National News

Billionaire to Spend $30 Million on 2018 Elections. His Aim: Impeach Trump

Posted January 8, 2018 4:09 p.m. EST

WASHINGTON — Tom Steyer, the billionaire environmentalist and Democratic political donor, announced Monday that his advocacy group, NextGen America, will spend $30 million to help Democrats retake the House in 2018, with the aim of eventually impeaching President Donald Trump.

Steyer also announced that he would not run for Senate or governor in California, as had been speculated.

Steyer, who was a major donor to President Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign, emerged as the largest single political donor of the 2014 midterm election. His group spent $74 million to back Democrats that year, and $87 million in the 2016 elections.

But most of the candidates he backed in those elections lost. This time, he said, his strategy will shift. Rather than focusing on climate change as an issue to rally young voters, as he had tried since 2010, he will focus on whatever issues will help Democrats win a majority in the House — in order to impeach Trump.

“We are really focused on removing this president,” Steyer said.

Last fall, Steyer’s group began a television and media campaign calling for impeachment. At a news conference here Monday, he made clear that the advertising, largely on cable news channels, that has featured his own call for impeachment is only the beginning.

“I am willing to do whatever it takes to help save our country. I feel the most important task for me is organizing,” he said, adding, “A year ago, no one knew what a Donald Trump presidency would look like, or how he would behave. We now know that the Oval Office cannot reshape a man who does not believe in constitutional democracy.”

Allies of the president, both in and outside the White House, dismiss such talk as the hyperbolic rantings of Democrats who still cannot accept Trump’s 2016 victory and continue to try to discredit his presidency.

But Steyer said he was serious and organized. NextGen America will focus on backing Democratic candidates in House, Senate and governor’s races in Florida, Virginia, Wisconsin, Michigan, Nevada, California, Pennsylvania, Iowa, New Hampshire and Arizona.

Steyer said his campaign would focus on reaching millennial voters, who will constitute the largest voting demographic in the 2018 and 2020 elections.

“Young people are overwhelmingly progressive, and energized like never before,” Steyer said. “They are now the largest bloc of eligible voters in America, capable of swinging elections on their own, and they are horrified by what’s happening here in Washington.”

In addition to the electoral campaigns, Steyer said his group will push all members of the House to back impeachment, starting with an effort to have constituents deliver copies of “Fire and Fury,” Michael Wolff’s new behind-the-scenes book about the Trump White House, to their representatives.