Difference between revisions of "Tom Steyer"

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(Regina Romero connection)
(Recruiting Sanders people)
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[[NextGen]]’s collaboration with former Sanders’ staffers is a match made in heaven, as both consider fighting climate change a social and practical imperative.<ref>[https://dailycaller.com/2016/06/21/bernie-sanders-staffers-bail-out-hook-up-with-billionaire-backed-green-group/]</ref>
 
[[NextGen]]’s collaboration with former Sanders’ staffers is a match made in heaven, as both consider fighting climate change a social and practical imperative.<ref>[https://dailycaller.com/2016/06/21/bernie-sanders-staffers-bail-out-hook-up-with-billionaire-backed-green-group/]</ref>
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==Becky Bond connection==
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[[Becky Bond]], who heads [[Credo]] - one of the groups protesting Obama's San Francisco dinner event - lauded [[Tom Steyer]] as an environmentalist who has tremendous credibility with the grassroots because he "cares deeply about this issue and is putting all of his resources behind fighting it."
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"We know that money talks when it comes to politicians - and the president is no different," Bond said. "Where money talks, the oil industry lobbyists have tremendous access," she said. "We'll be outside - and we have to speak a lot louder to make sure our voices will be heard."<ref>[https://www.sfchronicle.com/politics/article/Tom-Steyer-S-F-activist-to-host-Obama-4404908.php]</ref>
  
 
==Prop 23 fight==
 
==Prop 23 fight==

Revision as of 02:52, 16 January 2020

Tom Steyer


Tom Steyer is married to Kat Taylor. He is the brother of Jim Steyer.

Tom Steyer 2020 presidential campaign

Background

Tom Steyer and Kat Taylor live in San Francisco's outer Pacific Heights. They are one of the city's great philanthropic couples, but eschew the social scene in favor of pushing for social change, whether it's for a better environment or helping the disadvantaged.

Steyer stepped away Jan. 1 2013 from Farallon Capital, the investment firm he founded in 1986, to devote all of his time, energy and resources to working on reversing global warming. Taylor is on a mission to use One PacificCoast Bank, which she and Steyer opened in 2007, to help those typically shunned by mainstream financial institutions.

"Tom and Kat are very clear-headed about what they want to achieve, and anything that is extra is not necessary," said Michael Kieschnick, president of CREDO Mobile, a company that uses its revenue to support progressive philanthropy and activism. He has known Steyer and Taylor since the 1980s.

"I have the privilege of knowing both of them pretty well," added Kieschnick, who is on the board of the foundation that owns One PacificCoast Bank. "Tom feels a sense of urgency about global warming and he's right, and Kat believes in taking in deposits from like-minded people and recycling them into a community to lift people up and achieve social goals."

Steyer, 55, earnest and emphatic, said, "I believe global warming is the big moral issue of our time. I want to change the dialogue and practices around energy." And Taylor, 54, said, "I am holding the torch for this mission every minute of every day. I think we have an opportunity to create a society, an economy, a world, where things happen right and you don't have to come in and correct the injustices."

Steyer was born and reared in New York City, the youngest of three boys. His father, Roy Steyer, was a Yale graduate and litigator at Sullivan & Cromwell, the white-shoe law firm in New York. His mother, Marnie Steyer, wrote and produced for the NBC evening news and later established reading programs in public schools and taught in Harlem.

Sitting in a conference room at Farallon Capital in late December - the day before he would leave the firm that started with $8 million in capital and grew to a powerhouse with about $20 billion in assets - Steyer said, "I really admire my mother's courage and openheartedness. She had a willingness to stick up for the underdog. And my father was always kind and respectful to other people."

In Steyer's family, education came first, and doing a good job was more important than having a good job. Steyer attended elite private schools, including the Buckley School, Phillips Exeter Academy and Yale, where he graduated summa cum laude and was captain of the university's soccer team. He earned his master's degree in business from Stanford.

Taylor, whose father is an electrical engineer and whose grandfather was the president and chairman of the Crocker National Bank, grew up in San Mateo. She attended Crystal Springs Uplands School in Hillsborough before graduating from Harvard and earning a four-year doctor of law and master of business administration from Stanford.

"In our family, we were either working or going to school," Taylor said, sitting in One PacificCoast Bank in downtown Oakland. "There was no lollygagging around."

