Kudos to Dan Demeritt for explaining the role in Maine’s gubernatorial race of hedge-fund billionaire Tom Steyer (“Michaud’s energy message could get tripped up by wealthy activist,” May 25).

Demeritt didn’t address the larger issue: out-of-state money in politics. Both parties have deep-pocketed donors, but Democrats barely acknowledge the influence of their own rich activists.

And no one is more influential than San Francisco’s Tom Steyer. This darling of the left has already donated millions to environmental causes – the prime reason why the Keystone XL pipeline will probably never be built.

President Obama won’t anger Mr. Steyer and the environmental organizations he supports, notwithstanding that 65 percent of Americans favor the Keystone project.

Steyer plans to spend $100 million this year on messages about climate change. Regardless of the effect these messages have, Steyer doesn’t care where most of the country stands.

The New York Times recently cited a Pew poll indicating that in terms of problems facing the U.S., the subject barely registered: “Fewer Americans cited climate change as a top threat than cited financial instability, Islamic extremism, or North Korea’s nuclear program.” But who cares about polls when you can write checks of nine figures and tell people what they should consider important?

Steyer will spend this bundle on various Senate races and to defeat the Republican governors of Florida, Maine and Pennsylvania.

So the next time you hear Democrats rail against big, out-of-state money in politics, think of Tom Steyer. Remember that the effort to oust Gov. Paul LePage is bankrolled in part by the immense wealth of a tycoon who is 3,000 miles away. And whose values, priorities – and especially lifestyle – are light-years away from folks in places like Millinocket, Skowhegan and Old Orchard Beach.

Richard D. Hull