“How many years of tax returns will you release so the climate community knows you’re not invested in big oil or coal like you used to be?” an interrogator identified as “LetsTaxLicensePlates” asked Steyer in the Reddit chat. The tart question was one of dozens lobbed at Steyer, a former hedge fund manag er who gave $74 million last year to Democrats who pledged to fight global warming.
Steyer’s adversaries in the oil and gas industry, along with the Republican Party, have suggested that his spending on the battle against climate change is hypocritical, given the wealth he built with investments in fossil fuels.
Steyer is not the only would-be candidate to face criticism before announcing a decision on whether to run. Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, a Democrat who is exploring a potential candidacy, was the target of multiple tweets Wednesday night from a former Los Angeles state senator, Gloria Romero.
Her tweets called attention to a letter that Villaraigosa wrote on behalf of Esteban Nuñez, who was sentenced to 16 years in prison for his role in the 2008 stabbing death of a San Diego college student.
Nuñez is the son of former state Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez, a longtime Villaraigosa ally who used his political connections to try to keep his son out of prison. On his last night in office, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger reduced the sentence to seven years.