Birmingham, ALABAMA — Despite efforts by Democratic senatorial candidate Doug Jones to pass himself off as a moderate, the politician has been deeply tied to radical groups financed by billionaire George Soros and has led efforts on behalf of those groups seeking to enact far-left, transformational policies.
Jones’s personal website has urged supporters to get involved with Soros-financed far-left groups and he took leadership positions in numerous Soros-financed activist projects, including one seeking to fundamentally remake the U.S. criminal justice system into one that pushes progressive policies.
He also took a significant role in an effort by a far-left legal group massively funded by Soros to grant full voting rights nationwide to felons released from prison, including those convicted of murder, rape and other violent crimes.
And he is currently pushing a living wage scheme for the state and country that has a history of hurting small businesses, negatively impacting local economies and decreasing employment opportunities for low income workers. The living wage plot was a pet project of the controversial former group known as ACORN, or the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, which played a central role in enacting the scheme in several cities.
Jones has repeatedly denied being far-left. Asked by Fox News about Republican challenger Roy Moore’s contention that he is an “ultra-liberal,” Jones replied, “That’s pretty absurd.”
“You know, that’s their only hope. I mean look, they’re in desperation mode right now,” Jones added.
“If you look at the positions I’ve got on health care, if you look at the positions I got on jobs, you should look at the support I have from the business community, I think I’m pretty mainstream,” Jones has claimed. “I want to reach across the aisle. … So I don’t really care what he says about me.”
Jones has stressed bipartisanship and has said that he is for such mainstream policies as “lower taxes on the middle class, against deficits, for a strong military and for your right to see a doctor whenever you’re sick.”
Jean Cummings, Wall Street Journal Deputy Bureau Chief, claimed on MSNBC that Jones is “basically a moderate to conservative Democrat, but where they’re trying to attack him is he does support abortion rights.”
Jones’s extremist positions on abortion are well-known. In an MSNBC interview, he said he wouldn’t support a ban on abortion after the 20th week of gestation. He has since tried to temper his views, telling AL.com that “the law for decades has been that late-term procedures are generally restricted except in the case of medical necessity. That’s what I support. I don’t see any changes in that. It is a personal decision.”
The main page of Jones’s campaign website proudly proclaims: “I will defend a woman’s right to choose and stand with Planned Parenthood.”
Less well-known are the Alabama senatorial candidate’s deep ties to and activism on behalf of radical leftist groups financed by Soros.
Jones Headed Soros-Funded Project To Transform Federal Prosecutors Into Social Justice Warriors
For starters, Jones spearheaded an effort for the far-left activist Brennan Center for Justice at New York University Law School that was focused on drastically changing the role of U.S. Attorneys, as Breitbart News first reported.
Among other things, Jones’s project called on federal prosecutors to reduce or avoid sentences for drug offenders, make decisions about seeking jail time on individual cases based upon federal incarceration levels and use their pulpits to “spread change” and work with outside “community organizations” to root out the “causes of violence.”
One section of the report seeks to put U.S. Attorneys in the role of social justice warriors who go to schools to preach against “bullying,” coach Little League teams and mentor at risk youths. All this while working to “develop solutions to problems that do not involve prosecutions, such as mediating disputes and participating in school intervention programs.”
The Brennan Center has been the recipient of numerous grants from Soros’s Open Society Foundations totaling over $7,466,000 from 2000 to 2010 alone.
In 2014, the Center released a 69-page document titled, “Federal Prosecution for the 21st Century,” which was the culmination of a Brennan Center project led by Jones.
The report was specifically based on the results of a Brennon Center initiative co-chaired by Jones calling itself the Blue Ribbon Panel that convened “criminal justice experts, including leaders in law enforcement, prosecutors and public defenders, former government officials, and federal grant recipients, to provide comments on the performance measures” and form the basis of the recommendations in the report.
Jones served as co-chair of the Blue Ribbon Panel and he also wrote the introduction to the report. His name is listed on the cover of the Brennan document.
In his introduction, Jones laments that when he and his colleagues on the panel served as prosecutors, “there was an underlying drive to focus almost exclusively on the enforcement of federal laws without engaging in crime prevention.”
“Federal prosecutors have many tools to create this change,” Jones wrote. “They can use their resources to change prosecutorial practices; their bully pulpit and convening power to change hearts and minds; and their leverage in hiring young prosecutors to pick not only the best and the brightest, but also those with a nuanced view of justice.”
Jones used language reminiscent of the Obama administration’s infamous interagency memos that enacted “prosecutorial discretion” – which was widely regarded as de facto amnesty – when it came to bringing charges against young illegal aliens. Jones wrote that the report’s recommendations “encourage prosecutors to keep in mind the larger purposes of the justice system when recommending sentences, choosing what charges to bring and whom to prosecute, and deciding the terms of plea negotiations.”
The report itself goes on to recommend that “given their enormous power and discretion over charging and sentencing decisions, U.S. Attorneys possess a unique lever to spread change.”
