Billionaire Seeks $100M to Tackle Climate Change

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Feb. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Bloomberg News’ Julie Bykowicz and chief Washington correspondent Peter Cook dig deeper into the role of Super PACs in Washington politics as Billionaire Tom Steyer builds a list of donors to make climate change an election issue on Bloomberg Television’s “Market Makers.”


Can you give an unlimited amount of money to political ties?

You can after the post citizens united era of super packs, and you can write a check for however much you like, putting it into a super pac and they can spin than on any political cause or candidate as long as the super pack ? is is not cordoning with the candidate.

A few years ago, steyer was in as a hedge fund manager and a legit guy, how the go from a hedge fund manager to contribute in $50 million in go he has joined the fray and he is late to the party.

We had a lot of republicans last election and a lot of democrats introducing as well and now tom steyer has this issue, climate change and will contribute his personal wealth towards this issue because he feels so strongly about it.

The titans of industry who have given -- how much this $50 million look like?

This is real money, we saw what sheldon adelson did last year, we saw so many people stepping in to give to the barack obama campaign in 2008 but also hillary clinton coming around in 2016. this is real money and in individual giving real money, you cannot do this before in american politics.

Citizens united has changed the game and is allowing individuals from both political persuasions to have a direct impact and the question is, is this a good thing and does anyone think about changing it?

How can this money be used?

Tom steyer worked against the keystone pipeline and thinks it could create environmental problems but he also has backed candidates including a gubernatorial candidate.

He is using his money and a lot of different ways.

He will keep pounding away at keystone, he will take that issue and try to elect candidates who are opposed to keystone and favor other environmental causes like controlling greenhouse gases.

We could see him involved in all sorts of different races, from senate races and gubernatorial elections, he has done a little bit of everything to test out what he can do, and it looks like this is the year that we will see a lot of action from him and a lot of different ways.

Can you put this in perspective?

This is $50 million and that is a real number, but the republicans and tea party guys have given way more.

It is difficult for us to know how much of the coke others -- koch brothers have given because they have a nonprofit organization who do not have to disclose their donors.

They have been involved in politics for many years, setting up a huge apparatus of political giving, and sort of pumping money into politics that way.

So while we don't have a total dollar amount that they have given, we do know that they have the experience and the apparatus behind them, and people like tom steyer are new to the party and just don't have the right footing just yet.

What about the word apparatus?

I was discussing this with my mother and father, they would say, apparatus, what does this have to do with the political system?

Doesn't sound like engineering?

It sounds ominous.

The koch brothers are ominous.

That is what you get from people who don't agree with what the koch brothers are doing and how they're doing it, and how the conservatives talk about the tom steyer situation.

They have not been as involved but and you have priorities usa, -- and the billionaire donor does not get the kind of conspiracy theory, the ominous black eye that the media has given the koch brothers.

George soros is a good example, and if you give to these, tomsteyertom steyer has a super pac, and with the 501-c4's and the non-profits, you don't have to disclose your donors and the conspiracy theorists focus on those groups because they don't know what is happening behind the scenes.

Julie, do you want to weigh in?

If tom steyer does not have the apparatus yet, he has other billionaires out that it can share the apparatus with him.

That is what he is doing now, in addition to pledging his own money he is trying to find other wealthy donors who care about the environment to help them out.

His goal is $100 million this year, forcing the environment and climate change into the debate.

This is not easy but $100 million will go a long way.

Tom steyer has said to candidates who are not with them on climate change, i am sorry and he has not ruled out the democrats -- but there is mary landrieu running for reelection in louisiana and one democratic target -- he may be concerned with al

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.


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