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Billionaire Liberal Activist Eyes Wisconsin, Plans To Spend Millions

Hedge Fund Manager Tom Steyer To Spend $2.5M On Engaging Young Voters

Laurel White/WPR

Billionaire liberal activist Tom Steyer spoke Tuesday on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus about his multi-million dollar push for progressive candidates and causes in Wisconsin.

Steyer is a hedge fund manager who has made a name for himself by funding liberal political causes across the country, including a push for the impeachment of President Donald Trump.

His political reach has been felt recently in Wisconsin, as his advocacy group, NextGen America, campaigned for Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice-elect Rebecca Dallet.

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Speaking to college students at UW-Madison, Steyer said he’s going to spend millions more in Wisconsin before November, because he considers it a hotbed of conservative ideas that need to be stopped.

“If there’s a state where what I would think of as radical right policies have been enacted more than Wisconsin, I’m not sure what it would be, outside maybe the deep South,” he said.

Steyer said he’s spending money across the country to flip Congress to Democratic control in 2018, but he considers his spending in Wisconsin to be about more than just control of the U.S. Capitol.

“What we see is a state which traditionally has been somewhere between purple and blue and has had famous progressives, here now is a beacon of radical right-wing thought supported by the Koch brothers,” he said. “So why do we care about Wisconsin? That’s why.”

Republican Gov. Scott Walker pushed back on Steyer’s visit in a tweet on Tuesday morning.

“Extreme billionaire activist Tom Steyer is here today from California pushing impeachment & the rest of his Far-Left agenda,” Walker wrote. “He’s spending tens of millions of dollars already and we’re a top target.”

Steyer said he’s planning to spend at least $2.5 million on mobilizing voters in Wisconsin before the November election, with a particular emphasis on voters under 35 years old.

“I think 2018 is a critical year,” he said. “I think if we don’t win this year, we’re in beyond crisis mode.”