Romney Super-PAC Donor Also Big Climate Hawk

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore/6468740695/sizes/m/in/photostream/">Gage Skidmore</a>/Flickr


Over at Big Think, Matthew Nisbet flags an interesting factoid about the biggest donor to Mitt Romney’s super-PAC: he’s also a major donor to the Environmental Defense Fund.

Julian Robertson, a former hedge fund manager worth a reported $2.4 billion, has given $1 million to the Restore Our Future PAC, making him one of the biggest donors this year among actual people (as opposed to corporations).

As Nisbet notes, Robertson contributed more than $40 million to the Environmental Defense Fund between 2005 and 2009 “to support the group’s efforts to pass cap and trade legislation”—which accounted for nearly a third of the amount that the group spent on that effort over that time period.

Romney has been pretty squishy about the subject of climate change over the years, supporting a cap-and-trade plan as governor of Massachusetts before changing his mind. Most recently, he’s taken to claiming that “we don’t know what’s causing climate change.”

The goal of super-PAC donors is, ostensibly, to get their candidate of choice elected. But it’s also about influencing that candidate’s policy decisions. In Robertson’s case, he’s clearly spent a whole lot more money on getting climate policy passed than he has on Mitt Romney. So perhaps he’s banking on Romney doing yet another about turn on climate once elected.

More MotherJones reporting on Dark Money

FIGHTING DISINFORMATION

As President Trump and his acolytes ramp up their efforts to distort the truth and discredit the Mueller investigation, you can see how urgent our new priority to build a team focused on exposing disinformation will be.

If you're fed up with the lies coming from Washington and proliferating on social media, help us push back with a tax-deductible donation today.

We still need to raise about $100,000 by June 30 so we can bring on a full-time reporter and a data scientist to dig deep on disinformation—who's behind it, how it spreads, and how we can counter it—before this fall's midterms. Please don't sit this one out. Join us and your fellow MoJo readers today.

  • Kate Sheppard was a staff reporter in Mother Jones' Washington bureau from 2009 to 2013. She is now a senior reporter and the energy and environment editor at The Huffington Post. She can be reached by email at kate (dot) sheppard (at) huffingtonpost (dot) com and you can follow her on Twitter @kate_sheppard.