Billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer plans to finance full-fledged political campaigns in at least seven states key to Democratic fortunes in the 2014 midterms and the 2016 presidential race, further cementing his rapid rise as one of the party’s most influential patrons.
The independent efforts run by his super PAC, NextGen Climate, will include television ads, on-the-ground field organizing and get-out-the-vote operations that seek to mobilize voters on the local impacts of climate change. The group plans to highlight issues such as drought in Iowa and the rising cost of flood insurance in Florida. It will also spotlight the climate-change skepticism of GOP Senate and gubernatorial candidates, and the campaign donations they have received from the fossil-fuel industry.
So far, the list of targeted Republicans includes Senate hopefuls Cory Gardner in Colorado, Terri Lynn Land in Michigan and Scott Brown in New Hampshire, as well as governors Rick Scott of Florida, Paul LePage of Maine and Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania. The group also plans to target the GOP’s Senate nominee in Iowa.