Coal magnate Tom Steyer, the greatest hypocrite on the political scene, has pledged to spend $100 million on behalf of Democratic Party candidates this election cycle. Much of that money is being spent by his front group NextGen Climate, which is running ads against a number of Republicans. What Steyer’s ads have in common is that they are misleading, where they are not outright lies.
In Florida, Steyer is running this ad against Republican Governor Rick Scott:
I haven’t tried to figure out the merits of the controversy the ad refers to. In Florida, as in other states, utilities’ rate bases are determined by the Public Service Commission. You can read about the Crystal River nuclear power plant here. I am not sure whether Rick Scott has anything to do with this, or not.
But this is what cements Tom Steyer’s place in the Hypocrisy Hall of Fame: Steyer’s ad says that it is evil to take campaign contributions from Duke Energy. So Steyer must be forgetting that Duke Energy was the principal sponsor of the Democratic National Convention in 2012–the convention that re-nominated Barack Obama. Duke loaned the Democratic National Committee $10 million–20 times the amount Steyer says it contributed to Rick Scott’s campaign–and then wrote the loan off.
But maybe this is just an oversight on Steyer’s part. Maybe he doesn’t know anything about his party’s 2012 convention, or who paid for it. No, wait: Steyer was a featured speaker at the national convention that Duke Energy paid for.
Have we ever seen a piece of work like Tom Steyer in the history of American politics? I am not sure; maybe back in Tammany Hall days there were hypocrites as shameless as Steyer. But I don’t think there have been any in our lifetimes.
Steyer’s ads in other jurisdictions are just as bad as the Florida ones. I think this will become a continuing series.