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Government & Politics

Steyer Campaigns In Cleveland After Joining Democratic Presidential Race

Hedge fund billionaire and environmental activist Tom Steyer is taking a campaign tour through Ohio, more than a week after launching a bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Steyer has poured millions into environmental causes and get-out-the-vote efforts for young people. In 2017, he launched a national campaign calling for President Trump’s impeachment. He announced a run for president July 9, reversing course after saying in January that he wouldn’t seek the nomination.

Steyer said he’s running to break corporate power in politics, he told ideastream in a Friday interview. He advocates for Congressional term limits and for giving voters the power to enact legislation by national referendum.

“I think my constituency is the 80 percent of people who think, ‘You know what? This government is busted. What are you actually going to do? Stop talking about your policy proposals and tell me how any of this is going to happen,’” he said.

Steyer start NextGen Climate, an environmental advocacy organization, in 2013, and has spent millions of dollars in elections since then. Climate change, he said, is an emergency that requires immediate action. He spoke favorably of the Green New Deal, while saying that his campaign would also release his own climate plan.

“It’s not one bit crazy, it’s absolutely sensible,” he said. “To change this is going to be a dramatic rebuilding of America in a lot of ways. That’s great. They’re going to be positive ways. We’re going to have to build a country that is fueled a different way and a cheaper way and a more sustainable way.”

Steyer didn’t qualify for the next series of Democratic debates July 30 and 31in Detroit. In addition to Cleveland, his Ohio trip includes stops in Lordstown, Mansfield and Columbus.

“This is a swing, important state, period,” he said. “It’s also a state that is beset by some of the basic economic issues of the United States in an accelerated and emphatic way.”

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