Are individual liberal billionaires building personal political operations, as rich conservatives are doing?
Not nearly to the same extent. The best-known liberal organization is NextGen Climate Action, the super PAC formed by hedge fund billionaire Tom Steyer. He formed his PAC in 2014 to help elect candidates who backed policies to combat climate change, and he provided more than 85 percent of the $78 million the PAC took in that year. It was a Republican year, though, and all but two of his candidates were among the Democrats who lost. The money he poured into his super PAC made him the biggest donor of the 2014 election cycle and second only to Sheldon and Miriam Adelson as the biggest donors to either party since 2010. He and his super PAC are gearing up for another attempt to elect green Democrats in 2016, and he is also joining the Latino Victory Fund's effort to elect more Hispanics to higher office.38
The only other personal super PAC that largely supports Democrats is Michael Bloomberg's Independence USA. Bloomberg himself has not been a Democrat since 2001. He switched to the Republican Party to run for mayor of New York City, and in the middle of his second term he switched again, this time to become an independent. In 2012, toward the end of his third term, he formed Independence USA to back candidates who supported stronger gun control. He has always been the PAC's sole donor.39