One of the leading billionaires funding Democratic candidates and leftwing campaigns, such as the effort to block the expansion of the Keystone XL pipeline, told supporters Monday that he and his Need to Impeach and NextGen America organizations will have three major objectives through the Nov. 6 midterm elections.
“First, I am putting $30 million behind NextGen America’s youth organizing program to unleash the full political power of young voters,” said Thomas F. Steyer, the founder and former head of Fallon Capital Management.
Young voters are now a powerful force in American politics capable of swinging elections on their own, he said. As he spoke, 10 young organizers with NextGen America stood behind billionaire at the event held at the foot of Capitol Hill. “They’re anxious for change, they are ready to participate in that change, they are ready to be the change.”
Watch Steyer explain to supporters why he is not running for office in 2018:
Steyer said his youth organizers will be sent around the country to mobilize opposition to President Donald J. Trump and his agenda.
“Every voter needs to know that we hear them and we are committed to serving their interests,” he said.
“I have had countless conversations with Americans all over the country, I wanted to learn how the people of Michigan think about Washington, D.C., how the people of Arizona think about healthcare, how the people of New Hampshire feel about the opioid epidemic–they all face different challenges,” he said. “But unites them is frustration about what is going on in Washington, D.C., concern about those in power are recklessly gambling our future to serve the corporate bottom lines.”
Steyer said across the country tens of millions of Americans are worried about a lawless president and a political establishment that will not act against him.
Steyer’s second objective is to support the Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives with the further goal of impeaching Trump, he said.
“We are redoubling our effort with the Need to Impeach campaign,” he said. “We are seeing this campaign resonate with every state.”
The businessman, whose most successful investments have been in coal production and payday loans, and who retains a large portfolio with his former firm, said that the American people want Trump’s impeachment to be part of the national debate.
“By my count, Donald Trump has committed at least eight impeachable offenses,” he said.”He’s trambling on the rule of law are risking nuclear conflict–he is a clear and present danger to the institutions of our democracy and to the safety of the American people.”
While the GOP-controlled Congress refuses to hold Trump accountable, millions of Americans know that the president is unfit for office, he said. “They need to know that a Democratic Congress will do what is urgently and morally necessary for the health of our democracy.”
Steyer said his third objective is to convert his Need to Impeach organization into an engagement platform, building on the four million Americans, who are already digitally engaged with the group.
“We are going to amplify the voices of our supporters, we’re going to activate against this president and we are going to demand that our representatives stand with us,” he said.
After his remarks, the activist-mega-donor took some questions from reporters and supporters there.
When he was asked if he had any ambitions for running for president himself in 2020, Steyer deflected and said he and his staff were focused on the 2018 midterms and are not thinking anything else.
One supporter told Steyer that he was grateful that the billionaire was concentrating on impeachment, rather than the difficult course of the 25th Amendment, which provides for the cabinet, vice president and Congress to remove the president if he is suffering a disability, which prevents him from exercising his duties.
Steyer told the supporter that, in fact, he was not opposed to pushing for a 25th Amendment scenario, because his only goal is the removal of the president.
After the short Q & A, Steyer was whisked out of the room into the offices of the Nelson Mullins law firm next door to the function room. For the next five or 10 minutes, reporters lingered in the hallway by the elevators as Steyer and his entourage lingered in the law firm’s reception area. Eventually, the event’s public relations staff cleared out the reporters and Steyer were free to proceed to a small gathering of supporters held in the lower lobby of the 101 Constitution Ave. building.
When some reporter attempted to watch Steyer speaking from the railing overlooking the gathering, members of Steyer’s public relations staff stood in front of the reporters and eventually prevailed upon the building’s security staff to remove the reporters from the building.
Watch Steyer’s PR staff thwart a reporter from watching his private event: