In a turn of events for Tom Steyer, a green energy campaign he supports has been caught employing a man previously convicted of spying for the former Soviet Union.
Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona is a campaign calling for Arizona to drastically increase its renewable portfolio. The group has received all of its funding from NextGen Climate Action, an environmentalist organization founded and funded by Steyer. The Arizona campaign has already received negative publicity for its rampant employment of felons as petition circulars — which is against the law in the state. Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona has registered a number of convicted criminals to circulate petitions on its behalf, including a murderer, kidnappers and numerous others convicted of armed robbery, battery and domestic violence.
Now the Steyer-backed campaign has been caught employing another convicted felon: Clayton J. Lonetree
Lonetree served more than seven years in a maximum-security military prison after he was convicted in 1987 of giving sensitive information to a Soviet KGB operative in exchange for money.
“You can’t make this stuff up — the only U.S. Marine ever convicted of espionage, a traitor against his own country, has now been illegally hired to qualify the energy initiative for the ballot,” Matthew Benson, spokesman with Arizonans for Affordable Electricity, stated in a release obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Benson’s group opposes the renewable mandate being pushed by Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona.
“Never mind criminal background checks, does the ‘Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona’ campaign have access to Google? Because any amateur with an Internet connection can search the name ‘Clayton John Lonetree’ and find all of the dirty details on his trading of U.S. secrets to the Soviets during the Cold War,” Benson continued.
Lonetree, a U.S. Marine at the time, was stationed at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow in the early 1980s when he began an improper, sexual relationship with a female KGB agent. This woman then introduced Lonetree to a KGB agent who paid him for state secrets. Information he gave to the communists included layouts of the U.S. Embassy buildings in Vienna and Moscow, names of undercover CIA agents and other secretive information.
News of Lonetree’s employment at Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona does strike an ironic tone for Tom Steyer, a liberal activist who criticizes President Donald Trump on a near-constant basis for his alleged ties to the Russian government. The California billionaire is currently touring the U.S. and conducting town halls in a bid to impeach the Republican president. His “Need to Impeach” campaign includes numerous references to alleged wrongdoings by Trump concerning the Russian election meddling investigation.
Beyond Arizona, Steyer has bankrolled numerous initiates across the country that aim to increase states’ use of renewable energy. Steyer’s involvement in Michigan proved successful, where the state’s two biggest utilities agreed to increase their renewable portfolio in exchange for a campaign he funded to cease a ballot initiative. (RELATED: Tom Steyer Caught Using MORE Felons For Renewable Energy Campaign)
So far, 44 convicted felons have been discovered to be working for Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona.
“These are clear violations of Arizona election law,” Benson explained. “Until the ‘Clean Energy’ campaign can demonstrate it is properly vetting its petition circulators, Arizona voters should avoid providing any personal or sensitive information to these individuals and decline to sign the initiative petition.”
NextGen Climate Action has not responded to TheDCNF’s request for comment.