Climate-change activist, Farallon Capital founder, and billionaire Democratic political operative Tom Steyer was interviewed by the Miami Herald on Friday, August 1st. In the wide-ranging interview, Steyer explains his plans and motivations for becoming involved in Florida’s hotly contested gubernatorial election.
As a part of his campaign to fight short-sighted Republicans who deny the reality of man-made climate change, billionaire investor Tom Steyer has founded Florida political action committee Next Gen Climate Action with $750,000 of his own money. Steyer also says he plans significant financial support to help Democrat Charlie Crist defeat incumbent Republican Gov. Rick Scott in the fall.
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Within the next few weeks, Tom Steyer plans to launch NextGen Climate Action Florida’s headquarters in Miami, which is at high risk from rising seas and hurricanes.
NextGen Climate, which has hit the ground running with extensive polling, will be spending a good bit on field organization efforts to identify and motivate likely voters. Furthermore, NextGen is going beyond just advertising only on TV, and is planning a full social media campaign as well as holding a number of public events.
Tom Steyer: Florida is a linchpin state
“It’s hard to look at the map of the United States and not understand that not only is Florida ground zero for climate [change], it’s the third most-populous state,” Steyer explained in his recent interview with the Miami Herald.
“When you think about why this is an important state to be in, it’s because it’s actually a linchpin,” said Steyer, emphasizing Florida’s importance as a critical swing state.
Crist vs Scott too close to call
The most recent polls show the race is essentially a tie.
“If someone spends $10 million, it absolutely could alter the margins in the race,” said David “DJ” Johnson, a top Florida political consultant and former executive director of the Republican Party of Florida.
“There are just over 90 days left for the general election, so $10 million in August gets your attention,” he said. “If they can identify single-issue voters, liberals — people who don’t typically show up in a governor’s race to vote, it’s a cause for concern.”