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California Climate Activist Dumps $1 Million Into Washington State Politics

J. Scott Applewhite
AP Photo
FILE - In this Sept. 5, 2012 file photo, Tom Steyer waves as he walks to the podium to address the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.

California billionaire and climate activist Tom Steyer has dumped $1 million into Washington state.

The seven-figure contribution was made last week and became public Monday.

Steyer wants to help Democrats take control of the Washington Senate and $50,000 of Steyer's money has already moved into a political action committee associated with Senate Democrats.

Steyer also spent heavily in Washington last year.

Recently, he had lunch with Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee at the governor's mansion. Inslee's climate change agenda has been stymied by the mostly Republican coalition that controls the state Senate.

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy as well as the Washington State legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia." Prior to joining the Northwest News Network, Austin worked as a television reporter in Seattle, Portland and Boise. Austin is a graduate of Garfield High School in Seattle and Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut. Austin’s reporting has been recognized with awards from the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors, Public Radio News Directors Incorporated and the Society of Professional Journalists.