Tuesday's The Cycle featured a discussion of billionaire Tom Steyer's pledge to spend $100 million dollars promoting the climate change theory. When discussing the Democratic money-man's pledge, host Toure and guest Howard Finemen both referred to rich Republicans -- specifically the Koch brothers -- dominating political spending, a fact proven false by OpenSecrets.org which tracks political spending.
He’s using his money in ways Republicans have been doing far greater for years. These ad buys are going to make his group one of the largest outside spenders in the country, right up there with the stuff the Koch brothers do. Now a smart man once told me Dems can't compete with Republicans at this game because Republican ideals fit with the desires of their donor class. Whereas Dem ideals do not neatly fit with the personal needs of their donor class.
Well I think Tom Steyers proved that wrong and he has put together a network of like-minded people on environmental issues, and there’s no reason to stop there. It’s fascinating. Back here in Washington, people are binge watching “House of Cards,” looking for, you know, dreaming of effectiveness. But Washington is out of the ball game in part because of Citizens United. The big money, the big power is shifting around the country including to Silicon Valley were people like Tom Steyer are getting involved. I don't think the Democrats and Progressives have any choice given what the Supreme Court says the rules of the road are. It may be lamentable but that’s the game as it’s played. And Tom Steyer’s advisor is a guy named Chris Lehane who one of the shrewdest political operatives ever to come through Washington and he has been out in California for a long time now. Let's just eliminate all the middlemen. Let's just put the Koch brothers against Tom Steyer and Mike Bloomberg -- put them in a ring and let them go at it and eliminate everybody else because that's sort of where we're headed.
A recent report by OpenSecrets.org called "Heavy Hitters: Top All-Time Donors, 1989-2014" proves the Toure and Fineman claims false. The Koch brothers are way down the list, placing #59. Out of the top ten donors, seven are Democratic leaning. The other three donate equally to both parties. In fact when funds from the top 100 donors are aggregated, 57% ($1,379,880,052 out of the total $2,431,127,151) of the money was given to Democratic Party candidates.