Political Party/527

NextGen Climate Action Committee

Website:

nextgenamerica.org

Formation:

2013

Type:

Super PAC

Founder:

Tom Steyer

Not to be confused with the similarly named 501(c)(4) advocacy group NextGen Climate Action

NextGen Climate Action Committee is the unlimited-contribution independent expenditure committee (known as a Super PAC) for NextGen America, an organization associated with left-wing environmentalist billionaire Tom Steyer that dedicates its time and resources to promoting environmentalism and progressive values.[1]

NextGen Climate Action Committee was founded in 2013 by Steyer, who made his fortune as the founder of the San Francisco-based investment firm Farallon Capital, LLC.[2] Steyer regularly donates to the super PAC and has previously attempted to use the NextGen Climate Action Committee to influence political elections.[3]

Founding

Also see NextGen Climate America (Nonprofit)

NextGen Climate America (formerly NextGen Climate) is an American non-profit organization founded in 2013 as a 501(c)(4) lobbying organization by billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer. The organization’s associated Super PAC, NextGen Climate Action Committee, also registered in 2013 with the Federal Election Commission.[4] According to the FEC, NextGen Climate Action Committee only makes independent expenditures, thus enabling the organization to take unlimited contributions.[5]

Steyer rebranded NextGen in 2017 to reflect the organization’s new focus on opposing President Donald Trump. “This is a fight for the soul of American democracy, and we have expanded our mission to meet the challenge at hand,” claimed Steyer, referring to the rebranding. “To protect American democracy and stand up to Trump, we will step up our efforts to unite citizens behind a cross-section of progressive issues.”[6]

Political Activities

Steyer regularly donates to his NextGen Climate Action Committee. As of October 25, 2014, Steyer had personally contributed $66.9 million over two years[7] to the super PAC in the 2014 cycle.[8]  Steyer also donated an unknown amount to NextGen Action, the 501(c)(4) advocacy affiliate which is not required to disclose its donors under IRS rules.[9]

2014 Midterm Election

During the 2014 election cycle, NextGen directed $25 million toward four Senate races and three gubernatorial races in Illinois, Nevada, Michigan, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Colorado, New Hampshire and Ohio.[10]

NextGen spent close to $17.6 million on directly attacking Republican candidates. The super PAC invested in a giant boat on wheels, which physically followed Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R).[11] Only three of the Democrats backed by NextGen won in 2014, and the Democrats ultimately lost control of the Senate and seats in the House.[12]

2016 General Election

Steyer also used NextGen to attack Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election by creating an advertisement in Spanish which focused on immigration issues.[13]

2017-2018 Election Cycle

Steyer also said in 2017 that he would spend $7.5 million, through NextGen, organizing young voters in the states of Florida, Nevada, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, California, and Wisconsin.[14]

Steyer, along with his wife Kathryn, contributed $75,455,634 in 2014,[15]  $91,078,136 in 2016,[16] and $30,092,957 in 2018 to the committee.[17]

People

Tom Steyer, the founder of NextGen Climate Action Committee, is an American hedge-fund manager and billionaire who became a climate change activist. He is a major political donor to the Democratic Party.

Steyer made his fortune as a co-founder of Farallon Capital Management, a $30 billion hedge fund. When he created NextGen Climate in 2013, Steyer was scrutinized for his hypocrisy towards environmentalism as Farallon Capital Management invested “hundreds of millions of dollars into companies that operate coal mines and coal-fired power plants from Indonesia to China” 1999 and 2014.[18]

Steyer also attempted to oppose the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline through the NextGen Climate Action Committee and his own campaign contributions. Steyer backed U.S. Representative Ed Markey (D-Massachusetts) during a special election for the Senate, in which the winner of the race would succeed Sen. Mo Cowan (D-Massachusetts).

