Left-wing billionaire George Soros continues to pour millions of dollars into hitherto-obscure local races for district attorney, backing “progressive” candidates who are opposing more traditional law-and-order prosecutors.
The San Jose Mercury News notes:
The liberal New York billionaire and progressive organizations are throwing big money to challengers in Alameda, Sacramento and San Diego counties, according to campaign finance records.
District attorney races typically have favored law-and-order incumbents with support from local law enforcement and, in some cases, because they faced no legitimate opponent. But the millions spent leading up to the June 5 election is giving a voice to candidates who want to reduce incarceration, end the death penalty and crack down on police misconduct.
The new political strategy in California is backed by the California Justice & Public Safety PAC, which is funded by Soros; Real Justice, a political action committee that includes the wife of Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz; and civil rights leader [sic] and writer Shaun King, who has offered endorsements and speeches.
Soros’s involvement, the Mercury News notes, is related to the Black Lives Matter movement — and it is nationwide, starting with “the 2017 election victory of defense attorney Larry Krasner as district attorney of Philadelphia,” whom Soros gave $2 million.
The Los Angeles Times reported earlier this month that Soros is involved in 21 district attorney races across the country — and that is just the spending that is known. He is also contributing money to non-profit organizations that are engaged in certain political activities but are not required to report donations.
The Times elaborated:
Federal tax laws allow nonprofit advocacy groups to hide the source of their money and to disclose summaries of their spending years after the fact. It will be 2020 before Californians will be able to see the full scale of the involvement in June’s elections.
But tax forms, grant documents and interviews by The Times and the Marshall Project show that a coalition of wealthy donors, private foundations and advocacy groups by last year had sunk $11 million into grants focused on district attorney elections across the nation. At the top is the Open Philanthropy Project, a foundation started by Moskovitz and Tuna, that from 2014 to 2017 directed $6.6 million toward “prosecutorial reform” or similar terms.
The collaboration included a panel on prosecutor races last fall at the closed-door retreat of Democracy Alliance, a coalition of groups and leaders who pool their resources behind liberal causes. In July, a similar group, the Tides Foundation, hosted campaign directors for Soros and the ACLU and racial-justice activists from Color of Change to talk about steering nonprofit money toward the cause.
In electing liberal prosecutors, participants said, the groups also seek to build voter bases for larger elections.
The irony, at least in California, is that local law enforcement officials have blamed a slew of recent reforms — such as Proposition 47 in 2014, which reduced sentences for some crimes — for a rise in crime in parts of the state.
Soros’s spending is being used to overcome a public backlash against liberal prison and prosecution policies, and to accelerate them.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named to Forward’s 50 “most influential” Jews in 2017. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.