Billionaire Dem hits Keystone hard — in time for Obama’s visit to SF home (VIDEO)

Americans have seen rapid, dramatic shifts in political opinion on the issues of same sex marriage and immigration reform in recent months. But could climate change represent the next big political swing among Republicans and Democrats in the Beltway — and around the country?

That’s what Democratic activist and billionaire Tom Steyer is betting — and that’s why, insiders say, he’s getting directly involved in some very big local races around the country in which environment could be the lynchpin issue.

Massachusetts is currently the star stage for some of his efforts, where opposition to controversial Keystone XL pipeline has been central to the climate change fight.

First, here’s an example of his team’s latest efforts — a scathing comic video released to jab Democratic Rep. Stephen Lynch, the pro-Keystone XL candidate in the special Massachusetts Senate race to fill the seat vacated by John Kerry, who resigned to become Secretary of State.

Produced by San Francisco-based Portal A, which gave us San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee’s “2 Legit 2 Quit” video — and who have also taken on big tobacco — it showcases “oil company” executives who laud Lynch for being one of their best buddies:

Another little tweak from Steyer’s team: a fake petition posted by TransCanada CEO Russ Girling, urging the video be taken down for its “dirty” tricks.

How did California-based Steyer get involved in this race?

We reported that at the behest of Massachusetts environmentalists, Steyer organized a SuperPAC to support Democratic Rep. Edward Markey, who opposes the Keystone XL pipeline, in the April 30 primary.

Lynch was one of 47 Democrats in the House to support a GOP-backed bill in 2011 that supported building the pipeline.

Supporters say the pipeline from Canada through North Dakota to the Gulf Coast would mean thousands of jobs for Americans. But environmentalists like Steyer say the pipeline will cause huge environmental damage to the nation, while shipping cheap oil to China — while providing just 35 permanent jobs.

The action comes as Steyer, a billionaire hedge fund manager and philanthropist, prepares his San Francisco home for a big $5,000 per person fundraiser starring President Barack Obama and benefiting the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Wednesday.

A whole coalition of environmental groups, including CREDO, Friends of the Earth, the Sierra Club and promise 1,000 anti-Keystone protesters outside the home Ann and Gordon Getty, where Obama will star at a $32,500 a head dinner fundraiser later the same evening.

We’ll serve as the local pool reporter, insider and reporting from President Obama’s two San Francisco fundraising stops.

So check in and follow us on Twitter @cmarinucci for all the details of both the Steyer event, and and the Getty dinner.

For a full analysis of Steyer’s high-profile actions on climate change and his views on the issue’s impact on national and state politics, check in to

Stay tuned.