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Obama’s green energy benefactor plans $100 million midterm push

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Politics,Chris Stirewalt,Power Play

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OBAMA’S GREEN ENERGY BENEFACTOR PLANS $100 MILLION MIDTERM PUSH
Want to know why the president and his team are stampeding to talk about global warming despite increasing public disinterest in the topic, a bitterly cold and snowy winter and deepening skepticism about the costs of clamping down on industry as the economy again falters? It turns out that money talks. From the NYT: “A billionaire retired investor is forging plans to spend as much as $100 million during the 2014 election, seeking to pressure federal and state officials to enact climate change measures through a hard-edge campaign of attack ads against governors and lawmakers. The donor, Tom Steyer, a Democrat who founded one of the world’s most successful hedge funds, burst onto the national political scene during last year’s elections, when he spent $11 million to help elect Terry McAuliffe governor of Virginia and millions more intervening in a Democratic congressional primary in Massachusetts. Now he is rallying other deep-pocketed donors, seeking to build a war chest that would make his political organization, NextGen Climate Action, among the largest outside groups in the country, similar in scale to the conservative political network overseen by Charles and David Koch.”

[National Journal: “Tom Steyer … may launch an advertising campaign panning [Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La.] for supporting the Keystone XL pipeline. The three-term senator seeking reelection in a state much redder than it was six years ago says Steyer’s criticism could actually help her win. ]

You get what you pay for - The seemingly sudden rebirth of anti-global warming evangelism takes on a different tone when set against the backdrop of today’s announcement that the top Democratic benefactor has agreed to spend big to help limit the president’s party’s midterm losses. Whether it is good politics or not to again alarm moderate voters with scare words about man-made climate change and costly measures to combat it, money apparently matters more. Today, for example, President Obama will order the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation to crack down on truck emissions by the end of his term. In a campaign appearance at a grocery store distribution center in suburban Maryland, the president will also propose a new $200 million tax credit for companies that make green vehicles, like those subsidized enterprises backed by Steyer and other top Democratic contributors. Voters in Arkansas, North Carolina or Alaska might be unhappy with spending more money on groceries to finance the new Obama-complaint fleets or resentful about subsidizing already rich folks like Steyer, but $100 million in midterm moola will buy you a lot of attention in Obamaland.

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Chris Stirewalt

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