browsed white supremacist websites, police say
Updated 4:01 AM ET, Tue Apr 20, 2021
The gunman in an Indianapolis shooting that left eight people dead at a FedEx facility browsed white supremacist websites a little over a year before the attack, police said. In March 2020, the mother of gunman Brandon Hole contacted police because she was worried about his behavior after he purchased a gun, according to recently released details from Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD). She told police he told her "he was going to point a recently purchased shotgun at police officers so they would shoot him." And when police went to their home, they observed he had visited white supremacist websites, the report said. Investigators are still trying to determine the motive behind the shooting. In an attack that lasted only a matter of minutes, Hole opened fired at the facility near Indianapolis' main airport before taking his own life Thursday night. Of the eight people killed in the violence, four were members of the area's Sikh community, Maninder Singh Walia, a member of the Sikh community in Indianapolis, told CNN on Friday. The attack marks at least the 50th mass shooting -- defined as four or more casualties excluding the shooter -- since the Atlanta-area spa shootings March 16. It was the US's deadliest shooting since 10 people were killed March 22 at a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado. The case has also raised concerns over access to guns, as Hole had his gun seized in the 2020 incident. After his mother told officers on March 3 that she feared for her safety after her son purchased a gun a day earlier, the IMPD detained Hole, seized the gun, put him on an immediate mental health temporary hold and then transported him to a local hospital for evaluation, the police report said. As Hole was being placed in handcuffs, he became anxious and said, "Please just turn the power strip off on my computer" and "I don't want anyone to see what's on it," according to the report. One officer, who was described as clearing the upstairs and securing the shotgun, "observed what through his training and experience" were white supremacist websites, the report said. Limitations of red flag laws Despite the temporary mental health hold in March, Hole was able to legally purchase assault rifles in July and September 2020, Indianapolis police said. The case "illustrates the limitations" of state law, The Marion County, Indiana, Prosecutor Ryan Mears said Monday. Mears said the state's Jake Laird Red Flag gun law allows police to seize and hold firearms from individuals undergoing mental health issues, but the state only has 14 days to file a petition requesting a person be designated as having a violent propensity or mental instability. Because the shotgun taken from Hole's home had been secured and the family didn't want it back, prosecutors felt they "achieved" the objective of the law, Mears said. If the state had filed a petition, the court might have determined prosecutors didn't have legal authority to keep the weapon. "In this particular case, the petition was not filed because the family in this particular case had agreed to forfeit the firearm that was in question and they were not going to pursue the return of that firearm," Mears said. Mears said the state didn't have access "to anything to indicate that (Hole) had had a history or documented diagnosis of mental illness." "We have 14 days under the statute and because we have 14 days our ability to have access to meaningful medical history, meaningful mental health records, is severely limited." Indiana law allows a person 30 days to respond to a subpoena, Mears said. "The sad reality is that during the pendency of these matters there's nothing prohibiting someone from purchasing a firearm, that's just the sad truth," Mears said. 8 killed and 4 people still hospitalized On Friday night, Indianapolis police released the names of the eight deceased victims. They were Matthew R. Alexander, 32; Samaria Blackwell, 19; Amarjeet Johal, 66; Jasvinder Kaur, 50; Jaswinder Singh, 68; Amarjit Sekhon, 48; Karli Smith, 19; and John Weisert, 74. Four individuals remained hospitalized Monday with injuries sustained in the attack, FedEx said. While the shooter's motive isn't yet known, "he targeted a facility known to be heavily populated by Sikh employees, and the attack is traumatic for our community as we continue to face senseless violence," said Satjeet Kaur, executive director of the Sikh Coalition. That sentiment was echoed in a letter to the Biden administration Saturday, in which the Sikh Coalition wrote, "It was no accident that the shooter targeted this particular FedEx facility where he had worked and knew was overwhelmingly staffed by Sikhs." Two of the victims, Sekhon and Kaur, were relatively new to Indianapolis and were working the overnight shift at the FedEx facility when they were killed, said Rimpi Girn, an Indianapolis resident who knew them. Sekhon, after immigrating to the US in 2004, moved to Indiana in 2019 from Ohio to be closer to family and relatives, said Girn, a close family friend. Sekhon leaves a husband and two sons, ages 13 and 19, Girn said. Kaur, who immigrated to the US in 2018, was the breadwinner for her family, according to Girn. Sekhon drove Kaur to work because Kaur didn't have a driver's license, Girn said. As of late Sunday night, a verified GoFundMe campaign for the families of the victims set up by the National Compassion Fund has raised more than $1 million, with FedEx donating $1 million. The fund said 100% of the donations "will go to the families and those affected by the tragedy."