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Keystone Conundrum For 2014ers

- May 7, 2014

Keystone And Tom Steyer Are Proving To Be A Burden For 2014 Democrat Candidates

FOR MARK UDALL, KEYSTONE IS THE ISSUE THAT WON’T GO AWAY

The National Journal Headline: “The Keystone Pipeline Is Ruining Mark Udall’s Week.” (Jason Plautz, “The Keystone Pipeline Is Ruining Mark Udall’s Week,” The National Journal, 5/6/14)

A Senate Vote On Keystone Would Put Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) In A Tough Position. “The Senate is near certain to vote this week on legislation that would approve the oil-sands pipeline, and that’s leaving Sen. Mark Udall—a Democrat facing a tough reelection challenge—with an unenviable choice to make.” (Jason Plautz, “The Keystone Pipeline Is Ruining Mark Udall’s Week,” The National Journal, 5/6/14)

Udall Has Been Silent On Where He Stands On Keystone XL. “At least one vulnerable Democrat up for reelection this year, Colorado Sen. Mark Udall, has not said whether he supports or opposes Keystone. Udall has voted against Senate measures to force approval of the project, and he declined to join 11 Senate Democrats who signed a recent letter outlining their support for the pipeline.” (Andrew Restuccia, “Steyer Vows To Aid Anti-Keystone Lawmakers,” Politico, 4/17/14)

  • A Vote For Keystone Will Upset His Base. “If Udall votes yes, he’ll anger a liberal base that has put blocking the pipeline at the head of its environmental charge.” (Jason Plautz, “The Keystone Pipeline Is Ruining Mark Udall’s Week,” The National Journal, 5/6/14)

Udall Considers Steyer A Friend, They’ve Recently Palled Around Together At A Fundraiser Hosted By Steyer

Udall Recently Attended A Fundraiser Hosted By Anti-Keystone Billionaire Tom Steyer. “Climate activist and billionaire Tom Steyer, who hopes to funnel as much as $100 million into the 2014 elections, will tell Senate Democrats on Wednesday night that they can use opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline to bring voters over to their side this fall, according to one of his advisers.  Steyer is hosting a ‘Blue Green Council Dinner’ fundraiser for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee at his San Francisco home Wednesday…A slew of influential Senate Democrats will attend the session, including Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.), Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.), Patrick J. Leahy (Vt.) and Benjamin L. Cardin (Md.), according to a copy of the invitation obtained by The Washington Post. Three others who are up for reelection this year — Mark Udall (Colo.), Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.) and Jeff Merkley (Ore.) — will also be there, the invitation says.” (Juliet Eilperin, “Billionaire To Share Polling Data About Oil Pipeline With Senate Democrats,” The Washington Post, 2/18/14)

Udall “Is Sure To Be A Main Beneficiary” Of Steyer. “California hedge fund billionaire and climate change activist Tom Steyer is planning to spend $100 million to make climate change an issue in the 2014 mid-term elections; Udall, who attended a fundraiser last month at Steyer's San Francisco home, is sure to be a main beneficiary.” (Eli Stokols, “Udall Taking Part In Senate’s Climate Change All-Nighter,” KDVR, 3/10/14)

Udall Is Choosing Steyer Over His Constituents On Keystone

66 Percent Of Coloradans Support The Keystone Pipeline, According To A Poll Conducted By Democrat Polling Firm Hickman Analytics. (Hickman Analytics, 400 RV, MoE 4.9%, 2/17-20/14)

  • 84 Percent Of Coloradans Say Energy Issues, Like The Keystone Pipeline, Are Important To How They Vote For Senate This Year. (Hickman Analytics, 400 RV, MoE 4.9%, 2/17-20/14)

Of Coloradans Who Support Keystone, 52 Percent Say They Would Be Less Likely To Vote For Mark Udall For Senate If The Keystone Pipeline Is Not Approved. (Hickman Analytics, 264 RV, MoE 6.0%, 2/17-20/14)

KENTUCKY DEMOCRAT ALISON LUNDERGAN GRIMES IS IN A BOX ON KEYSTONE

Keystone Is Forcing Senate Candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes (D-KY) To Choose Between Liberal, Anti-Keystone Donors Like Tom Steyer Or Kentucky’s Coal Industry. “Kentucky Republicans want Alison Lundergan Grimes to choose between the liberal donors she met with in Chicago this week and the state's coal industry that she has campaigned on supporting. The Democratic challenger to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell attended a meeting of the country's biggest Democratic donors at the Democracy Alliance meeting this week, but never spoke to the man who has pledged to spend millions for Democrats in the midterm elections--environmentalist billionaire Tom Steyer.” (Andrea Drusch, “Republicans Forcing Lundergan Grimes To Choose Between Her Donors And Voters,” The National Journal, 5/2/14)