The report states: “Prosecutors are well-positioned to create opportunities to improve public safety while also reducing the nation’s incarceration footprint. They are granted unique authority to make charging decisions, enter cooperation agreements, accept pleas and frequently dictate sentences or sentencing ranges.”
A key goal of the report was to push reduced sentencing for drug offenders. This has also been a major policy aim for Soros. His Open Society Foundations gave a whopping $50 million to the New York-based Drug Policy Alliance, which seeks to decriminalize drug offenses. The Alliance’s main aim, according to its website, is to create a world in which people “are no longer punished for what they put into their own bodies but only for crimes committed against others.”
The Jones-led report opines that “shifting prosecutorial priorities to include focusing on reducing the numbers of people sent to prisons could have a dramatic impact. Not accepting certain types of drug cases, altering charging decisions or recommending diversion or alternative sentences for drug offenders would reduce the number of drug offenders entering the Federal Bureau of Prisons and are well within a prosecutor’s discretion.”
It recommends considering an “alternative sanction” for drug offenders in lieu of prison. “Rigorous studies have shown that drug treatment programs and close supervision, such as federal probation, can both reduce recidivism rates and costs,” the report added
Jones Pushed Felon Voting ‘Rights’ with Soros-Funded Org
In December 2011, Jones was one of fifteen signatories on a letter sent to Congress from the Soros-funded Brennan Center calling for the restoration of “federal voting rights to the nearly four million Americans living, working and paying taxes in our communities who have been disenfranchised because of a criminal conviction in their past.”
The 2011 Brennan Center letter to Congress signed by Jones calls for a blanket restoration of voting privileges to all criminals upon release from prison and return to their communities. The missive states, “People who commit crimes must and will serve all terms of their sentence. But once the criminal justice system has determined that they are ready to return to the community, they should receive both the rights and responsibilities that come with the status of being a citizen. Restoring the right to vote is simply good law enforcement policy.”
Besides the letter, Jones is currently listed on the Democracy Restoration Act (DRA) information page of the Brennan Center’s website as among the “Groups and Individuals who support the DRA.” The act calls for voting rights for felons.
Jones is listed there alongside scores of far-left activist groups funded by Soros, some of which also have ties to Jones. Those Soros-funded groups include the Alliance for Justice, the American Civil Liberties Union (the recipient of a $50 million Soros grant), Black Youth Vote!, the NAACP and scores of others.
Some of those groups are tied to a successful drive the past few weeks to register convicted felons across the state of Alabama. That effort was led by organization partnered with a Soros-financed group and led by a radical leftist who is the half-brother of the infamous controversial Rev. Al Sharpton, Breitbart News reported last week.
The aim of the effort has been to get as many felons as possible on the roster before last Monday, the deadline to register in order to vote in Alabama’s Dec. 12 senate special election that pits Republican Roy Moore against Democratic challenger Doug Jones. The man spearheading the campaign has stated outright that his effort is meant to ensure a Democratic victory in Alabama.
The thousands of felons reportedly newly registered over the past few weeks were most likely not included in any recent polling on the Alabama senate race put out by major firms.
For decades, Jones has been a champion of voting rights for all criminals, including the most violent offenders, putting him at the radical end of the spectrum on the issue. Back in 2005, he wrote an amici curiae (“friend of the court”) brief on the matter with Eric Holder, who would go on to become Attorney General under the Obama administration. Jones’s 2005 brief, which was written for a Supreme Court case involving the state of Florida for voting for criminals, is featured on Brennan’s website.
Jones Pushing ACORN Pet Project Known for Devastating Workers, Small Businesses
On his campaign website, Jones touts a platform that reads like a bullet point list of the so-called progressive agenda, including a declaration that “health care is a right, not a privilege” and that he opposes efforts to repeal Obamacare.
The brief economic policy listing on Jones’s campaign website calls for the enactment of a “living wage,” which would hike the minimum wage above the federal minimum.
A short “living wage” section on his website reads:
People in Alabama should not have to work two or three jobs just to provide food, housing and other necessities for their families, often foregoing healthcare and other needs. I strongly support ensuring working Alabamians receive a living wage for their hard work. It is past time. They are then less reliant on the government and those dollars help lift the economy.
Jones does not provide the economic history of the living wage, which has negatively impacted local economies and was pushed by a coalition of radical left-wing groups. Nor does he state what he means by a living wage, specifically how far he would push Alabama to raise the minimum wage that businesses and government must pay employees beyond the federal minimum.
The politician has said that if he is elected he would vote to raise the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour to above $10 an hour nationwide. He declined to give an exact amount in a recent interview.
“I’m not one of these people who thinks that raising the minimum wage to a living wage is going to stifle competition, or going to lead to automation and cost jobs,” he told USA Today.
The concept of a living wage got its start in the mid-1990s in Baltimore, when a coalition of left-leaning church leaders, unionists and other groups were able to persuade the City Council to raise the base salary from the federal minimum of $4.25 an hour to $6.10 for city employees and local companies contracted by the city.
