#PAGov: Tom Steyer Should Target the State Senate

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It’s awesome that we finally have a billionaire political activist, Tom Steyer, playing for the good guys in PA, but apart from the DEP appointment, the Governor race isn’t really the most important focal point for getting Pennsylvania to do more about climate change.

The policies we need – basically the anti-sprawl ideas Tom Wolf was proposing back in the 2000’s + solar net metering + cancelling the $2.9 billion worth of fossil fuel subsidies in the tax code – require the support of the state legislature.

Tom Wolf is going to have the money he needs to compete, but the really lucrative political investment opportunity here is the state Senate. The Senate is going to be tough to flip, but Democrats are within striking distance this cycle, and it could flip if Steyer wanted to sink a few million into supporting these five state Senate candidates, and a bunch of swing district House seats.

This entry was posted in Elections, Energy, Environment, Governor, State House, State Senate.

7 Responses to #PAGov: Tom Steyer Should Target the State Senate

  1. What about a bunch of swingable PA House seats that the Democrats didn’t even field candidates in?

    • Sean Kitchen says:

      That’s why I’m going to get my name on the ballot for the 151. No one, not a single dem, challenged, Todd Stephens in Horsham. MontCo is getting bluer and bluer each election.

  2. Carl Feldman says:

    WaPo had article saying that Tom Steyer only backs cands who have a really high chance of winning already. Not sure of what the implications are. Biz deals I guess?


    • James says:

      Yeah, I found that article really unconvincing. First off, while you may get across the board low rating for climate change as a voter priority, I’m sure there’s a gap between the targeted states and red states when it comes to belief that climate change is occurring. I’m sure in the six front line states (AK, LA, AR, NC, KY, and GA) advertisements focused on climate change will have reduced effectiveness, and may even be counterproductive.

      Secondly, with the exception of the PA Guv race and the NH senate race, none of those races are guaranteed and are all considered competitive. The DSCC and outside groups are going to have to spend huge sums of money in IA, MI, and CO, and the DGA and Dem-aligned groups will be spending big in FL and ME. By dumping his own funds there instead, Steyer is freeing up money to be spent in other races.

      Third, Steyer himself said he’s doing this with an eye on 2016. All of the states he’s spending on will be competitive in the next presidential election. He views this cycle as the laying the groundwork for the next one.

      While I think it would be nice if he spent some money on the State Senate races, dumping money in the Governor’s race may actually help with the Senate. Coattails matter, especially in local races like this. Running up Wolf’s margin against Corbett could just give the boost we need to flip some of these Senate seats, and some House of Representative seats as well!

  3. Tsuyoshi says:

    Or, he could spend money on the state Supreme Court. They hold the balance of power in drawing the legislative district map.

  4. Jane Morhead says:

    Do you mean bribe the state Supreme COurt? Because as you may or may not know, Chief Justice Castille does not allow candidates for the judiciary, to discuss with the voters, or to let the voters know, what their positions on any issues actually are. So how can we vote for judicial candidates if we know nothing about them? Apparently, bribing the Chief Justice to allow judicial candidates to politick like other candidates would be the only way to break his “imperial” power.

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