Billionaire Tom Steyer is using his significant wealth to buy up ads in New York City’s Times Square – calling for the impeachment of President Trump.
The digital ads went up on Monday, looking somewhat out of place amid a sea of LED screens promoting Broadway plays and movie releases.
The signs call on supporters to sign a petition calling for Trump’s impeachment at NeedToImpeach.com, and show in real time the growing number of people adding their names to the list. As of Monday afternoon, that number had reached well over 2.5million – more than the population of Manhattan itself.
The advertisements will show ten minutes of every hour through New Year’s Eve. More than 350,000 people walk through Times Square everyday – in addition to the million who ring in the New Year there every year. The holidays are the busiest time of year for the New York landmark.
‘We’re putting a couple of large billboards in Times Square calling for the impeachment of the president,’ Steyer told Bloomberg on Monday. ‘We legitimately feel that this is the huge issue in front of the American people that no one is standing up for what the overwhelming number of Americans think.’
The Times Square takeover is just Steyer’s $20million ad campaign to oust the president.
The hedge-fund manager turned environmentalist has already released a campaign-style commercial promoting impeachment.
One of the broadcasts that the commercial ran during was Fox & Friends, the president’s morning show of choice, until it was pulled early this month because of ‘negative reaction’ from viewers.
The ad calls Trump a ‘clear and present danger’ and accuses him of obstructing justice and sparking fears of nuclear war.
‘If this is not a case for impeaching and removing a dangerous president, then what has our government become?’ Steyer says in the ad. ‘I’m funding this effort to raise our voices together and demand that elected officials take a stand on impeachment.’
The president later called out Steyer on social media, tweeting: ‘Wacky & totally unhinged Tom Steyer, who has been fighting me and my Make America Great Again agenda from the beginning, never wins elections!’
Steyer is currently considering running for fellow Democrat Dianne Feinstein’s Senate seat in California. It would be a difficult feat to pull off considering Feinstein is second in seniority in her party in the Senate, and has held her seat since 1992.
But Steyer has already been distancing himself from the Democratic establishment with his ad campaign, which is not exactly popular within the party.
‘We are saying something that is obviously true and that Americans know, and that, certainly, the elected officials in Washington know,’ Steyer told Politico earlier this month. ‘For whatever reason, the political establishment does not want to talk about impeachment, but the American people do — and that’s what we hear loud and clear.’
Those in the Democratic party leadership, notably House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, say there’s more important things to worry about than Trump’s impeachment.
Speaking on CNN’s State of the Union earlier this month, Pelosi said impeachment is ‘not some place that I think we should go’.
Sources told The Hill that Pelosi called the initial ad a ‘distraction’.
Not all House Democrats share Pelosi’s sentiments about the ads.