  • The Kentucky Coal Association Has Warned That Accepting Help From Steyer Would Put Her At Odds With The Coal Industry. “The Kentucky Coal Association had already cautioned the pro-coal Grimes that accepting money from Steyer would position her against the industry.” (Andrea Drusch, “Republicans Forcing Lundergan Grimes To Choose Between Her Donors And Voters,” The National Journal, 5/2/14)

Last Month, Lundergan Grimes Attended “A Secretive Club Of Wealthy Liberals” Known As The Democracy Alliance Which Counts Tom Steyer As A Member. “The setting is the annual spring meeting of the Democracy Alliance, a secretive club of wealthy liberals that’s the closest thing the left has to the vaunted Koch brothers’ political network. … The Spring Investment Conference will feature a number of Clinton allies and others associated with the centrist wing — including Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Kentucky Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes and Obama senior adviser Valerie Jarrett. But the conference — which kicks off Sunday night at a Ritz Carlton ballroom with a dinner keynoted by de Blasio — is also seen as a coming out party of sorts for the group’s progressives, who have expressed some measure of dissatisfaction with what they see as a level of timidity on their pet issues from the Obama White House.” (Kenneth P. Vogel, “The Left’s Secret Club Plans For 2014, 2016,” Politico, 4/24/14)

  • When Asked About Accepting Campaign Contributions From Steyer, The Grimes’ Campaign Avoided The Question. “Asked whether Grimes would be accepting money from Steyer, her spokeswoman Charly Norton demurred, saying ‘we will continue to rely on the 45,000 grassroots contributors that make up the heart of our campaign.’” (Andrea Drusch, “Republicans Forcing Lundergan Grimes To Choose Between Her Donors And Voters,” The National Journal, 5/2/14)

As Lundergan Grimes Raises Money From Environmental Liberals Bent On Stopping Keystone, Her Campaign Is Promising Supporters She Will Fight For A Green Agenda

Lundergan Grimes Had Refused To State Her Position On Keystone For Most Of Her Campaign. “After declining to take a position for much of her campaign, she belatedly came out in favor of the Keystone XL pipeline last week.” (Andrea Drusch, “Republicans Forcing Lundergan Grimes To Choose Between Her Donors And Voters,” The National Journal, 5/2/14)

Lundergan Grimes’ Campaign Has Said She’ll Fight For A Green Agenda After The Election.  “A majority of Democrats are planning to takeover the Senate floor to bring attention to climate change in a so-called "talk-a-thon" Monday.  It's unclear if Kentucky candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes either supports or would participate in the event.  But a prominent environmentalist says the campaign is promising Grimes will be more aggressive in fighting for a green agenda after the election.”  (“Alison Lundergan Grimes Unclear on Supporting Senate Democrats Climate Change 'Talk-a-Thon,'” WFPL, 3/10/14)

Before A Susie Tompkins Buell Fundraiser, Lundergan Grimes Met With San Francisco Bay Area Activists Last November And Discussed A Host Of Issues Including Keystone XL And Climate Change. “Grimes held court with more than a dozen San Francisco Bay Area activists prior to a Buell fundraiser on topics ranging from women’s issues, immigration and filibuster reform to Keystone XL and climate change, according to one attendee. And her views on issues outside of environment and energy policy may be what attracted backers like Buell — as well as an endorsement from EMILY’s List, which supports Democratic female candidates who favor abortion rights.” (Darren Goode, “Election 2013: Greens Face Dilemma On Backing Alison Lundergan Grimes,” Politico, 11/11/13)

  • Buell Is “An Outspoken Opponent Of Keystone XL.” “Buell, who has been an outspoken opponent of Keystone XL, didn’t offer any details about the Grimes’s fundraiser, including the amount of money raised.” (Darren Goode, “Election 2013: Greens Face Dilemma On Backing Alison Lundergan Grimes,” Politico, 11/11/13)

OBAMA’S PUNT ON KEYSTONE PROVES MARY LANDRIEU ISN’T “INDISPENSABLE” TO LOUISIANA

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) Is On The Hot Seat When It Comes To Keystone. “Meanwhile, pro-Keystone Democrats like Senate energy Chairwoman Mary Landrieu will face heightened pressure to take actions to match their rhetoric.” (Andrew Restuccia, “Keystone Non-Decision Keeps Some Democrats On The Hot Seat,” Politico, 4/18/14)