Steyer and Taylor met on the track at Stanford. Taylor had been the captain of her college track team, and was training for a marathon by doing sprints with two guys. Steyer, who had been trying to meet Taylor - a mutual friend thought they would hit it off - spotted her on the track and asked whether he could join in the workout.

"We were doing these repeat miles, where you do a 5:45-minute mile and then you take a two-minute rest," Taylor recalled of their workout, timed to the second to improve conditioning. "Tom walked over at mile 4, and I think he had these low-top Converse flat shoes on and said, 'Can I run with you?' I was like, 'Fine. Whatever.' So he's running with us and starting to chat. Just making friendly conversation. I was like, 'I'm not talking in the middle of the mile.' Then he took off and blew the time - he ran it in 5:30 - and I thought, 'Ohhhh, this aggravating man!' "

Laughing, she added, "I guess I was neurotic about track and a little thick about romance." The two ended up training for a marathon together, and were married on the Stanford campus in August 1986. They went camping on their honeymoon.

Steyer, who had worked in the risk arbitrage department at Goldman Sachs in New York, started Farallon in January 1986 with seed money from San Francisco investment bankers Warren Hellman and Tully Friedman.

"I always loved investing," Steyer said. "When I was 17, New York almost went bust and needed a bailout. There was a four-story townhouse in our building going for $40,000. I told my dad we should buy it while it was cheap. But my mother and father were not into investing. They put their money into a bank, where it was 'safe.' They would say, 'We're not going broke. We're not getting rich.' "

Farallon began with Steyer and one assistant working in a tiny office on Bush Street in the Financial District. Steyer started by buying penny stocks and looking for "special situations," such as buying up distressed debt. Soon, Farallon was investing primarily for endowments and foundations, including his alma mater, Yale. Over the years, returns averaged 15 percent.

"I loved it, and I did it for 27 years," Steyer said. "Before I started, I told Kathryn, 'No one does this for more than 10 years. It's too much stress.' "

Taylor, meanwhile, went from four years of Stanford business school straight into a nine-month credit-training program at Wells Fargo.

Before starting there, she sought job advice from Stanford alumnus Michael Kieschnick, recommended to her by a mutual friend. Kieschnick had been head of economic development in Gov. Jerry Brown's first administration, and co-founded Working Assets, a wireless services and credit card company that supports nonprofit and environmental organizations.

"I went to him, nervous as all get-out, and he looked at my resume and saw I had worked summers at my grandfather's bank," Taylor recalled. "Michael said to me, 'You should think of starting a beneficial bank.' I thought, 'Are you frickin' out of your mind? I'm 28. Have no capital. Tom and I have two sticks to rub together.' "

Kieschnick was undeterred, telling Taylor: "Learn the ropes, and get ready to start a bank" that will help an economically distressed community.

Taylor finished the training program at Wells Fargo and applied to work in the middle market lending department. "The hot departments were real estate and corporate finance," she recalled. "I applied to the more humdrum area, which was lending to businesses doing $100 million or less. It suited me."

Within two years at Wells Fargo, though, Taylor became pregnant with their first child, Sam, who is now 24. Sam was followed by Gus, 23, Evi, 21, and Henry, 19. Sam, who graduated from Harvard, now works for a nonprofit bringing technology to rural Tanzania; Gus and Evi are at Yale; and Henry will attend Harvard after taking a gap year.

"I stayed home to raise the kids and didn't make money for nearly 20 years, but sat on a ton of boards and loved it," Taylor said of her work with the Good Samaritan Family Resource Center for new immigrants and the Insight Prison Project, focused on restorative justice.

By 2004, with the kids more independent, Taylor began to think about returning to work. Steyer was a major backer of John Kerry in his bid for president that year, and was considered a shoo-in for a position in Kerry's administration.

"When he lost, we thought, 'What do we do now?' " Taylor said. "Then we said, 'Maybe we should start that bank!' " By this time, Steyer had amassed a stellar reputation - and considerable fortune - on Wall Street West. The two met with friends in finance and began to study banks with a social purpose.

They found an inspirational model in the microfinance and community development Grameen Bank started by Muhammad Yunus in Bangladesh. They also looked at the ShoreBank in Chicago, which was started in the 1970s to undo the pernicious affects of redlining, where banks didn't lend in poorer neighborhoods in Chicago's South Side.

