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Nevada Looms Large In Billionaire Tom Steyer's Political Plan

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(AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

In this photo taken Wednesday, June 27, 2018, environmental activist and billionaire Tom Steyer poses at his offices in San Francisco.

Tom Steyer, who made his mark as a hedge-fund manager, is spending millions in Nevada to get young people to the polls.  

 

Nevada's 184,000 college-aged residents have one of the worst records in the country when it comes to voting. In 2014, the last mid-term election, only about 17 percent of those voters went to the polls.

Steyer told Nevada Public Radio he has had teams of people on the ground in the state for months, focusing on college campuses, to improve that rate.

“It is not just a registration effort. It is also discussing issues and getting people to pledge to vote," Steyer said.

He said it is not about registering Democrats but about improving the level of engagement of people in the democracy. Steyer would like to see representation in the government be more reflective of the country's needs and opinions.

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“We’ve been doing this in Nevada since 2015," he said, "We’ve been doing this around the United States since 2013. This effort is one where we believe there is a crying need in America to engage each other in the political process to talk about our shared values and our shared view of the future and get back to the kind of American system of participation in our democracy, of engagement and of reminding ourselves of who are and what we stand for.”

He pointed to the U.S. Senate's Judiciary Committee hearing of Supreme Court Brett Kavanaugh as evidence for his belief that a Republican-controlled Congress is bad for the country.

“What we’re seeing is a very straight-forward and in my mind toxic, inhuman, selfish and stupid Republican program being put in at the national level,” he said. 

He said the same Republican playbook is being in statehouses as well.

Steyer is also a strong supporter of impeaching President Donald Trump, even though some top Democrats don't support the idea.

“With all the respect I have for Harry Reid, I believe I along with about 77 percent of registered Democrats believe this president should be impeached and removed from office as fast as possible,” he said.

Steyer called the president "dangerous" and "out of control." He also said President Trump is putting Americans at risk. He also brushed aside the idea that supporting impeachment just drives another wedge in an already divided country.

He said there is a "political way" to answer a question and a "straight-forward" way. 

“And here we have a dangerous president, putting us at risk and breaking the law every day. It is pretty straightforward in terms of the facts and people are making a political argument that this doesn’t work according to my pollster and my consultant today,” he said.

Steyer also said the Constitution gave the country a "remedy for a dangerous" president.

“If we’re not willing to take a stand to protect the Constitution, the democracy and the American people and we’re not willing to tell the truth because it would offend Republicans then we might as well just pack up and go home.”

Steyer supports Jacky Rosen, the Democrat for U.S. Senate, over Republican incumbent Dean Heller. He also supports Democrat Steve Sisolak over Republican Adam Laxalt for governor. 

He is also behind the Proposition 6 ballot measure, which would require the state to get 50 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2030.

Guests

Tom Steyer, NextGen Rising

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