Billionaire Tom Steyer Spends $20 million on Televised Smear Campaigns

Megan Toombs

8/27/2014 3:35:00 PM - Megan Toombs

Tom Steyer is perpetually in the news–promising to raise $100 million to fight climate skeptics in this campaign cycle.

Well, he is fighting, but not with $100 million (he’s had trouble finding backers for his super PAC NextGen Climate Action).

Tom Steyer has thus far spent $20 million on TV ads that either tell bald-faced lies, or use out-of-context sound bites to present a far from truthful story.

In Florida, and gave half-truth ratings to NextGen’s TV ads accusing Gov. Rick Scott of graft, a falsehood perpetrated with half-truths. The half-truth ratings come from the Republican response ads, which also stretched the truth, attacking former Gov. Charlie Crist, and claiming “they never took a cent” when in fact family members of the person in question did donate to the Scott campaign. But, the claim itself is false. At least in this case, it does not appear that Gov. Scott is guilty of graft.

This is mild compared to some of the attack ads.

The Washington Post awarded NextGen Climate Action four Pinocchios for its “over-the-top ad attacking the Keystone Pipeline. The ad, entitled "Sucker Punch," claims:

Chinese government-backed interests have invested thirty billion dollars in Canadian tar sands development. And China just bought one of Canada’s largest producers. They’re counting on the U.S. to approve TransCanada’s pipeline to ship oil through America’s heartland and out to foreign countries like theirs.

According to the Washington Post, these claims are completely false. The Chinese do have a stake in Canadian oil sands, but it’s minimal. The number given in the article combines Chinese holdings with the remainder of the Asian stakeholders to come to a measly 7 percent.

The ad also claims TransCanada “won’t commit to selling us (the United States) one single barrel,” and cuts to a clip of Executive Alexander Pourbaix saying, “I can’t do that.” This portrayal is so ridiculously out of context that the Washington Post fact checkers claim, “the twisting of Pourbaix’s remarks is especially disturbing, even by the standards of attack ads.”

And the list goes on.

The attack ad against Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli (who had been Virginia’s attorney general) last October claimed Cuccinelli wanted to “eliminate all forms of birth control.” This ad earned Politifact’s award for dishonesty: “NextGen doesn’t have a speck of proof to bolster its incendiary claim…. We rate it Pants on Fire.”

In Iowa, Republican candidate Joni Ernst is a NextGen target with ads claiming she signed a pledge to “protect tax breaks for companies shipping jobs overseas.” And of course, as anyone might well guess, this claim is also false. Ernst signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, an Americans for Tax Reform initiative that opposes tax increases, not a pledge to protect tax loopholes. This claim is not new. It was trotted out in multiple races over the last four years and every single time was put down by fact checkers as false.

Tom Steyer’s NextGen Climate Action is currently targeting candidates in seven states: Florida (Gov. Rick Scott), Colorado (U.S. Senate Candidate Corey Gardner), Iowa (U.S. Senate Candidate Joni Ernst), Pennsylvania (Gov. Tom Corbett), New Hampshire (U.S, Senate Candidate Scott Brown), Maine (Gov. Paul LePage), and Michigan (U.S. Senate Candidate Terri Lynn Land). That list will probably grow as we approach the November election.

Climate Alarmists like Tom Steyer don’t have facts on their side, so they have stooped to lying. They lie about candidates, they lie about hot topic issues like the Keystone XL Pipeline, and they lie about the science behind their claims for global warming, climate change, climate disruption.

Don’t be fooled by incendiary television ads. Do the research yourself, find out the truth behind issues and candidates, and make your own decisions. After all, you are one of the many who have to live with the decisions that voters make and the policies that lawmakers support.

To learn more about the current climate alarmist push in Florida click here and here. For more on the environmental movement as a whole, or particular environmental issues go to