Today, One PacificCoast Bank is one of 60 CDFI-certified (Community Development Financial Institution) banks in America, a sought-after designation given by the U.S. Treasury. The national program, started in 1994, gives grants to community banks that increase lending and investment in poor and low-income neighborhoods.

"I'm an unconventional CEO to be sure," Taylor said, laughing. "I work for two years and step away for 20. But, my belief, and this is something I think about every day, is that we don't just want to be another bank. We need to achieve measurable outcomes in social justice and environmental well-being."

As Taylor spent more and more time at the bank, Steyer - a major supporter of Barack Obama - found an outlet for his activism through ballot measures. In 2010, he joined forces with former Secretary of State George Shultz in fighting Proposition 23, which would have suspended California's landmark climate change law. In 2012, he put $30 million of his own money into Proposition 39, which was approved by voters and closed a tax loophole championed by Republicans to benefit out-of-state corporations. It will send an additional $1 billion a year to the state.

"If I can spend $30 million of my money and get a billion for the state every year, that's exciting," Steyer said. He and Taylor gave more than $40 million to create the TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy at Stanford, focusing on the development of more affordable renewable energy and the advancement of public policies around renewable energy. And last weekend, Steyer, looking very much like a politician in the making, gave a rousing speech at the huge climate change rally in San Francisco, saying, "The time for business as usual has passed. We can't afford 40 more years of dirty energy. We need to build a cleaner, cheaper, more secure energy system."

Sitting back in his chair, Steyer, who is studying the energy problem as he decides where he can have the most impact, went on, "I have this theory: As you get older you start to realize the things you really truly care about. Worrying about materialism is kind of crazy. When Kat and I were married, we had a plan to send our kids to good schools and have enough money for health care when we got old. We focused on good investing, not on making money. What I care about today is trying to be a good person."

Steyer said the image of the cross on his hand is his reminder of what's important.

"I didn't spend a lot of time on religion until I was 40 and had my midlife crisis," Steyer said. "I now go to Grace Cathedral every Sunday. I sit in the back. It's a place where you can find meaning. It makes you think about your responsibilities to one another and to the planet."

Two years ago, Steyer and Taylor signed on to the Giving Pledge, the philanthropic endeavor spearheaded by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, in which America's wealthiest individuals and families agree to give the majority of their wealth to philanthropic causes.

In their pledge letter, Steyer wrote of living in San Francisco, a "city named for a man who stripped himself of worldly goods." He wrote, "Surely the pleasure we derive from St. Francis' active verbs of consoling, understanding, loving, giving and pardoning far outweigh any selfish and passive pleasures of owning, having, or possessing."[1]

With the World on Fire, Why Is the Democratic Party Refusing to Hold a Climate Debate?

Politics

In 1983, Tom Steyer worked on Walter Mondale's presidential campaign.He raised money for Bill Bradley in 2000 and John Kerry in 2004.

An early supporter of Hillary Clinton in 2008, Steyer became one of Barack Obama's most prolific fundraisers. Steyer served as a delegate to the Democratic National Conventions in 2004 and 2008. Steyer has been a member of the Hamilton Project and has been involved with the Democracy Alliance, a network of progressive donors whose membership in the group requires them to donate at least $200,000 a year to recommended organizations.

After the Obama victory in 2008, Steyer was considered for appointment as Secretary of Treasury. Jim Steyer, Tom's brother, told Men's Journal that Obama and his advisors would regret having chosen someone else, due to his expertise. In January 2013, rumors briefly arose that Steyer might be named as a replacement for Energy Secretary Steven Chu.Asked whether he would accept such an appointment, Steyer said he would.

Alex connection

“Tom has true convictions,” says Cristobal Alex, president of the Latino Victory Project, which has partnered with NextGen on immigration issues.[2]

Recruiting Sanders people

More than a dozen former Bernie Sanders presidential campaign staff members have decided to hook up with a green group funded and founded by mega-wealthy liberal Tom Steyer.

Zack Malitz, who headed-up Sanders’ digital organizing team and is now shifting focus to environmental group NextGen Climate, said he and other former Sanders staffers are bringing with them many of the techniques they used to organize the young vote during the Vermont senator’s campaign.

