Tom Steyer, the California billionaire who has amassed a six-million person email list with his Need to Impeach campaign, is taking more concrete steps to what looks an awful lot like a presidential run in 2020.
Steyer unveiled on Tuesday a policy plank, via a revamped website, centered around five rights: “The right to an equal vote... to clean air and clean water... to learn... to a living wage [and]... to health.”
Steyer, who also took out a full-page ad in USA Today outlining this platform, is planning town halls in various presidential primary states with a focus on each of those rights. The first will take place in Charleston, South Carolina on Dec. 4.
“These five rights should be at the core of the Democratic Party’s 2020 platform — but this is bigger than any political party,” Steyer said in a statement accompanying the relaunched website. “These rights are fundamental to our shared belief in the promise of America, a promise of the freedom and power to pursue our dreams and earn a fair share of this country’s vast wealth. A hostile takeover of our democracy by large corporations and their enablers in politics has eroded that promise, and we must act to reclaim that power and put it back in the hands of the American people.”
For now, Steyer maintains that this is merely a push to ensure that the Democratic candidates focus on these issues. In an interview with The Daily Beast the day before the midterm elections, Steyer left the door open to a possible run but was noncommittal about what his future would hold.
“Look, I’ve said literally a hundred times that I want to see what happens tomorrow before I figure out what the right thing to do is. And I’ve also said I will definitely be working full time as hard as I can to try and be part of the people pushing America back towards being a just and prosperous country,” he said earlier this month.
“I know that I’m going to be doing that. I just don't know what the best way is.”
And now Steyer has provided something of an answer.
In addition to his Need to Impeach campaign, Steyer’s organization NextGen America has registered more than 257,000 young voters at 400 college campuses around the country. Earlier this year, Steyer, who has spent over $100 million on campaigns since 2016, declined to run for office and instead focus on investing in Democrats for the midterms.
One such beneficiary of his midterm push was Andrew Gillum, the Democratic nominee for governor in Florida who received more than a million from NextGen America and Steyer personally, which helped lift him during a crowded primary. He ultimately lost to Republican nominee Ron DeSantis in a contentious and tight race.