SPARKS – Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer began a two-day Northern Nevada swing Friday with a visit to striking auto workers at a General Motors parts distribution center north of Reno.
He said American workers like them “have been getting the short end of the stick now for 40 years.”
Some 48,000 members of the United Auto Workers union went on strike against GM on Sept. 15 over a new contract. The nationwide walkout affects 33 manufacturing plants and 22 parts distribution warehouses like the Sparks facility, which employs about 50 union members.
Here’s what Steyer, the billionaire California investor turned philanthropist and environmental and political activist, had to say:
— On climate activism: “I just came from Climate Week in New York. And Climate Week is really about oil companies — in this case, oil, gas and coal companies — insisting that they make profits and endangering the health and safety of every single American citizen. That makes no sense to me…. For us to get the kind of future that Americans deserve, we’re going to have to break this corporate stranglehold.”
— On impeachment: “What we’re seeing in this Ukraine incident is something that was absolutely clear two years ago,” said Steyer, who has been campaigning for Trump’s impeachment since October 2017. “This man is a crook who puts himself ahead the American people and uses his office for his own purposes. All of those things are absolutely wrong. And he needs to be removed from office.”
— People above profits: “The issue I’m running on is that the corporations have bought the government – that in fact, they bought the laws and the rules under which we all exist at the expense of the American people. And here is a perfect example right here,” Steyer said as he mingled with about 40 picketing workers and supporters. “I’m 100 percent on the side of these workers, because we have got to take back this government and start having it work of by and for the people.”
— Coming up: Steyer’s stop Friday marks the start of a busy weekend for Democratic presidential candidates and their surrogates in the Reno area, with more candidate appearances planned for next week. Former Vice President Joe Biden, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg are among the candidates scheduled to be in the area through next week. Buttigieg and Steyer slated to speak at a Democratic fundraiser in Reno Saturday night, along with surrogates for other candidates.