“Working for Sen. Sanders, I saw the incredible power of young people to reshape American politics and push a broad-based progressive agenda,” Malitz explained. “I’m excited to continue that work.”

Malitz said he does not know how many young people will ultimately vote, but said NextGen will work around-the-clock ushering them to the November ballot.

“We’re going to be trying to make the largest material impact we can on young people,” he said.

Millennials could be the key to the Democratic Party’s presidential hopes, as more people under the age of 30 voted for Sanders than for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump combined, according a new Tufts University study. This same demographic instrumental during President Barack Obama’s 2008 and 2012 presidential victories.

Steyer, for his part, announced in early June that he is endorsing Clinton for president.

The liberal mega donor’s group also issued a press statement in April announcing a $25 million campaign to encourage young people to support and vote for green energy candidates in the November 2016 election

“We are determined that they will be a difference maker,” Steyer, the billionaire hedge fund manager who began his career at Goldman Sachs in the 1980s, told reporters during a conference call at the time explaining Next Gen’s decision to focus on schools.

NextGen justified its increase in donations by pointing to a 2015 poll showing 73 percent of young voters believe the U.S. should receive 50 percent of its energy from solar panels and windmills, among other renewable sources, by 2030.

“We need to make sure to carry on that momentum until November,” Steyer said in the phone conference about what he sees as the younger generation’s deference toward renewable energy.

NextGen’s collaboration with former Sanders’ staffers is a match made in heaven, as both consider fighting climate change a social and practical imperative.[3]

Becky Bond connection

Becky Bond, who heads Credo - one of the groups protesting Obama's San Francisco dinner event - lauded Tom Steyer as an environmentalist who has tremendous credibility with the grassroots because he "cares deeply about this issue and is putting all of his resources behind fighting it."

"We know that money talks when it comes to politicians - and the president is no different," Bond said. "Where money talks, the oil industry lobbyists have tremendous access," she said. "We'll be outside - and we have to speak a lot louder to make sure our voices will be heard."[4]

Prop 23 fight

"This is a fight about how we participate in a revolution," said Tom Steyer M.B.A. 83. He spoke on Oct. 20 2010 at a weekly energy seminar hosted by Stanford's Woods Institute for the Environment. That week, graduate students interviewed private equity entrepreneur, Stanford trustee and major donor Steyer, as well as former secretary of state and Hoover Institution fellow George Schultz, about their campaign against Proposition 23.

The measure, which failed in Tues day's election, would have suspended the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, and opponents said it could have affected the spread of clean energy in California.[5]

But the victory was particularly personal for Steyer. Besides serving as co-chairman, he was the campaign’s single largest contributor, spending more than $5 million of his own money as he worked to cajole donations out of venture capitalists and business leaders. At fundraisers, he’d get teary-eyed as he talked about the effects of pollution from refineries, or pump his fist in the air as he talked about the promise of cleantech jobs.

He spoke at fundraisers that spanned California, from the Oakland offices of solar startup Sungevity to the Los Angeles home of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

“It wasn’t just Tom’s money,” said Michael Kieschnick, president and founder of CREDO Mobile, the mobile phone company that supports progressive causes. “Someone had to be in charge, and Tom stepped up and really played the CEO role.” Even his kids got involved: His daughter Evi, who is taking a year off between high school and college, worked phone banks.[6]

Leaving CAP

In August Tom Steyer resigned from the board of a think tank run by allies of Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton, the for Center for American Progress.

Neera Tanden, the CEO of the Center for American Progress (CAP) confirmed to CNBC that Steyer stepped down as a director of the organization’s board when he decided to run for president.

Tanden was an aide to former President Bill Clinton and became policy director for Hillary Clinton's 2008 run for president. She was an informal advisor to Hillary Clinton during her 2016 campaign to win the White House. She also served in President Barack Obama’s administration.

Steyer informed the board of his resignation in a letter dated July 9. “I hereby tender my resignation as a Director of the Center for American Progress effective Tuesday July 9th, 2019,” he wrote.

He announced his entrance into the 2020 race on that same day. He is dedicated to spending $100 million of his own money while on the campaign trail but has yet to qualify for the primary debate in September. Steyer has been a CAP board member since at least 2010, according to 990 tax returns.

