A sleaze storm spewing up from the clean, green Tom Steyer campaign
Greenie billionaire Tom Steyer, who inexplicably got himself a perch on the last Democratic debate podium despite no real support, has been involved in a rapid-fire series of sleaze scandals.
His latest is open bribery, even if, as the Associated Press says, it is not illegal.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A top aide to Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer in Iowa privately offered campaign contributions to local politicians in exchange for endorsing his White House bid, according to multiple people with direct knowledge of the conversations.
The overtures from Pat Murphy, a former state House speaker who is serving as a top adviser on Steyer's Iowa campaign, aren't illegal — though payments for endorsements would violate campaign finance laws if not disclosed. There's no evidence that any Iowans accepted the offer or received contributions from Steyer's campaign as compensation for their backing.
But the proposals could revive criticism that the billionaire Steyer is trying to buy his way into the White House. Several state lawmakers and political candidates said they were surprised Steyer's campaign would think he could purchase their support.
Tom Courtney, a former Democratic state senator from southeastern Iowa who's running for reelection to his old seat, told The Associated Press that the financial offer "left a bad taste in my mouth."
Well, yeah. File under NSS. Endorse me, and get some of my money for your own campaign, poorboy. Bribery, indeed. And speaking of quid pro quo...
It certainly does paint a picture of a guy who's comfortable making those kinds of offers, raising questions about how much of that he's done through his long greenie career. It also paints a picture of a guy who's having a tough time getting endorsements. Apparently, he has to buy them.
For a guy who claims to be clean and green, he sure does have some foul billowing smokestacks of corruption spewing pollution.
It follows closely another scandal his campaign was involved in:
A Tom Steyer campaign staffer accused of stealing voter data from Kamala Harris' campaign has resigned. Steyer's campaign manager, Heather Hargreaves, released a statement explaining that last week, the South Carolina Democratic Party had turned off voter file access to his campaign briefly — and that when it was restored, Steyer staffer Dwane Sims, who had once worked for the state party, "had access to other presidential data."
"Within minutes of realizing this," Hargreaves said, "Sims called the South Carolina Democratic Party to alert them, and the access was turned off by the party authorities."
"Within minutes Steyer's national press secretary Alberto Lammers said that although the campaign wiped all voter data files from Sims' computer, Sims had already deleted the files in question.
Nonetheless, the Steyer campaign said that it put Sims on leave while it investigated. It "wiped Mr. Sims' computer to make sure the data was completely deleted and that there was no access to other campaign data."
The campaign did not overtly admit any wrongdoing, but it did state that "after that internal investigation, [Sims] resigned from the campaign."
So, blue-on-blue thievery, from a campaign for a guy with a lot of money and not very much public support, poaching from the flailing and soon to be gone Harris campaign. As low as the sympathy is that any of us has for Harris, this stinks.
That's two rounds of sleaziness, and the guy has been in the campaign for just a few weeks.
It tells us a lot about Steyer's business style and maybe how he got rich in the first place. Steyer's a greenie billionaire, and we all know how many Solyndra-style corruption rackets already exist in that field.
This string of bads raises one thing: how exactly again did Steyer win that inexplicable seat on the Democratic campaign debate stage? We all know that the previous staff greenie, Gov. Jay Inslee, went down in flames because voters weren't interested. Now we are supposed to think Steyer, with his greenie agenda, a billionaire from it, no less, somehow managed to whip up the right amount of Democratic support to earn a podium.
Color me skeptical. The conclusion that can be drawn from this Steyer fiasco is that the Democrats are still rigging contests, and a guy like Steyer has some very corrupt tools in his box to flourish in that environment.