Tom Steyer on Corporations

Democratic Presidential Challenger; CEO


Spent $300M to take on unchecked corporate power

Q: You have denounced the special interests that pour hundreds of millions of dollars into the political process to influence it. But, in fact, you have spent over $300 million of your own money in support of your political goals. How do you respond to critics who see you as the embodiment of a special interest?

STEYER: What I've done over the last decade is to put together coalitions of ordinary American citizens to take on unchecked corporate power. We have a broken government in Washington, D.C. It's been purchased by corporations. Over the last decade, with the help of the American people, we have taken on and beaten the oil companies, the tobacco companies, utilities, drug companies.

I've also built one of the largest grassroots organizations in the United States. Last year, NextGen America did the largest youth voter mobilization in American history, also, in partnership with seven national unions, knocked on 15 million doors in 2016 and 10 million in 2018.

Source: November Democratic primary debate in Atlanta , Nov 20, 2019

Break the corporate stranglehold of our government

Every single one of these conversations is about broken government. It's about drug companies buying the government and getting what they want. It's about the gun manufacturers buying the government and getting what they want. We need to break the corporate stranglehold on our government. I've put forward actual structural changes, including term limits, a national referendum, end the idea that corporations are people, and make it a lot easier to vote.
Source: October Democratic CNN/NYTimes Primary debate , Oct 15, 2019

Break up monopolies but we should focus on the positive

I agree that monopolies have to be dealt with. They either have to be broken up or regulated, and that's part of it, but we're going to have to show the American people that we don't just know how to tax and have programs to break up companies, but also talk about prosperity, talk about investing in the American people, talk about harnessing the innovation and competition of the American private sector.
Source: October Democratic CNN/NYTimes Primary debate , Oct 15, 2019

Calculate CA corporate income tax based on in-state sales

Billionaire Tom Steyer is the latest Democratic candidate to throw his hat into the ring. So far, he hasn't proposed any specific new tax law changes since joining the race. However, last year he did call for a 1% "wealth tax" on assets greater than $20 million and an unspecified estate tax increase.That should give voters some idea where Steyer stands on tax issues.
Source: Rocky Mengle, finance.yahoo.com, on 2019 Democratic primary , Aug 12, 2019

US government & Trump have been corrupted by corporate money

Steyer defended his recent push for impeachment of President Donald Trump, telling ABC News that "actual democracy," and more public visibility will boost support for Trump's removal. "What we've been pushing for in terms of the argument that this president is the most corrupt in American history and is a danger to the country and the Constitution--that argument we have won," Steyer said. "The only way to actually push this the right way is actual democracy. Get it on TV, let the American people see the facts and let them judge--that hasn't happened," he added.

"We have a broken government that has been corrupted by corporate money. We need to push the power back to the American people, to re-take the democracy and I've been doing that successfully--from the outside--10 years." Steyer said. "The question is, if we're going to take back this democracy, is someone going to lead it who has successfully done it from the outside, or a bunch of people from Washington, D.C.?"

Source: John Verhovek on ABC News on impeaching Trump , Jul 14, 2019

Big-money interests are committed to stopping progress

Steyer said, "I think eighty-two thousand people died last year of drug overdoses. If you think about the drug companies, the banks screwing people on their mortgages-it's thousands of people doing what they're paid to do. Almost every single major intractable problem, at the back of it you see a big-money interest for whom stopping progress, stopping justice, is really important to their bottom line."
Source: The New Yorker magazine on 2020 Democratic primary , Jul 14, 2019

AdWatch: put people before corporations

Few of the other Democratic presidential candidates have hit the television airwaves, and none have committed the amount of money in one buy that Steyer has with his first TV ad buy [which totals] $1.4 million dollars in spending.

In one ad, Steyer focused on his pledge to limit the influence of corporations in politics, an early theme of his candidacy. He has leaned into his outsider status in the starting moments of his campaign.

"We're a get-out-to-the-people, directly-address-the-people organization,'' Steyer told POLITICO. "I've been an outsider this whole time in Democratic politics."

"Tom is running for president because he sees how the broken political system in Washington has failed the American people and has a plan to change it," Steyer's campaign manager said in a statement. "Our campaign is focused on exactly that--creating a United States that puts its people before corporations."

Source: Politico.com AdWatch: 2020 Democratic primary , Jul 10, 2019

Take the corporate control out of politics

Economy: Limit the influence of corporations in politics and raise the minimum wage. In his campaign announcement, Steyer said he wanted to "take the corporate control out of politics," adding that if corporations have an "unlimited ability to participate in politics, it will skew everything because they only care about profits."
Source: PBS News Hour 2019 coverage of 2020 Democratic primary , Jul 10, 2019

Supported 2012 income tax increase for multistate businesses

Source: Ballotpedia.org on California ballot measure voting records , Jul 2, 2019

Trump puts corporate interests ahead of people's interests

Q: During the confirmation hearings for Rex Tillerson and others, you took out attack ads.

Steyer: Those guys disagree with us on almost every point. One of the things we strongly believe is that the people Trump nominated put corporate interests ahead of American interests. We feel it's important to get citizens to be reminded of this common thread: that the new administration doesn't hate working against climate change, they don't hate science--they just love oil and gas profits.

Source: Nick Stockton in Wired.com on 2020 presidential hopefuls , Mar 23, 2017

Other candidates on Corporations: Tom Steyer on other issues:
2020 Presidential Democratic Primary Candidates:
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

2020 GOP and Independent Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (Libertarian-MI)
CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
Howie Hawkins (Green-NY)
Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
Gov.John Kasich (R-OH)
V.P.Mike Pence (R-IN)
Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
CEO Howard Schultz (I-WA)
Pres.Donald Trump (R-NY)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
V.C.Arvin Vohra (Libertarian-MD)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld (L-NY,R-MA)
Civil Rights
Foreign Policy
Free Trade
Govt. Reform
Gun Control
Health Care
Homeland Security
Social Security
Tax Reform

External Links about Tom Steyer:

2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
State Rep.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
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Page last updated: Dec 29, 2019