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Steyer makes move toward 2020 with ad, trip to SC

November 20, 2018

FILE- In this March 16, 2018, file photo political activist Tom Steyer speaks during a "Need to Impeach" town hall event at the Clifton Cultural Arts Center in Cincinnati. Billionaire investor Steyer is making more moves toward launching a potential 2020 presidential bid. Steyer says in a news release Tuesday, Nov. 20, that he’s planning to return to early-voting South Carolina next month an event in South Carolina. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — California billionaire Tom Steyer made another move Tuesday toward launching a potential 2020 presidential bid with an announcement that he’s planning to return to early-voting South Carolina next month for an event in Charleston.

In a news release, the wealthy investor said that he plans to talk about the importance of equal voting. That’s one of what he calls the five fundamental rights for which Democrats should advocate ahead of the next presidential election and that “should be at the core” of the party’s platform.

On Tuesday, Steyer said he would place a full-page ad in USA Today and Gannett newspapers across the country to outline his proposed five rights, which also include clean air and water, health, the right to learn and a living wage.

“These rights are fundamental to our shared belief in the promise of America, a promise of the freedom and power to pursue our dreams and earn a fair share of this country’s vast wealth,” Steyer said. “A hostile takeover of our democracy by large corporations and their enablers in politics has eroded that promise, and we must act to reclaim that power and put it back in the hands of the American people.”

Steyer has already made several trips to South Carolina, home to the first-in-the-South primary, and has said he’s considering jumping into the 2020 race, adding Democrats need someone who can explain to voters “not just how stupid and misguided what’s going on right now is,” but who can also find a way to put the nation on better footing.

The Charleston event is the first of a planned series of discussions on the five issues Steyer has set forth.

Steyer is the founder of NextGen America, a liberal advocacy group, and the main source of cash for a super PAC called the NextGen Climate Action Committee, which spent more than $90 million in the 2016 election cycle.

In 2018, Steyer spent roughly $120 million more on mobilizing young voters to help Democrats, registering more than 257,000 young voters on over 400 campuses across the country in 11 states. He has also advocated for President Donald Trump’s impeachment, producing a nationwide advertising campaign to that effect.

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Meg Kinnard can be reached on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP.

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