Tom Steyer dropped out of the presidential race on February 29, 2020. This page is no longer being updated.
Steyer has been a funding force in Democratic politics in recent years, bankrolling candidates and organizations that promote a liberal agenda. He jumped into the race in July after funding an effort to pressure Congress into impeaching Trump.
Yale University, B.A., 1979; Stanford Business School, MBA, 1983
June 27, 1957
Samuel, Charles, Evelyn and Henry
Founder, Farallon Capital Management, 1986-2012; Partner, Hellman and Friedman, 1985-1986; Associate, Goldman Sachs, 1983-1985; Financial analyst, Morgan Stanley, 1979-1981
STEYER IN THE NEWS
Tom Steyer ends 2020 presidential campaign
Updated 10:17 PM ET, Sat Feb 29, 2020
Tom Steyer ended his presidential campaign on Saturday night after the billionaire businessman failed to gain traction in a large field of Democratic candidates. Steyer exited the race after he failed to claim victory in South Carolina, a state he invested heavily in, hoping it would turn around his sputtering run. "I said if I didn't see a path to winning that I'd suspend my campaign," he said. "And honestly, I can't see a path where I can win the presidency." The businessman's decision comes after disappointing showings in the race's first three contests in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada. In Nevada, Steyer outspent the rest of the Democratic field on advertisements by more than $13 million. Visit CNN's Election Center for full coverage of the 2020 race Steyer spent more than $200 million on advertising for his presidential campaign, and contributed about $155 million in the fourth quarter of 2019. But the power of Steyer's money was partially blunted late in his campaign by the entrance of former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has spent more than $500 million on ads in a few short months, effectively watering down Steyer's omnipresence. Steyer spent considerable time and money in South Carolina, and there were signs his investment was paying off. The billionaire businessman spent more than $22 million on television and radio ads in the state, hoping that direct and persistent outreach to black voters could cut into former Vice President Joe Biden's strength with the powerful voting bloc. A recent Monmouth University poll found Steyer at 15% in the state, neck-and-neck with the race's front-runner Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and behind Biden. Steyer said he supports reparations for African Americans, and pledged he would, if elected, establish a commission on race led by African Americans aimed at coming up with solutions. Before officially launching his campaign in July, Steyer operated as a funding force in Democratic politics. He spent millions bankrolling candidates and organizations that promoted liberal causes and the impeachment of President Donald Trump. Steyer starred in self-funded television commercials calling for Congress to remove Trump from office. Those ads were powerful in the early states, where voters who backed Steyer said they liked the fact that he spearheaded the impeachment effort. The longtime Democratic donor, whose net worth reached $1.6 billion this year according to Forbes, said he would make tackling the global climate crisis a top priority of his administration and vowed to combat what he called the "undue influence" of corporate power on the US economy. He called for a $15 minimum wage, congressional term limits and the repeal of Citizens United, the 2010 Supreme Court decision that eased restrictions on corporate campaign spending. Steyer said he would repeal the Trump tax cuts and install a 1% wealth tax on those whose net worth is above $32 million. Steyer broke with progressive leaders on "Medicare for All," and said he would prefer to build on the current system, as it exists under the Affordable Care Act, and push for a public option, or a government-backed insurance plan. In the end, though, Steyer's campaign became a case study of how even hundreds of millions in personal spending cannot directly lead to success in a presidential election. Steyer did get a burst of attention in the final days of his campaign, turning in his most aggressive debate performance on Tuesday. And on the eve of the South Carolina primary, a video of Steyer dancing onstage with rapper Juvenile at an event in South Carolina went viral.
