A billionaire environmentalist who supports real climate change science plans to do whatever it takes to unseat Florida governor, Rick Scott, this year.
Tom Steyer, an investor-turned-activist according to the Miami Herald, started his own political action committee, and will work to ensure that Democrat Charlie Crist beats out Rick Scott in November.
The Miami Herald says that Republicans are calling Steyer a “phony environmentalist,” but the amount of money he’s spending has them worried anyway. Former political consultant David Johnson says that someone spending $10 million in August gets people’s attention, and alter the race.
According to Johnson, if Steyer and his organization can “identify single-issue voters, liberals — people who don’t typically show up in a governor’s race to vote, that’s a cause for concern.”
In a sit-down interview with the Herald, Steyer explained why Florida was so important when it comes to climate change this way:
“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. When you think about why this is an important state to be in, it’s because it’s actually a linchpin.”
Steyer’s organization, NextGen Climate Action, plans to open its Florida headquarters in Miami. Miami is especially at risk for rising sea levels and worsening hurricanes, and is a prime target for climate activists. NextGen’s website has a quote from Governor Scott, which says:
“I’ve not been convinced that there’s any man-made climate change…nothing’s convinced me that there is.”
Governor Scott appeared to recant that position later, according to the Orlando Sentinel, by saying that he’s not a scientist. So, because he’s not a scientist, he doesn’t know, and won’t say, even though there’s a major consensus in the scientific community that man-made climate change is real, and is happening now.
NextGen Climate Action will also work to defeat Republican climate deniers in Colorado, Iowa, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Maine, and Michigan this year. Another one of their targets is Joni Ernst of Iowa, who claimed that she has not seen “proven proof” of man-made climate change at all.
Perhaps all of these people should stop listening to right-wing talking points crafted by the Koch Brothers (and others), and start actually paying attention to the science.
In the meantime, Steyer’s money may have considerable influence over these elections. While we’re not fans of that much money influencing politics at all, for now and until Citizens United and McCutcheon are overturned, and financial influence over politics is brought back under control, what’s good for the goose (Republicans getting heavy funding from Big Oil et al) is good for the gander.
h/t: Miami Herald