Letters to the Editor

Why is California billionaire supporting Schlicher?

It’s nothing new for wealthy individuals to pump a ton of money into national races, but the intense interest of Tom Steyer, a hedge fund manager and billionaire from California, should raise some eyebrows.

Steyer has self-financed a political action committee known as NEXTGEN PAC to the tune of $3.8 million dollars.

Out of millions pumped to his PAC, Steyer has directed $150,000 to the She’s Changed PAC, which is dedicated to destroying Republican Jan Angel’s ascension to the state Senate.

The next largest PAC in Washington State is the Washington Education Association, which has raised a comparatively paltry $821,000. On top of $150,000 given to the She’s Changed PAC, Steyer donated an additional $150,000 to Washington Conservation Voters, which promptly funneled the money back to the She’s Changed PAC. $300,000 of Steyer’s personal fortune has been dumped into the pocket of the inexperienced and unknown Democratic candidate.

Steyer’s PAC has spent more than $1.5 million dollars since the end of July, though the Angel and Schlicher campaigns have only raised a combined total of less than $800,000, including party donations.

Steyer, who claims to be an environmentalist, and opposes the Keystone Pipeline project, made his fortune in the oil industry and has hundreds of millions of dollars currently invested in competing projects, including offshore drilling.

This raises the question: What is his interest in our election? In a race that saw less than 30,000 ballots returned in the primary, what incentives does Steyer hope to gain by supporting Nathan Schlicher?

Elizabeth Doll | Gig Harbor

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