Paying careful attention was Jen Kern, an ACORN organizer, who then attempted to bring the so-called living wage to several other states after studying regulations and court decisions to find locales where ACORN could work to raise the minimum wage beyond the federal minimum.
ACORN said that it disbanded in 2010, six months after undercover video footage infamously showed some of its workers giving tips on how to cheat on taxes. However, some of ACORN’s biggest chapters, including its branches in New York and California, rebranded themselves under new names and continue to be active.
An extensive January 2006 New York Times magazine profile documented how ACORN’s Kern worked to mount ultimately unsuccessful campaigns to raise the minimum wage in Denver, Houston and the state of Missouri.
However, ACORN was successful in 2004 and then again in 2006 in Santa Fe, where the ultra-liberal city council enacted what became the highest minimum wage rate in the country at the time – $9.50 an hour. ACORN soon set its sights on attempts to bring the living wage to Arizona, Colorado, Michigan, Ohio, Montana, Oklahoma and Arkansas.
ACORN’s living-wage campaign website is still active.
The ACORN site documents the radical group’s successes in advancing the living wage:
Over the last decade, ACORN chapters have been involved in over fifteen living wage campaigns in our own cities, leading coalitions that have won living wage or minimum wage ordinances in St. Louis, St. Paul, Minneapolis, Boston, Oakland, Denver, Chicago, Cook County, New Orleans, Detroit, New York City, Long Island, Sacramento and San Francisco.
Contributing to the living wage campaign was the Brennan Center for Justice, the group Jones has been closely associated with for years. The Center’s lawyer, Paul Sonn, took a leading role in helping to craft wage ordinances and ballot measures for numerous cities and states, the Times reported.
Jones Website Pushes Supporters to ‘Get Involved’ with Soros-Funded Far-Left Groups
A website that functions as the public web portal for Jones urges supporters to “get involved” in “matters of justice and equality” through four organizations that are far-left activist groups financed by Soros.
Jones himself is closely associated with at least three of those Soros-financed groups, Breitbart News has found.
The website SeekingJusticeToday.com gets its namesake from the following statement by Jones, brandished on the main page of the site: “It is never too late to just do the right thing, to seek the truth, to seek justice.”
The entire website is about Jones. The “about” section is a page with Jones’s bio. The “media” section links to Jones’s media appearances. The “gallery” section is a collection of photos of Jones with various newsmakers. The “blog” section contains Jones’s personal blog. The site links to Jones’s social media accounts.
The “resources” page of the Jones website urges supporters to “get involved in matters of justice and equality” by taking a “look at the following list of recommended organizations.”
The webpage then recommends six groups, four of which are far-left activist organizations funded by Soros’s Open Society Foundations.
Efforts to trace the actual owner of the website were unsuccessful since the registration information is private, although the page clearly functioned as the main Internet portal for Jones until he opened a website for his 2017 senatorial race.
Jones’s campaign did not return a Breitbart News request seeking comment on the politician’s exact relationship with the SeekingJusticeToday.com website.
A test subscription resulted in an email from “G. Douglas Jones” welcoming the new subscriber and providing a link to confirm the user’s email address.
The four Soros-financed groups recommended on the Jones website are:
One: The Constitution Project, which describes itself as seeking to “foster consensus-based solutions to the most difficult constitutional challenges of our time.” Its list of “generous supporters” includes Soros’s Open Society Foundations as well as the Open Society Policy Center.
The Project filed a “friend of the court” legal brief to the Supreme Court on behalf of Salim Ahmed Hamdan, a Yemeni national who admitted to serving as the driver for Osama bin Laden and was declared an illegal enemy combatant by the U.S. government. The Project argued against the process of a military tribunal for Hamdan, who was jailed at Guantanamo Bay from 2002 to November 2008.
Two: The Equal Justice Initiative, which says it is “committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, to challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society.”
Besides direct funding from Soros’s foundation, Bryan Stevenson, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, serves on the board of the U.S. Programs division of the Open Society Foundations.
The Initiative argues that lynchings carried out in America between 1877 and 1950 helped create the climate today in which, the organization charges, the U.S. criminal justice system is biased against African Americans.
“Lynching reinforced a narrative of racial difference and a legacy of racial inequality that is readily apparent in our criminal justice system today,” the group claims. “Mass incarceration, racially biased capital punishment, excessive sentencing, disproportionate sentencing of racial minorities and police abuse of people of color reveal problems in American society that were shaped by the terror era.”
Three: The Marshal Project, which says that it “seeks to create and sustain a sense of national urgency about the U.S. criminal justice system.”
Soros’s Open Society Foundations is listed as a founding donor.
Four: The Brennan Center for Justice, with which Jones has been actively involved for years (see above).
Listen to Aaron Klein discuss the issue with Breitbart Executive Chairman Steve Bannon on Friday’s Breitbart News Tonight on SiriusXM:
Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.