Pelosi Spearheads $1B Project That Helps Supporter Tom Steyer, Networks Ignore

Transportation project raises property value of land owned by Steyer’s hedge fund.

A new report suggested that liberal billionaire Tom Steyer’s hedge fund profited from a $1 billion San Francisco light rail project pushed by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. Steyer was also a big supporter of Pelosi.

Despite being quick to criticize conservative political donors, the morning and evening news shows on ABC, CBS and NBC have all ignored the allegation since the Washington Free Beacon broke the story Aug. 12.

According to Washington Free Beacon, Pelosi “steered more than a billion dollars in federal financing” to a transportation project to provide light rail access to the Mission Bay neighborhood in San Francisco. This access helped cause the property value of land owned by Steyer’s hedge fund, Farallon Capital Management, to spike. Farallon has since sold all but two of those properties. Steyer gave at least $5,000 to Pelosi in 2011 alone.

The Free Beacon said that the fund had not returned its requests for more information, making it unclear how much Farallon gained by this transaction. Steyer divested himself from Farallon in June 2014 claiming that the fund’s substantial coal investments conflicted with his environmental agenda. But he was still in control of Farallon at the time of the transactions Washington Free Beacon addressed.

Steyer has pledged $100 million to Democratic candidates this election cycle, to ensure that the Keystone Pipeline doesn’t get approved.

This wouldn’t be the first time that Steyer has gotten preferential treatment by liberal politicians. Earlier this month, Steyer and fellow liberal billionaire George Soros met with John Podesta, the counselor to the president, to advise him on environmental policy.

Both Soros and Steyer have donated millions to the Center for American Progress, a liberal group Podesta founded and led until December 2013. Steyer has given $3,850,000 to CAP since 2008, while Soros more than doubled that at $8,067,186 since 2005.

Since 2012, ABC, CBS and NBC have covered the libertarian Koch brothers nine times more than they covered Soros and Steyer combined. Media is home turf for Soros. He has poured more than $65 million into media and journalism groups through his Open Society Foundations since 2000.

— Mike Ciandella is Research Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Mike Ciandella on Twitter.