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Tom Steyer, seeking Trump impeachment, brings campaign to Massachusetts

Tom Steyer.
Tom Steyer. (Eric Risberg/Associated Press)

It could be the week’s most talked about commercial that didn’t air during the Super Bowl.

Billionaire political activist Tom Steyer will bring his campaign to impeach President Trump to Massachusetts, launching a local TV ad Monday intended to pressure the dean of the state’s congressional delegation into using wielding new powers against Trump.

The commercial targets Springfield Democrat Richard Neal, who became chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee when Democrats took control of the House last month, giving Neal the authority to subpoena the president’s tax returns.

“It’s time to hold Donald Trump accountable, and we can do our part here in Massachusetts,” a man’s voice soberly intones in the ad, over music that suggests urgency. “All we need is our congressman, Richard Neal, to be with us. Neal can subpoena Trump’s tax returns and vote to start impeachment hearings against the most lawless and corrupt president in American history.”

The announcer then asks viewers to call Neal and tell him it’s time to begin the impeachment process.

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View the “Operation Accountability” ad

Neal and his staff could not be reached for comment on Sunday. In November, Neal told Globe columnist Scot Lehigh that he planned to request the president’s tax returns and expected the effort would wind up in court.

Steyer’s organization, Need to Impeach, plans to run its commercial in Springfield over the next 14 days as part of its new “Operation Accountability” campaign, which will include canvassers speaking to residents in the districts of selected members of Congress, including Neal.

Steyer has already spent millions seeking Trump’s impeachment. The former hedge fund titan had considered a run for president but announced last month that he would instead continue the impeachment crusade.

The $109,000 price tag for running the ad is “definitely on the high end” for a political ad in Western Massachusetts, according to Doug Rubin, a Massachusetts-based political strategist and a senior communications advisor to the Need to Impeach campaign.

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“This is a pretty significant buy. People in the district will definitely see it,” he said.

Rubin added that already more than 20,000 of Neal’s constituents have signed Need to Impeach’s petition in support of removing Trump from office, out of a total of more than 7.2 million signatures.

“We know there’s strong support in the district, both from the number of people who have signed up online, and we’ve done some polling in that district,” Rubin said.

Steyer also plans to visit Springfield on Feb. 12 for a Need to Impeach town hall meeting.


Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at jeremy.fox@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jeremycfox.