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May 20, 2016

How Tom Steyer Ripped The Democratic Party Apart In One Week

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As Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders battle for the soul of the Democratic Party, billionaire Tom Steyer is going all-in on the war tearing his party apart.

Earlier this week, Steyer’s plan to team up with Big Labor and elect a Democrat president backfired miserably. Labor leaders demanded AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka cease ties with Steyer, who some in labor consider a job-killer for his opposition to projects like the Keystone XL pipeline.

The New York Times summed up the strife Steyer has caused:

But Mr. Steyer has opposed oil and gas projects like the Keystone pipeline, and the construction unions assailed the A.F.L.-C.I.O.’s willingness to make common cause with him as an abandonment of their members and the federation’s principles.

Not more than a few days after Steyer triggered a war inside Big Labor, the controversial former hedge fund manager is now wading into a Democrat primary in California.

The Sacramento Bee reports:

Steyer reported $500,000 in independent expenditures in support of Jim Beall’s re-election campaign in the 15th Senate District on Thursday. Meanwhile, an independent expenditure committee funded by Chevron and Valero has spent nearly $340,000 supporting Beall’s opponent, Assemblywoman Nora Campos, D-San Jose. … Steyer intends to use the funds for radio advertisements launching soon to support Beall and plans to monitor other races with heavy oil spending.

As of January 2016, Steyer was still playing coy on a possible run for governor of California in 2018. If he does run, though, he’ll first have to clean up the intraparty mess he’s now adding to on a daily basis.