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So What is Wrong with Steyer and Bloomberg Massively Funding Their Own Campaigns?

Not so terrible, unless we want the best to become the enemy of the good.

First- full disclosure. I am a retired political scientist who, in my salad days, back in the 80s and 90s, was a member and then Chair of the Connecticut State Ethics Commission. When my term ended I was appointed to a temporary state task force on #campaignfinancereform.

At that time (and this is still true) I favored public financing of political campaigns. But after extensive research, admittedly in those pre-internet days, I came to the conclusion that even that didn’t work so well, because money, like water, tends to seep around and under any barriers designed to curtail it. In the end, we all agreed that only direct media subsidies (without money flowing into the campaign) would work— a conclusion now probably out of date.

We could not have anticipated online fundraising- an amazingly positive contribution to American politics, even though we may not always like the results. On the other hand, the influence of #bigmoney remains pernicious- witness candidates who continue to deny that the climate is in crisis, almost certainly because they receive big donations from oil companies.

More controversial is the #self-funding of political campaigns. Yes, it is probably “unfair.” But short of massive campaign finance reforms that might or might not work, we should probably accept it. Tom #Steyer was funding Next-Gen America to register 18-year-olds across the country months before he announced he was a candidate for President. And he has pledged to continue his efforts even if he is not the candidate. #Bloomberg supported groups combating gerrymandering, and, as with Steyer, has pledged to continue funding the presidential campaign against Trump no matter whether or not he is the Democratic candidate.  

Let’s be honest, neither candidate is now at the top of the Democratic pack, although that could change. So, if Bloomberg’s money were to flow into registering young Hispanics in Texas, as my favorite new political prognosticator @RachelBitecofer would recommend, that would be amazing. Or if Tom Steyer used not only his money but also his considerable knowledge and 10 years of experience concerning the #ClimateCrisis to make the issue front and center in the elections it could force the eventual nominee to go way beyond just rejoining the #ParisTreaty and reducing emissions by 2050. But more on that later.

3 thoughts on “So What is Wrong with Steyer and Bloomberg Massively Funding Their Own Campaigns?”

  1. Your impressive, Thank you for the information, I always value data and as an academic will enjoy your insight. Agreed totally on Steyer, although after Bloomberg being a U.N. Special Envoy, C40 Mayor’s Initiative and the BNEF in Capetown as an NGO I have to say the man can do some good, as we saw first hand, in S.A. and in NYC. It is a shame we can’t create a independent libertarian 3rd party, as there are many things that If this new Democrat party has just lost the plot on, nothing is really done for the good of the country just whatever it takes to grab a identity vote. Even Obama stated the Democrats have moved way to far to the left and he was the most liberal president we have had.

  2. We certainly need a wider range of intelligent ideas in our politics. So, although I am not a libertarian, I agree with the intent of your comment

  3. I am still a Democratic, just hoping we don’t lose our roots like Republicans have. Libertarians or independents certainly have many things to improve on but at least with a 3rd party whatever we want to call it we could unite people again was pointed being made . We have had some brilliant minds in the last 10 yrs lead the way handling some challenging issues. Globally we have seen many World Leaders practice new resiliency and sustainable tactics, what makes this country so great is we can copy some of those efficiencies especially in policy with renewable energy if we just get people who regulate educated. The GOP’s lack of knowledge with innovative tech to cyber security is not only frightening Science is down played whilst conspiracies publicised. The divide in this country is horrific as what happened to United we stand divided we fall? I ask you about political campaign funding as its new to me. I never imagined I would have to deal with legislators or FERC or Climate Caucus Lobbying on the Hill. I was just a U.N. girl who studied semiconductors in Edinburgh Scotland, Denmark Copenhagen and various other locations and dreamed not only lighting villages to Africa , and having the chance to work with Under Secretary Dr Yumkella with sei for all, but to give the U.S. better tech edges then it currently had. There weren’t many renewable energy or fuel cell enthusiasts, in DC. Many Senators thought I was crazy as I had to take on politics just to do what we wanted to do 11years ago. Which was to Make America Really Great not wear some stupid Qanon Trump trance hat!
    Where are the solar bridges solar side walks where are all the waste programs that I have spent years of my life understanding from other countries. As with vast international background and understanding more countries and their cultural aspects I excelled with U.N. & World Bank Group as data academic always reassured you knew what came around next corner. We may be the largest populated country but we are so behind! Unless we get our act together quickly we will no longer be the land of the free and home of the brave as our planet & Climate Change issues now hitting us in face will make it even harder to defend what our for-fathers intended. Learning Bills and how to get them to the House Floor and doing anything in Politics was Never intended.! However as I have learned from some pretty great men in the last 15 yrs, involvement is something we all have to intended to! Taking Action, showing Passion & what’s really worth fighting will come to play. We have put things off & have to deal with the bad things that come of it, but we shall not be defeated if we want to keep the world we once knew.


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