Tom Steyer isn’t the only liberal democrat who’s giving money to the Democrats this session but he is the one with the most money. I am also of the belief that he has created the best ads that could swing a race several points or two. (See here and here.)
But there’s a very good chance that despite his best efforts that the US Senate will fall into Republican hands. What this means is that Tom’s primary issue, namely climate change, will take a hit, which could kill millions if it happens slowly or all of us if it happens quickly. (Venus is an example of runaway carbon. Venus is not habitable.) Tom Steyer has to win in order to prevent these two horrible scenarios from playing out.
Here are some tactics that I wish he would use not only in the five days but for significant races in both 2015 and 2016.
One). Support endangered democrats even if they’re Conservadams.
This has been a position that has evolved within Next Generation, Steyer’s Climate Change advocacy group. First, he wanted to be bipartisan about and run ads against pro coal and pro Big Oil democratic senators like Kay Hagan and Mary Landrieu. The problem with this tactic is that you risk giving the US Senate’s gavel to the just gawdawful senator from Kentucky Mitch McConnell, who doesn’t even think climate change is real let alone that we should do something about it. Once he hired DNC operative Chris Lehane he totally change his tune on that and didn’t run ads against them. However, in a close national race like this one, the public really needs to openly advocate on their behalf.
Don’t get me a wrong. A lot of these women senators from the south aren’t progressive and would support lots of bad policies not just affecting climate change. Alison Grimes wouldn’t even say if she voted for the president. But if they all lose and the senate majority switches we’re all doomed.
Two.) Run on other issues other than climate change.
This is sort of related to one. One thing that Tom Steyer’s pac does, that I wish the Mayday PAC would do, is that they run on winning issues and not just climate change. So, even if they were to add some late minutes in Kentucky, North Carolina and Louisiana they wouldn’t have to be about climate change. They just as easily be about social security or issues where those candidates are much stronger and would be winners at the voting booth as well. We’ll keep our fingers crossed.
Three.) Consider more outsider and third party candidates.
I’ve seen two opportunities where I wish Tom Steyer had more forcefully intervened and they both involve the state of New York and their Democrat in name governor Andrew Cuomo. How committed to fracking is Cuomo? He wanted the New York senate to remain in Senate hands in order to pass his awful pro fracking bills. Cuomo is fully supportive of fracking even if it means betraying his own party.
There were and are two candidates who were clearly anti fracking but didn’t get Tom Steyer’s help when they needed it. Zephyr Teachout is anti fracking and ran a spirited online campaign against Cuomo but only raised, I think, about one hundred thousand dollars, which clearly isn’t enough. Howie Hawkins, the Green Party nominee, who will be on the ballot is also anti fracking and has had no support from Tom Steyer.
I guess the big question is why not? Steyer could have both of their campaigns viable. He has 100 million to spend. They needed 2 to five million dollars in order to be truly competitive. Keep in mind that the only reason a Teachout or a Hawkins can’t win is money. If Steyer, wanted to he could make the Green Party competitive in a presidential. You wouldn’t even have to win. You might need as few as 3 or as much as 25 electoral votes to get the winner to make concessions. Please think big. You won’t change the climate without that kind of thinking.