19. Tom Steyer
Tom Steyer, commonly described in media parlance as the “billionaire environmentalist,” has been — and still is — a well-heeled player in California politics. But his days of investing heavily in the Legislature and his one-time dalliance with running for governor or a U.S. Senate seat appear to have dwindled. Instead, he’s focusing on California’s No. 1 political enemy, Donald Trump, and its No. 1 environmental enemy, climate change. Steyer pumped $10.8 million into a quixotic TV ad campaign calling for Trump’s impeachment — an effort that drew mixed reviews from fellow Democrats. In the last election cycle, he reportedly spent $73 million across the country to elect Democrats, and last year his PACs reportedly spent $88 million to target climate change. Not all is political spending: $41 million went to Stanford University to study climate change.
Updated Aug. 15, 2018