Voice: "Tom Steyer, one of the
most influential activists in
Democratic Party politics. He
was the founder and president of
Tom Steyer: I think what people believe is that the system has left them.
I think people believe that the corporations have bought the democracy.
That the politicians don't care about or respect them.
Don't put them first, are not working for them, but are actually working for the people who have rigged the system.
Really what we're doing is trying to make democracy work by pushing power down to the people.
Voice: "California voters are getting a chance to do what California lawmakers failed to do."
"Prop 56 got a lot of support at the polls."
"The oil company sponsored a new ballot initiative to halt California's new law."
Tom Steyer: I was born in 1957. I grew up right in the middle of the civil rights revolution and the Vietnam War.
The underlying injustice in America was coming under attack.
My father graduated from Yale Law School at 21. Started being a lawyer, then he went into the Navy because of Pearl Harbor.
And then at the end of the war, they sent him over to be assistant to the chief prosecutor at Nuremburg.
I think my father looked at being in the service, or being at Nuremburg, is like you have your duty - you do it.
My parents were very uncompromising about doing the right thing.
Voice: "Steyer and his wife worth an estimated billion and a half dollars; they pledged to give half of their fortune to charity."
Tom Steyer: We signed the Giving Pledge, which is a promise to give away half of your wealth while you're alive to good causes.
We have a society that's very unequal. And it's really important for people to understand that this society is connected.
If this is a banana republic, with a few very, very rich people and everybody else living in misery, that's a failure.
The lawyers have basically gotten the Supreme Court to say that corporations are people, and therefore they have all the rights in the Constitution given to people.
Now, obviously, corporations don't have hearts, or souls, or futures. They don't have children.
They have a short time frame. And they really care about just making money.
If you give them the unlimited ability to participate in politics, it will skew everything because they only care about profits.
You know, you look at climate change, that is people who are saying we'd rather make money than save the world.
That's an amazing statement and it's happening today.
And there are politicians supporting that.
I mean, I think 82,000 people died last year of drug overdoses.
If you think about the drug companies. The banks, screwing people on their mortgages. It's thousands of people doing what they're paid to do.
Almost every single major intractable problem, at the back of it, you see a big money interest for whom stopping progress, stopping justice is really important to their bottom line.
Americans are deeply disappointed and hurt by the way they're treated by what they think is the power elite in Washington, D.C. and that goes across party lines and it goes across geography.
We've got to take the corporate control out of our politics.
All these issues go away when you take away the paid opposition from corporations who make trillions of extra dollars by controlling our political system.
What do we care about?
Do we care about improving the world and handing it on to the next generation in a way so that they can lead better lives than we've had, in a way that safer, more prosperous and more beautiful and creative.
And if we don't do those two things, then shame on us.
If you think that there's something absolutely critical, try as hard as you can and let the chips fall where they may.
And that's exactly what I'm doing.
My name's Tom Steyer and I'm running for President.
Source: Mike Dec 4President Transcript