Steyer, a longtime Democratic donor, established himself as a leading force on climate change with a $100 million campaign in the 2014 midterm elections through the advocacy group NextGen Climate, which was positioned as a foil to the oil and gas industry – specifically to the donor network established by billionaire conservative brothers Charles and David Koch. As a presidential candidate, Steyer says he would declare a national emergency on his first day in office over the climate crisis and use executive action to achieve his goals, including a clean-energy system with net-zero “global warming pollution” by 2045. Steyer would also stop the issuance of new leases for mining and drilling and would wind down existing production on federal land and offshore. Like other candidates, Steyer ties his climate plans to job creation, promising 1 million jobs. He calls for $2 trillion in federal funding over 10 years for infrastructure, which includes transportation as well as “water, operational systems, the energy grid, farms and rural development, building retrofits, maintenance, affordable housing, universal broadband, and more.” He also calls for issuing $250 billion in “climate bonds” over 10 years and investing $50 billion in programs to support miners and other “fossil fuel workers.” Steyer says he would keep the US in the Paris climate agreement, a landmark 2015 deal on global warming targets that Trump has pledged to abandon, as well as other international alliances and United Nations agreements aimed at mitigating the effects of climate change. More on Steyer’s climate crisis policy
Steyer’s initial focus was his $2 trillion energy infrastructure investment plan, which he says would in turn unleash “trillions” more in private capital investment. He would also create what he calls “Green New Deal investment zones.” In October 2019, he released a new economic agenda aimed at “ensuring that economic power rests with the American people, not big corporations.” To address what Steyer calls the “undue influence” of corporate power on the US economy, his plan calls for a $15 minimum wage, along with congressional term limits and the overturning of Citizens United, the 2010 Supreme Court decision that eased restrictions on corporate campaign spending. Steyer says he would repeal the Trump tax cuts and install a 1% wealth tax on those whose net worth is above $32 million. But he said he favors regulation over moving to greater government control over parts of the economy. “I’m a progressive and a capitalist, but unchecked capitalism produces market failures and economic inequities,” Steyer said in a news release outlining the plan. “The people must be in charge of our economy — but socialism isn’t the answer.” Steyer has declared a right to a living wage as part of his “5 Rights” platform. He pledges in his climate plan to reward companies that follow fair labor practices and hire union workers. More on Steyer’s economic policy
Steyer calls on his website for providing “free, quality, public education” from preschool through college “and on to skills training.” More on Steyer’s education policy
After the 2018 Parkland, Florida, school shooting, Steyer pledged $1 million for a voter registration drive in cooperation with two gun-control advocacy groups – Everytown for Gun Safety and former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords’ organization. At the time, Steyer accused the Republican Party and Trump of “putting NRA money ahead of the lives of Americans.” In August 2019, after mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, Steyer again expressed opposition to the National Rifle Association and called for “mandatory background checks” in an interview with PBS.
Steyer supports universal health care, including it as one of his “5 Rights.” That includes coverage for undocumented immigrants, he said in an interview with CBS in July 2019. He tweeted in late July 2019 that “universal health care must be a right—not a privilege—so everyone has the chance to live a healthy life, and our government needs to act to protect the foundations of our health.” More on Steyer’s health care policy
Quincy Mason Floyd, one of George Floyd's sons, attended a protest in Bryan, Texas on Sunday, according to CNN affiliate KBTX. He had been a young child the last time he saw his father, according to KBTX. "Everyone is coming out and showing him love," he told KBTX. "My heart is really touched by all this." He and his sister, Connie Mason, praised the peaceful protests in Bryan and urged protesters around the country to avoid violence. Other protests across Texas were less calm. In Dallas, 76 people were arrested during protests on Sunday, said the Dallas Police Department. About 45 to 60 more people are also being processed to go to jail, said the police. Former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, who was filmed kneeling on George Floyd's neck, is scheduled to appear in court for a hearing on Monday. Jail records show he is scheduled for 2 p.m. Eastern Time. Hennepin County Court Public Information Officer Spenser Bickett also confirmed the hearing to CNN. Charged with murder: Chauvin, 44, was charged Friday with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter -- two felonies where intent is a key element. Under Minnesota law, third-degree murder is defined as causing death of a person "by perpetrating an act eminently dangerous to others and evincing a depraved mind," without regard for life and without intent to kill. Second-degree manslaughter in Minnesota is described as when a person "an unreasonable risk, and consciously takes chances of causing death or great bodily harm to another." Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is calling up the National Guard statewide, ordering the state’s adjutant general to activate as many guardsmen as needed to keep communities safe. Inslee had previously capped deployment at 600 members of the Guard, but says in a press release that violence in Spokane County prompted him to expand his order. “We must not let these illegal and dangerous actions detract from the anger so many feel at the deep injustice laid so ugly and bare by the death of George Floyd,” Inslee said in the statement. “But we also will not turn away from our responsibility to protect the residents of our state.” Inslee has ordered that all members of the Guard engaged in crowd control be unarmed. The Massachusetts National Guard has arrived in Boston to disperse the remaining protesters, Massachusetts State Police spokesman David Procopio told CNN. The National Guard is now working with police to clear protesters caught vandalizing buildings and looting stores, Procopio said. Police have made two arrests so far, both protesters who jumped a fence and tried to get onto State House property. "We say again, the time for protesting is over. The peaceful protest ended hours ago. Individuals now congregating and committing crimes in Boston need to vacate the area and leave our city," Boston Police said on Twitter. Some context on the National Guard: The National Guard is a reserve military force and the oldest component of the US armed forces. Each US state, territory and Washington DC has its own National Guard, per the US Constitution. National Guardsmen can be deployed for either state or federal missions. They are often called to assist in national disasters or civil disturbances, and the president can order troops for federal missions both domestically and in foreign nations. Arrests made in nationwide protests: There are multiple protests still happening around the country, and authorities are working to clear and arrest protesters in various states. Nine protesters were arrested in Charlotte, North Carolina, late Sunday evening, with some arrests involving weapon charges And in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, police arrested 43 people for alleged looting and burglary. They also arrested one person for assaulting police, one for alleged rioting, one for vandalism, and one for "other/propulsion of missiles." Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small Sr. said on Sunday that he was extending the citywide nightly curfew from June 1 through June 8. The curfew starts at 7 p.m. every night, he said. He did not specify when it would be lifted each morning. At a press conference Sunday, Small called protesters' actions that day "unacceptable.” “Today was Atlantic City at its worst, and we let it happen,” he said. “Atlantic City has had its fair share of embarrassments, but this one today is at the very top.” One of two college students tased by Atlanta police Saturday said she is “traumatized” and “disgusted” over the incident. “It was the worst experience of my life,” 20-year-old Taniyah Pilgrim told reporters in Atlanta on Sunday. Pilgrim, a junior at Spelman College, said there was “so much commotion” happening at the time that all she could think of was “how not to die.” What happened: Pilgrim and her friend, Messiah Young, were driving home from protests in downtown Atlanta on Saturday night when police used Tasers to remove them from their car. Two of the officers involved in the incident have since been fired, with three others put on desk duty. Pilgrim was released from police custody and wasn’t charged. Young was also released, and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance-Bottoms said Sunday she was ordering charges against him to be dropped. In the national capital, the entire DC National Guard has been called out to assist police with protests in the city, according to Capt. Melissa Heintz from the 113th Wing Public Affairs. According to its website, the DC National Guard has 1,350 members. In California, National Guard members are on their way to Long Beach to respond to looting and unrest, the city's police department said Sunday night. "The National Guard is on their way and we will get control of the situation," the Long Beach police chief said. "All hands are on deck and the entire police department is mobilized. Everyone is mobilized. All of our partner agencies are mobilized." Earlier today, the family of George Floyd had its first direct communication with the Minneapolis Police Department live on CNN's special program "I Can't Breathe: Black Men Living and Dying in America." George Floyd's brother, Philonise Floyd, asked Police Chief Medaria Arradondo whether he would arrest the officers and get justice for George's death. Speaking directly to Philonise, Arradondo said those decisions would come through the County Attorney's Office. He also took off his hat every time he addressed the Floyd family to show respect, and said those who stood silent in the face of injustice were complicit. "Being silent or not intervening to me, you're being complicit," Arradondo said. "My decision to fire all four officers was not based on some sort of hierarchy. Mr. Floyd died in our hands." Attorney Ben Crump, who consoled Philonise during the exchange, thanked Arrandondo. "He was very respectful to the family, and we thank him for that," Crump said. "This family is in great pain ... They need these officers to be arrested." Law enforcement officials in Minnesota believe there are white supremacists attending demonstrations in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, said Department of Corrections Commissioner Paul Schnell on Sunday night. "They're agitators," he said, adding that authorities are trying to break up groups so "agitators" don't gather and incite chaos. He also added that there have been reports of Antifa attending the demonstrations. Antifa, short for anti-fascists, describes a broad group of people whose political beliefs lean toward the left -- often the far left -- but do not conform with the Democratic Party platform. The two Atlanta police officers who were fired for using excessive force against two protesters said they had tased the couple over concerns they were armed. The incident happened in Atlanta, Georgia, late Saturday night during protests against the death of George Floyd. Video of the confrontation show two young college students in their car, before being tased by police. Officer statements: The officer who tased the male driver said, "“The driver started grabbing his right pocket area, causing me to us (sic) my ECW (Electronic Conductive Weapon) on him.” The officer who tased the female passenger said he gave verbal commands to the female to, “show her hands and stop resisting.” He also wrote he “heard officers say ‘gun’ two-three times,” according to the report. They were fired after the incident: The two officers have been fired, and three other officers involved are now on desk duty pending further determination of disciplinary action, said Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. “There clearly was a use of excessive force,” she said. “We understand that our officers are working very long hours under an enormous amount of stress. But we also understand that the use of excessive force is never acceptable." The mayor of Oklahoma City has enacted a curfew for downtown areas, from 10 p.m. local time until 5 a.m. Monday morning. City police said on Twitter that a crowd near police headquarters was being dispersed, after the protests became non-peaceful and objects were thrown at officers. Police are now calling it an “unlawful assembly” and telling protestors to disband. Bogdan Vechirko, the man who drove a tanker truck into a crowd of protesters on a Minnesota interstate on Sunday night, has been charged with assault, according to records at the Hennepin County Jail. The incident took place on the I-35W bridge. Aerial video from CNN affiliate WCCO appears to show Vechirko in a scrum with protesters as officers took him away, and law enforcement said he was treated at a hospital. A mugshot of Vechirko shows what appear to be minor injuries to his nose and eyes. It appears no protesters were hurt, said the Department of Public Safety, which described Vechirko’s actions as “inciting a crowd of peaceful demonstrators.” Vechirko is now being held without bail. In a statement on Sunday, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh thanked peaceful protesters in the city but criticized those who committed "destruction and violence." His statement said: "I want to thank the protestors who exercised their right to free speech effectively and peacefully, making sure everyone hears their message. Tonight's protests were motivated by a righteous desire for equality, justice, and accountability in our country. I see you. I hear you. I will use my voice for you.
