While Democrats often take issue with campaigns financed by the 1%, the biggest political donor of 2014 is not the Koch brothers or conservative casino owner Sheldon Adelson: it is Tom Steyer, who has donated a staggering $36 million, mainly to candidates who seek to raise awareness about global climate change. Steyer has his sights on campaigns in seven states, particularly Florida, where Charlie Crist is running against Republican incumbent Rick Scott. Steyer’s NextGen Climate Action PAC even built an ark to demonstrate what they feel is Scott’s indifference about the impact of fossil fuels on the environment. Some environmental scientists predict sea levels surrounding Florida will rise two feet by 2060.
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NextGen raised $42.8 million in the 2014 election cycle, compared to the Pro-Democrat Senate Majority PAC ($39.8 million) and Karl Rove’s American Crossroads ($25.3 million), as reported by Policy.Mic. However, the total spending on efforts to dispute theories about climate change far outstrip’s Steyer’s efforts. According to the Guardian, $120 million was spent between 2002-2010 to publicly criticize theories of climate change. In addition, the Koch brothers, with a huge war chest at their disposal, could easily overtake Steyer when it comes to spending.