Warren: ‘Democratic primary should not be decided by billionaires…’
(Lionel Parrott, Liberty Headlines) Billionaire Tom Steyer, the former hedge fund manager and the most recent entrant into the Democratic presidential primary, has practically bought his way onto the Democratic presidential debate stage.
Steyer has already reached the 130,000 individual donor threshold required to participate in the third debate, which will take place in Houston. All Steyer needs to do now is to reach 2 percent support in just one more poll.
According to CNBC, Steyer took a unique approach to qualify for the debates. He vowed to spend $100 million of his own money on his campaign, and bombarded Facebook with ads urging supporters to donate a single dollar to his effort.
The wealthy Trump impeachment activist spent almost $3 million on Facebook ads in the month since he entered the race.
Not everyone is happy with Steyer’s approach. Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, another candidate in the Democratic field, lashed out at his new rival for his ability to purchase support.
“I think the DNC rules were well-intentioned, but what it really has done is allowed a billionaire to buy a spot on the debate stage,” he said. “Tom Steyer just spent $10 million to get 130,000 – we’re getting to the point where as [sic] we’re spending money online as opposed to actually talking to voters.”
“Grassroots support and elections are about people talking to people, not billionaires being able to spend a whole lot of money to buy Facebook ads,” he added.
Other candidates were similarly displeased – and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) seems to have anticipated that Steyer would find a way to leverage his billions.
When Steyer entered the race, she tweeted that the “Democratic primary should not be decided by billionaires, whether they’re funding Super PACs or funding themselves.”
And Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) at the time said he was “a bit tired of seeing billionaires trying to buy political power.”
Democrats can qualify for debates through polls taken nationally or in the early states. So far, Steyer has found success in the latter category.