I am angered, however, by the people who came into our city and chose to engage in acts of destruction and violence, undermining their message. If we are to achieve change and if we are to lead the change, our efforts must be rooted in peace and regard for our community." He also thanked the city's police and public safety agencies for their work. The White House tonight has cautioned staffers who must come to work Monday to hide their passes until they reach a Secret Service entry point and to hide them as they leave, in an email viewed by CNN. The email repeated mandates for maximum telework status, and said there is still an “elevated security posture” due to the protests. “If you must come to the complex, keep your pass and PIV cars hidden until you reach a USSS (United States Secret Service) entry point,” said the email. The National Guard has been deployed in multiple major cities around the US rocked by protests on Sunday night. In Tennessee, Gov. Bill Lee has authorized the deployment of the National Guard to Murfreesboro, saying the protests there are "no longer peaceful" and are threatening public safety. In Washington, Gov. Jay Inslee activated 200 additional members of the state's National Guard to Bellevue, east of Seattle. The National Guard would help protect property, manage crowds and traffic, and respond to looting, he said. In Minnesota, the state's National Guard is deployed on 29 missions, said Minnesota National Guard Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen earlier this evening. As of Sunday morning, approximately 5,000 National Guard members had been activated in 15 states and Washington, DC, with another 2,000 prepared to activate if needed. Manhattan was still full of protesters as night fell on Sunday. A large group of protesters came over the Brooklyn Bridge into Manhattan earlier in the day, moving north through Soho, where several arrests were made. Then they arrived in Union Square. A car was set on fire near 12th street, and protesters faced off with riot police in full gear. Tensions are high, with protesters chanting "Shame" and other slogans at the police. Stores around Manhattan are boarded up today, after the destruction of the past few days. A bank near Union Square has had its windows smashed, said CNN crime correspondent Shimon Prokupecz, reporting from the scene. "I've covered protests in New York City. I covered it during the Eric Garner (protests). I covered occupy Wall Street. You never saw the elements that we're seeing here," he said. Chiara de Blasio, the daughter of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, was arrested on Saturday night alongside protesters, according to police sources. She was arrested near Greenwich Village for unlawful assembly and was later released, police sources said. CNN has reached out to NYC Mayor de Blasio’s office for comment. As protesters gathered outside the White House Friday night in Washington, President Trump was briefly taken to the White House underground bunker for a period of time, according to a White House official and a law enforcement source. He was there for a little under an hour before being brought upstairs. A law enforcement source and another source familiar with the matter told CNN that Melania and Barron Trump were also taken to the bunker. The law enforcement source familiar with protocol said that if authorities moved Trump they would move all protectees, meaning Melania and Barron. The separate source said, “If the condition at the White House is elevated to RED and the President is moved to the EOC (Emergency Operations Center, below the East Wing), Melania Trump, Barron Trump and any other first family members would be moved as well.” Trump has repeatedly praised the Secret Service for its handling of the protests outside the White House Friday night. At least 40 cities and Washington, DC, have imposed curfews tonight in response to violent protests across the country this weekend. Additionally, as of Sunday morning, approximately 5,000 National Guard members have been activated in 15 states and Washington, DC, with another 2,000 prepared to activate if needed. Here's a look at what cities currently have curfews in place for tonight: Curfews: Arizona: Weeklong statewide curfew
California: Los Angeles County, San Francisco, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, West Hollywood, San Jose
District of Columbia
Florida: Miami, Orange County, Jacksonville, Orlando
Minnesota: Minneapolis, St. Paul
Missouri: Kansas City
New Jersey: Atlantic City
New York: Rochester
Ohio: Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Toledo
Oregon: Portland, Eugene
Pennsylvania: Philadelphia, Pittsburgh
South Carolina: Charleston, Columbia, Myrtle Beach
Texas: Dallas, San Antonio
Utah: Salt Lake City
Wisconsin: Milwaukee, Madison State of disaster/emergency: Arizona: The governor said the emergency declaration will allow police to "be equipped to make arrests of individuals who are planning to riot, loot or cause damage and unrest."
Texas: This allows federal agents are able to serve as Texas peace officers.
Virginia: This allows for the mobilization of resources, including the Virginia National Guard, and pre-position people and equipment to assist cities addressing violent protests. Other things to note: The city of Chicago closed the central business district and the Loop area, allowing access only to employees whose businesses are located in the business and residents who live in the central business district.
Major highways in Minnesota are closed. ##Curfews##