LA Times: Finally, There May Be an 'Answer to the Koch Brothers' — As If There Haven't Been Dozens, For Decades

Did you know that the left has been almost completely starved for funding all these years? Why, there's almost nobody out there providing seed money for "community organizers," activists, and "advocacy groups" to offset the evil impact of the Koch brothers.

Continuing an establishment press meme going back at least to April, as NewsBusters' Tim Graham noted at the time, that's the impression one would get from reading Evan Halper's coverage of Tom Steyer, the left's most recent addition to what is really a decades-long line of deep-pocketed providers of the mother's milk of politics — and the guy sure knows how to pick 'em when it comes to identifying a pet cause (HT to Gary Hall; bolds are mine):


Tom Steyer may be liberals' answer to the Koch brothers
The California billionaire is building a vast political network and inserting himself into elections nationwide, with a focus on fossil fuels and global warming.

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... For years, liberals have fretted about the power of ultrawealthy people determined to use their billions to advance their political views. Charles and David Koch, in particular, have ranked high in the demonology of the American left.

But in Steyer, liberals have a billionaire on their side. Like the Kochs, he is building a vast political network and seizing opportunities provided by loose campaign finance rules to insert himself into elections nationwide. In direct contrast to them, he has made opposition to fossil fuels and the campaign against global warming the center of his activism.

The former financier is an unlikely green icon. Steyer built his fortune with a San Francisco-based hedge fund of the sort that drove protesters to occupy Wall Street. Some of the investments that landed him on the Forbes list of America's wealthiest went into companies he now says are destroying the planet. Adversaries and, in private, at least some erstwhile allies call him a dilettante.

Yet, unlike many others in a parade of super-rich Californians who have made forays into politics, Steyer has proved himself skilled at bringing attention to his cause and himself.

He has amassed impressive victories: helping persuade recession-weary Californians to pass a $1-billion annual tax hike; creating a gusher of money for energy efficiency; and this year playing a star role in destabilizing plans for the Keystone XL Pipeline with a campaign that has sown doubt about the project inside the administration and mobilized influential Democratic donors and business leaders against it.

While acknowledging that Steyer may be more effective than the others, it's really annoying for Halper to act as if nobody else on the left is doing any of the things Steyer is doing with some success. There's George Soros, Teresa Heinz, the recently-passed Peter Lewis, more far-left trust-fund types than I can hope to list, and dozens of well-funded leftist think tanks and foundations. You have to have one heck of an imagination to believe that the political playing field was tilted unfairly to the right until Tom Steyer came along.

As to Steyer's obsession with "global warming," — wow, what a cause to pick. The warmists are losing the reality battle by a larger margin with each passing day, and will only get what they really want — control over the everyday actions and decisions of everyone, everywhere — through government coercion and brute force.

Perhaps this explains why the LAT's Halper is clearly placing a great deal hope in Steyer, whose money could play a large role in overcoming common sense.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.