The decision by the the Democratic megadonor-turned-presidential candidate to step down comes as he has been distancing himself from outside entities that could be seen as giving his campaign an advantage.

Last month, he also walked away from leading NextGen America, which helped Democrats retake the House in the 2018 midterms, and Need to Impeach, a group that has been calling on congress to begin impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump.

A spokeswoman for the Steyer campaign, Karla Hudson, noted that the former hedge fund manager’s family office, Fahr LLC, will not be playing any role in the campaign. She claimed that Steyer is on track to qualify for the next primary debate in September but provided no details. Hudson later confirmed Steyer’s decision to step down from CAP’s board.

Candidates trying to make the third debate in Houston must get at least 130,000 contributions from individual donors and hit above 2 percent in four eligible polls by August 28.

The Center for American Progress calls itself a nonpartisan progressive policy institute “that is dedicated to improving the lives of all Americans, through bold, progressive ideas, as well as strong leadership and concerted action,” its website reads.

Other members of the board include former Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, former hedge fund executive Eric Mindich, Democratic donor Donald Sussman and businessman Glen Hutchins, who sits on the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

The groups most recent public tax return shows that CAP in 2017 spent $19 million on policy research programs involving a wide variety of progressive causes such as health care, immigration, open government, poverty and the environment.

CAP was embroiled in controversy in April when its news organization, ThinkProgress, took on progressive 2020 contender Senator Bernie Sanders. The group published an article and video that claimed that Sanders was trying to hide his status as a millionaire.

Sanders called out CAP and its affiliated group, Center for American Progress Action Fund, in a letter sent days after the article he described as a smear was published.

“The Center for American Progress is using its resources to smear Senator Booker, Senator Warren, and myself, among others. This is hardly the way to build party unity, or to win a general election,” he said at the time.

Tanden distanced CAP from the ThinkProgress article, noting it was “overly harsh” and that it doesn’t reflect who they are as an organization.[7]

Signed on to PDA letter

August 24, 2019 (Washington, DC) – Today Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) announced the presidential campaigns of philanthropist Tom Steyer, U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard and activist, author and non- denominational faith leader Marianne Williamson have joined an open letter to Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chair Tom Perez demanding a DNC-sponsored climate debate. The announcement comes as DNC members vote at their Summer Meeting in San Francisco on whether to sponsor a climate debate.

“We are grateful to presidential candidates Tom Steyer, Tulsi Gabbard and Marianne Williamson for signing on to the Open Letter insisting that Chairman Perez sanction a DNC-sponsored climate debate,” said Alan Minsky, PDA’s Executive Director. “The Democratic Party needs to show it is ready to respond to the existential climate threat by delivering the American people a televised climate debate.”

“The climate town halls that have been scheduled as substitutes are not enough – their format does not allow for the vigorous debate necessary to tackle the climate crisis, nor an audience big enough to hear the critical call to act,” said Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer. “I stand with the signers of the open letter to demand that the DNC host an official presidential climate debate.”

“How are Democrats going to mobilize America ‘on a scale not seen since World War II’ to combat the ‘global climate emergency,’ as the Democratic Party Platform asserts, if they won’t even hold a climate emergency debate?” asked Tom Weis, Climate Advisor to PDA. “The world is on fire and Democrats need to sound the alarm.”

“The threats of climate change and of nuclear war loom large – both caused by a failure of leadership by self-serving, powerful politicians and corporate interests that have traded the long-term survival of our species for their own short- term gain,” said Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard. “If we do not rise to the challenges presented, engage our imagination, face up courageously to the problems, and exercise clear and immediate leadership to navigate towards a solution, our children and our children’s children will hold us accountable.”

“The climate crisis is a reminder of humanity’s pathological irreverence toward the earth, a self-destructive dysfunction from which we will heal or possibly not even survive as a species,” said Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson. “This is more than a climate crisis; it is a survival crisis, and it should be seen as such. Our ability to take in the horror of what is happening, and to summon the courage to do something about it, will determine the most critical choice in humanity’s history: whether to continue the journey of our evolution or rather through our own selfishness and greed elect to end it.”

“The Democratic party has failed to courageously lead on climate change,” said Russell Greene, Senior Strategic Advisor to PDA. “It has not been honest with the American people as to how grave a threat we face as a nation, as individuals, families and communities. It’s as if when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor we chose not to discuss it. Everything is at risk. Hold the debate!”

