Capitol Alert

Climate change influence at center of Steyer’s Senate consideration

Tom Steyer takes photos with students at John Marshall High School in Los Angeles on Oct. 28, 2014. Marshall High School was approved for $1.8 million of Prop. 39 funds for energy projects. Steyer was a major supporter of the 2012 ballot measure.
Tom Steyer takes photos with students at John Marshall High School in Los Angeles on Oct. 28, 2014. Marshall High School was approved for $1.8 million of Prop. 39 funds for energy projects. Steyer was a major supporter of the 2012 ballot measure. AP

Tom Steyer doesn’t care much for Pokémon.

As he weighs a run for U.S. Senate, the billionaire environmentalist and Democratic benefactor took to the social networking service reddit Thursday to answer questions on anything – except Pokémon ... and whether he’ll run to succeed U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer in 2016.

Asked by Maybe_its_Dylan: “What’s your favorite pokemon?”

Answered TomSteyer: “Wrong generation. Ask one of my four kids.”

With that out of the way, he took a reporter’s question on a possible candidacy. Steyer’s still mulling it over, he said.

“Don’t know yet,” he wrote. “Trying to figure out how to have most positive impact. Already working full-time on the issues. Question is, can I have more positive influence by running? I’m trying hard to figure that out, and will do it pretty soon.”

Attorney General Kamala Harris was the first to declare for the seat and is now seen as the early front-runner. Along with Steyer, other Democrats considering runs include Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Treasurer John Chiang, Reps. Loretta Sanchez and Xavier Becerra, and several other members of Congress.

Among Republicans, Assemblyman Rocky Chavez and two former state GOP leaders are thinking about it.

In the reddit exchange Thursday, a questioner asked Steyer if his criticism of the conservative Koch brothers and their political contributions was hypocritical. Steyer referred to the duo as “Goliath” and said he opposes the Supreme Court’s loosening of donor limits, adding, “But it’s the law of the land for now.”

“The Koch brothers and their allies are spending hundreds of millions of money under that law to support ideas with which I fundamentally and devoutly disagree,” he wrote. “And time is short. So we’re trying to work within the system – transparently – for the common good. We love democracy, but ours isn’t perfect, so we have to accept it, warts and all. But together we are David, and they are Goliath.”

Steyer reiterated his strong opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline.

Still, there was another burning question. Why does Steyer always wear the same tie? He said it was just for fun.

“When I get up in the morning, I want to remember how great it is to be alive and here in California. Bright red plaid — what’s cooler than that?”

Call Christopher Cadelago, Bee Capitol Bureau, (916) 326-5538. Follow him on Twitter @ccadelago.

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