Steyer had promised to spend a large amount of money to help Markey’s campaign if his opponent, Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Massachusetts), refused to renounce his support for the Keystone XL pipeline. Markey refused Steyer’s support, noting that the NextGen founder’s tactics had “no place in our political discourse and should be repudiated.” He also called for Steyer to “immediately withdraw his threats and ultimatum, and stay out of this Senate race.”[19]

References

  1. “Our Story.” NextGen America. Accessed August 29, 2018. https://nextgenamerica.org/our-story/.
  2. Lashinsky, Adam. “California’s Hedge Fund King.” Fortune. September 17, 2008. Accessed August 29, 2018. http://archive.fortune.com/2008/09/17/news/newsmakers/lashinsky_steyer.fortune/index.htm.
  3. Graves, Lucia. “Ed Markey Tells Environmentalist To Stay Out Of Senate Race.” HuffPost UK. March 22, 2013. Accessed August 29, 2018. https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/ed-markey-tom-steyer_n_2932584?guccounter=1.
  4. “Our Story.” NextGen America. Accessed August 29, 2018. https://nextgenamerica.org/our-story/.
  5. “NEXTGEN CLIMATE ACTION COMMITTEE – Committee Overview.” FEC.gov. Accessed August 29, 2018. https://www.fec.gov/data/committee/C00547349/?tab=about-committee.
  6. “NextGen Climate Relaunches as NextGen America, Broadening Cause Efforts.” Propeller. July 24, 2017. Accessed August 29, 2018. https://www.propeller.la/engage/6727/nextgen-climate-relaunches-as-nextgen-america-broadening-cause-efforts.
  7. “SCHEDULE A.” FEC Disclosure Form 3X for National Rifle Association of America Political Victory Fund. Accessed August 29, 2018. http://docquery.fec.gov/cgi-bin/forms/C00547349/906168/sa/ALL.
  8. “SCHEDULE A.” FEC Disclosure Form 3X for National Rifle Association of America Political Victory Fund. Accessed August 29, 2018. http://docquery.fec.gov/cgi-bin/forms/C00547349/963233/sa/11AI.
  9. Jackson, Brooks. “NextGen Climate Action.” FactCheck.org. November 08, 2014. Accessed August 29, 2018. https://www.factcheck.org/2014/02/nextgen-climate-action/.
  10. Davenport, Coral. “Billionaire Environmentalist to Spend $25 Million to Turn Out Young Voters.” The New York Times. December 21, 2017. Accessed August 29, 2018. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/26/us/politics/thomas-steyer-nextgen-climate-change-voters.html.
  11. Zuvichemail, Cady. “Billionaire Environmentalist behind Anti-Donald Trump Immigration Ads.” Center for Public Integrity. June 08, 2016. Accessed August 29, 2018. https://www.publicintegrity.org/2016/06/02/19745/billionaire-environmentalist-behind-anti-donald-trump-immigration-ads.
  12. Davenport, Coral. “Billionaire Environmentalist to Spend $25 Million to Turn Out Young Voters.” The New York Times. December 21, 2017. Accessed August 29, 2018. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/26/us/politics/thomas-steyer-nextgen-climate-change-voters.html.
  13. Zuvichemail, Cady. “Billionaire Environmentalist behind Anti-Donald Trump Immigration Ads.” Center for Public Integrity. June 08, 2016. Accessed August 29, 2018. https://www.publicintegrity.org/2016/06/02/19745/billionaire-environmentalist-behind-anti-donald-trump-immigration-ads.
  14. Siders, David, Mark I. Pinsky, Bill Scher, John Raidt, and Jack Shafer. “Steyer to Plow $7.5 Million into Voter Mobilization Efforts.” About Us. June 22, 2017. Accessed August 29, 2018. https://www.politico.com/story/2017/06/22/tom-steyer-voter-registration-efforts-239863.
  15. “Top Individual Contributors: All Federal Contributions.” OpenSecrets. Accessed August 29, 2018. http://www.opensecrets.org/overview/topindivs.php?cycle=2014&view=fc.
  16. “Top Individual Contributors: All Federal Contributions.” OpenSecrets. Accessed August 29, 2018. http://www.opensecrets.org/overview/topindivs.php?cycle=2016&view=fc.
  17. “Top Individual Contributors: All Federal Contributions.” OpenSecrets. Accessed August 29, 2018. http://www.opensecrets.org/overview/topindivs.php?cycle=2018&view=fc.
  18. Davenport, Coral, and Michael Barbaro. “Aims of Donor Are Shadowed by Past in Coal.” The New York Times. December 20, 2017. Accessed August 29, 2018. https://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/05/us/politics/prominent-environmentalist-helped-fund-coal-projects.html?_r=0.
  19. Graves, Lucia. “Ed Markey Tells Environmentalist To Stay Out Of Senate Race.” HuffPost UK. March 22, 2013. Accessed August 29, 2018. https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/ed-markey-tom-steyer_n_2932584?guccounter=1.

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Tom Steyer
    Founder, Primary Funder
  2. Ezra Reese
    Consultant
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