DNC members will call for a floor vote on a resolution to have a climate debate at the DNC meeting in San Francisco this morning. PDA calls on all DNC members to support Resolution 5 in today’s floor vote.[8]

Green investments

Tom Steyer’s vehicle for environmental grantmaking has a stake in a private equity firm that is invested in green energy companies, the group confirmed last week.

The TomKat Charitable Trust was "[e]stablished in 2009 with funding from Tom Steyer and Kat Taylor," according to a spokesman, who said that the nonprofit foundation is a limited partner in BrightPath Capital Partners, L.P.

The firm is invested in at least three green energy companies. One of those companies has received federal subsidies and was under investigation as late as February into whether it misrepresented financial information to obtain those subsidies.

Steyer and Taylor put up nearly $175 million to start TomKat in 2008. Since that initial cash infusion, most of TomKat’s revenue has been investment income—more than $72 million, compared with just $2 million in contributions to the group.

Some of TomKat’s investments are run by Farallon Capital Management, the firm Steyer founded and helmed until his political foray in 2013. However, unlike Farallon, BrightPath is listed on TomKat’s annual filings with the Internal Revenue Service as a "controlled entity."

TomKat listed more than $21 million in contributions to BrightPath on its 2012 and 2013 IRS filings. It reported receiving more than $7 million in distributions from the firm that, according to those filings, shares an employer identification number with TomKat.

"It’s not uncommon for a 501(c)(3) to acquire assets and build an endowment which it then invests in order to spin off income in furtherance of the exempt purpose of the (c)(3)," said Dan Backer, an attorney specializing in campaign and nonprofit tax law.

"It is, however, very surprising that the (c)(3) would do so ‘in-house’ as opposed to using an outside, independent agent for such work," Backer added in an email.

Steyer and Kat Taylor, his wife, do not draw income from the firm, according to TomKat. Returns from its stake in BrightPath "are directly re-invested into the Trust’s charitable endeavors," the spokesman said. "Neither Steyer nor Taylor personally benefit financially from any of the Trust’s investments."

The funds recycled into TomKat’s charitable operation support a grantmaking operation that in 2013 doled out nearly $35 million to some of the nation’s top left-wing environmental policy and advocacy groups.

They included $2.3 million in grants to the Center for American Progress, where Steyer is a director, and contributions to the Sierra Club, the Natural Resource Defense Council, and the League of Conservation Voters.

TomKat has also passed along contributions to some of Steyer’s other nonprofits, including the Center for the Next Generation, the 501(c)(3) sister of his political outfit.

Next Generation recently announced that it would shutter its climate policy operation. But that operation was alive and well as TomKat poured millions into BrightPath.

On September 22, 2009, according to technology industry website CrunchBase, a Steyer-backed venture capital firm called Greener Capital invested $6 million in California solar company Sungevity. At the time, both Steyer and Sungevity were working to prevent a rollback of California’s aggressive carbon emission restrictions.

Steyer was the undisputed leader of the campaign to defeat the measure, known as Proposition 23. He co-chaired the No on 23 effort, and donated at least $5 million to help defeat the measure.

"Someone had to be in charge, and Tom stepped up and really played the CEO role," Michael Kieschnick, CEO of CREDO Mobile, a phone company with an activist arm that worked to defeat the measure, was quoted as saying.

Sungevity employees also donated to an anti-Prop 23 political committee. The company hosted Steyer and other well-heeled environmentalists at its offices for a fundraiser for anti-Prop 23 groups.

Sungevity CEO Danny Kennedy would credit Steyer with leading the successful charge to defeat the measure. Kennedy would also speak at a Next Generation event on the tremendous amounts of money to be made in green energy.

"Renewable energy will be many, many times more profitable than fossil fuels in a very short amount of time," as Next Generation described the panel.

A month later, after Prop 23’s defeat, BrightPath invested in Sungevity. It was the first of five funding rounds in which the firm would participate, according to CrunchBase. Greener Capital would join in two of them.

A month after BrightPath’s second equity investment in Sungevity, the company began receiving green energy subsidies from the federal government. Since February 2012, it has received more than $12 million in grant money through the Treasury Department’s stimulus-funded 1603 grant program.