Obama’s Recent Keystone Punt Proves That One Of Landrieu’s Key Selling Points Is Undermined

Last Month, Obama “Pulled A Classic Campaign-Year Move” And “Punted” On Keystone. “The Obama administration pulled a classic campaign-year move Friday: It punted on the Keystone XL pipeline.” (Andrew Restuccia, “Keystone Non-Decision Keeps Some Democrats On The Hot Seat,” Politico, 4/18/14)

Landrieu “Has The Most To Lose” From Obama’s Keystone Punt. “Landrieu has the most to lose given that she is a strong proponent of the pipeline, which would deliver crude product from Alberta's oil sands to the Gulf Coast for refining and sale on the global market.” (Ben White, “Why Obama’s Keystone Opposition Reeks Of Politics,” CNBC, 4/21/14)

Obama’s Decision Undermines Senator Landrieu’s Narrative That She Is An Influencer In Washington. “And the Louisiana senator, who already trails Republican Bill Cassidy in early polls, has cited her influence in Washington as a key reason for voters to keep her on the job. She used her first ad of the campaign to do that very thing (immediately drawing rebukes from Republicans for recreating scenes in the Senate). But now Landrieu, who chairs the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, has demonstrated a total inability to actually influence the administration on a key decision that would impact the economy in her state.” (Ben White, “Why Obama’s Keystone Opposition Reeks Of Politics,” CNBC, 4/21/14)

  • Landrieu’s “Key Selling Point – I Can Deliver For Louisiana! – Is Now Fundamentally Undermined.” “That may be true but is likely swamped by the fact that Landrieu's key selling point—I can deliver for Louisiana!—is now fundamentally undermined.” (Ben White, “Why Obama’s Keystone Opposition Reeks Of Politics,” CNBC, 4/21/14)

AND WHILE 2014 DEMOCRATS ARE BEING SQUEEZED, WHOSE SIDE IS HARRY REID ON? TOM STEYER

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) Is Not Showing Signs That He’d Allow A  Senate Vote On Keystone. “It’s not looking good for a vote on the Keystone XL pipeline in the Senate this week. In an interview, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) compared Republican maneuvers on Keystone and an energy efficiency bill written by Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) to a ‘shell game,’ accused the GOP of ‘screwing around’ and dismissed GOP demands for votes on several energy amendments. Senators supporting Keystone have been trying to build a deal that would allow the Shaheen-Portman bill to proceed and allow a separate, stand-alone vote on congressional approval of the Keystone pipeline — likely their last chance before the November elections. Reid said last week that he was ‘open to anything’ that would advance Shaheen-Portman, including a binding Keystone vote. But the Democratic leader didn’t seem optimistic as he walked out of the Capitol on Monday.” (Burgess Everett and Darren Goode, “Little Hope For Keystone Vote,” Politico, 5/5/14)

Tom Steyer, A “Hedge-Fund-Trader-Turned-Anti-Keystone-Activist” Has Promised To “Leverage” His Personal Income For Democrats Who Oppose Keystone. “Good news for lawmakers who oppose the Keystone XL oil pipeline: San Francisco billionaire Tom Steyer has got your back. Steyer, the hedge-fund-trader-turned-anti-Keystone-activist, pledged Thursday to leverage his largely self-funded super PAC to support members of Congress who come under attack for their opposition to the proposed Canada-to-Texas pipeline.”(Andrew Restuccia, “Steyer Vows To Aid Anti-Keystone Lawmakers,” Politico, 4/17/14)

  • Steyer Has Pledged To Spend $100 Million To Help Democrats In November And His Top Issue Is Stopping Keystone. “But there are at least 100 million reasons why the president has held up the decision. Those reasons live in the bank account of hedge fund manager Tom Steyer who has pledged to spend $100 million helping Democrats avoid disaster in a 2014 midterm election where their Senate majority is in serious jeopardy. Steyer's No. 1 issue? Stopping the Keystone pipeline.” (Ben White, “Why Obama’s Keystone Opposition Reeks Of Politics,” CNBC, 4/21/14)
     
  • $100 Million Is “Not A Ceiling” For Steyer. “Liberal billionaire Tom Steyer is laying plans to go big in the 2014 election. The former hedge fund manager is hoping to spend $100 million — $50 million from his personal fortune and $50 million from other donors — to make climate change a top-tier issue in the election, The New York Times is reporting. A person close to Steyer confirmed the $100 million figure to POLITICO but cautioned that it is not a ceiling.” (Andrew Restuccia, “Tom Steyer Planning $100 Million Campaign Push,” Politico, 2/18/14)

 


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