A conservative group called the Patriots Foundation last year requested copies of all Sungevity applications for 1603 grants that resulted in an award. In a January response to that request, Treasury suggested that the scope of federal support for the company could be massive.

"An initial query within the Office of the Fiscal Assistant Secretary identified approximately 1,067 potentially responsive applications. I estimate that there are more than 53,350 potentially responsive pages," a department FOIA officer responded.

Asked to clarify whether those were grant applications that actually resulted in an award, the department responded that it had found "1,067 applications and supporting materials submitted by Sungevity, Inc for Section 1603 awards."

Reportedly, Treasury’s investigation is probing whether Sungevity and two other solar companies accurately reported the costs of installing solar panels when applying for grants. Sungevity, SolarCity, and SunRun were subpoenaed in 2012 for documents related to their 1603 applications.

Additional documents obtained by the Patriots Foundation reveal that the investigation was still ongoing in February of this year. The group’s FOIA request for documents concerning that investigation was denied in its entirety due to an exemption to the law that allows federal agencies to withhold documents that "could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings."

"I am withholding all records, documents, and/or other material, which if disclosed prior to completion [of the investigation], could reasonable be expected to interfere with law enforcement proceedings and final agency actions related to those proceedings," Treasury wrote in its February 13 letter.

The investigation was first reported in December 2012, but BrightPath has participated in three more funding rounds for Sungevity since then.

BrightPath managing partner Rob Davenport referred questions to TomKat, which insisted that its stake in the firm supports its charitable endeavors and does not benefit Steyer.

"It’s like a closed loop of cronyism," said William Yeatman, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute specializing in energy and environmental policy.

"Steyer’s political giving fuels policies that enrich his friends, while at the same time it also bolsters the resources used by advocacy groups that lobby for these same policies," Yeatman said in an email.

In addition to its ties to TomKat, BrightPath is also affiliated with Beneficial State Bank (formerly One PacificCoast Bank), founded by Steyer and his wife, Kat Taylor. The bank listed BrightPath as a "partner provider" in its 2012 annual report. Davenport sits on its board.

"We seek market rates of return on a risk adjusted basis, but we have a very rigorous screening process," explained Davenport at a 2012 event on "socially responsible" business. "If we can’t identify and ultimate measure social impact delivered by the businesses that we consider, then we probably don’t do it."

Also on the panel was Kat Taylor, the bank’s chief executive, who said that it works to be financially sustainable while also serving social and ideological goals.

Davenport, who also sits on Sungevity’s board, agreed with the importance of socially responsible investing, but stressed the need to produce returns for its investors.

"We seek to get a return on capital such that we can go back to our limited partners and prospective limited partners and say, ‘Hey, this is a profitable activity, and we need to do more of it, so invest in our fund so we can put that money back to work in the marketplace.’"[9]

Student politics

In 1982 the graduate senator from the Stanford Business School was Tom Steyer and the newly elected graduate senator from the School of Education was Peter Escobedo. Jim Steyer represented the Law School.[10]

Miami meeting

A secretive network of left-wing billionaires and their political operatives descended on the luxurious Biltmore Hotel in Miami over the mid weekend of May 13, 14, 2012, to discuss strategy for the coming elections.

The location of the conference had been kept a closely guarded secret by the members and guests of Democracy Alliance (DA), a collection of ultra-wealthy liberal donors formed in 2005, and was reported in a Washington Free Beacon exclusive.

DA board members such as Steve Phillips, Donald Sussman, and Kelly Craighead, each with connections to major left-leaning political organizations, were in attendance.

Phillips, who serves as secretary for the DA, oversees a number of political action committees such as PAC+, which focuses on Latino voters, and PowerPAC.org, a “statewide social justice organization working with community organizations and activists to build political power in California.”

Sussman, a hedge-fund manager who invests in Chinese companies, is married to Rep. Chellie Pingree (D., Maine) and currently serves on the board of Center for American Progress.

Another prominent hedge fund manager, Thomas E. Steyer of Farallon Capital Management, also sits on Center for American Progress’s board.

"Ideas conference"

Democratic Party luminaries and 2020 presidential mentionables gathered May 2017 for an “ideas conference” organized by the Center for American Progress, the Democratic establishment’s premier think tank.

Its stated purpose was to focus not on “what could have been,” said CAP Vice President Winnie Stachelberg introducing the day, but on “new, fresh, bold, provocative ideas that can move us forward.”

Convened in a basement of Georgetown’s Four Season’s Hotel, the posh watering hole for Washington lobbyists, lawyers and visiting wealth, the conference quickly revealed how hard it is for Democrats to debate the future when Trump is taking all of the air out of the room.

Virtually every speaker dutifully invoked the theme of the day: resistance is not enough; Democrats must propose what they are for. Each then proceeded to rail at one Trump folly or another, calling on those assembled to join in defending what was achieved over the last eight years.

Investor and environmentalist Tom Steyer, one of the Democrats’ billionaires, provided a clear agenda for addressing catastrophic climate change, as well as savvy advice on the coalition needed to bring reform about.

Arguing Republicans are hopeless and business won’t lead, Steyer called for building a coalition around a green jobs agenda that offers jobs that pay a decent wage, reaching out to labor, people of color, and businesses that will gain in the transition in a bold plan to rebuild the country.[11]

Here to stay rally

Rally and musical and art performances on Saturday, January 14, 2017, starting at 11 a.m. at 501 North Main St, 90012, LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes next to La Placita, Los Angeles.

Join us to stand up for the values of love, compassion and family as we begin a campaign of righteous resistance. We will join hands and stand together to oppose criminalization, mass deportations, and hate crimes. We are #HereToStay and we shall not be moved.

Speakers include: California State Controller Betty Yee; Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez; Miguel Santana, City Administrative Officer, City of Los Angeles; Angelica Salas, CHIRLA; Rusty Hicks, LAC Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, Laphonza Butler, SEIU; Arlene Inouye, UTLA; and Tom Steyer, Next Gen Climate.

Hosted by (partial list):

African Coalition, Black Immigrant Network (BIN), Bend the Arc, California Dream Network (CDN), Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA), Center for Community Change (CCC), Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM), Human Rights Campaign, Korean Resource Center (KRC), Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, Mi Familia Vota National Immigration Law Center, NextGen California, SEIU California, SEIU 721, SEIU 2015, SEIU UHWW, SEIU USWW, UCLA Dream Center, UNITE HERE, UTLA[12]

Florida comrades

Tomas Kennedy May 1 2018:

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‪It was a pleasure meeting Tom Steyer from NextGen America and discuss with him and amazing community leaders issues affecting our immigrant communities.‬ — with Sharon Kegerreis, Lolalegriamaria Rodz, Erika Grohoski Peralta, Marleine Bastien and Santcha Etienne at Little Haiti Cultural Complex.

Ultimate Women's luncheon

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Tom Steyer, Anna Eshoo, Mark DeSaulnier.

Regina Romero connection

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Tom Steyer and Regina Romero. Tucson City Council member Regina Romero announced this week that she is joining efforts to impeach President Donald Trump.

Romero, co-founder of the political group Las Adelitas Arizona, represents Ward 1, which extends from Midvale Park to Sombras Del Cerro and includes the western portion of Sunnyside.

“I’m used to push(ing) back,” Romero said Thursday. “I’m used to people using my gender and my ethnicity against me … I am not alone. There are people throughout this country and in this community that believe that Trump is unfit to be the president of this country.”

“We #NeedtoImpeach @RealDonaldTrump,” Romero reiterated on Twitter. “Join me and sign on to @TomSteyer’s petition demanding Congress impeach Trump.”

Tom Steyer, the Democratic megadonor to whom Romero refers in her tweet, is spearheading the party’s efforts to impeach Trump. Steyer was the single largest individual donor during the 2016 election cycle and announced in November 2017 that he would be placing a $20 million ad campaign behind his idea.

He also is behind a new ballot proposal that seeks to require Arizona’s public utilities to obtain half of their generation from renewable sources by 2030. The proposal has been dismissed by a professor at Arizona State University as “a scam” and by the Arizonans for Affordable Electricity coalition as a “feel-good measure” that will put Arizona’s electricity grid at risk.[13]

California comrades

Alfonso Ruiz September 15, 2017:

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With Philip Germain, Richard Garcia, Isaac Lieberman, Logan Smith, Enaya Hanbali, Tom Steyer, Matthew Pierce, Wade Alexander, Brandon Sutton and Shawnee Badger.

References