The Left is fond of demonizing the Koch brothers at every juncture and portraying Republican candidates of all stripes as being subservient to them. But if any political party or any group of politicians is subservient to anyone, a discussion of George Soros is absolutely necessary. The Left laments the nexus and web of organizations that define the Koch brothers and their political advocacy, but what the Right has achieved today was previously devised by the Left, and specifically George Soros.
Soros was born in Hungary to non-practicing Jews. During the Nazi occupation, his father split the family apart as he bribed Christian officials to “adopt” members of his family. Having survived, they moved to England after the war and George enrolled in the London School of Economics where he gravitated towards notions of an open society. This philosophy asserted that there were no universal “truths” and that rights are not “self evident,” but evolving. It denied the supremacy of any country or culture. In short, it was quite anti-American and rejected the very tenets enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and Constitution, or any concept of American exceptionalism. In part 2 of this series, this writer will show the overlap between the Obama and Soros agendas and how Hillary Clinton will be no different.
After graduating, Soros became an expert in foreign arbitrage and his dealings in collapsing the British pound and making a profit off it are too complicated to do justice here. After moving to America, a country he once derided for being too closed, he formed a hedge fund company and quickly grew the portfolio from $100 million to over $5 billion in four short years. He then decided to use some of the personal fortune he amassed to become involved in Leftist causes here and abroad.
To do this, he formed the Open Society Institute which is based in Manhattan, his new home. The influence of the OSI cannot be underestimated and a list of organizations it finances is a who’s who of the American Left. The following is NOT an all-inclusive list of such organizations:
- The Arab American Institute which decries treatment of Arab-Americans after 9/11;
- Bill of Rights Defense Committee- operational in 400 jurisdictions which encourages non-compliance with the PATRIOT Act;
- National Council of La Raza- extreme illegal immigrant advocacy group;
- Gamaliel Foundation- concerned with community activism with links to Obama and his days in Chicago;
- Midwest Academy- again linked to Obama and dedicated to training community activists;
- Center for Economic and Policy Research- Leftist think tank advocating wealth redistribution;
- Health Care for America Now- advocacy for socialized medicine;
- Brennan Center for Justice- dedicated to eliminating the death penalty and voter ID laws;
- Media Matters- designed to “correct” conservative media, especially Fox News;
- Sojourners- evangelical group that justifies wealth redistribution based on Biblical tenets;
- Catholics for Choice- pro-abortion Catholic group, and;
- NARAL and Planned Parenthood- pro-death groups…if the death involves a fetus.
Around the time he opened the Manhattan headquarters of OSI, Soros met Bill and Hillary Clinton. They forged a relationship and friendship which endures to this day. Soros has sung the praises of Hillary and vice versa. When Bill was elected President, he inherited a broken Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. In order to assist the Russian transition from a Communist to market-based economy, he appointed three people: Treasury Secretary Charles Summer, Vice-President Al Gore and Strobe Talbott. Talbott in particular held significant influence and became known as Clinton’s “Russian policy czar.” Being a fan of George Soros, he recruited the hedge fund manager to the cause. In turn, Soros brought Harvard academic/economist Jeffrey Sachs along. Soros had been funding work by Sachs. As a team, they held considerable sway over the economic policies and programs of Boris Yeltsin. Soros used his connections to purchase large shares of Russian oil companies and eventually the Russian economy collapsed under the weight of corruption. Over $100 billion had fled Russia with some of it ending up in Soros’ bank accounts. As with England earlier, what was the collapse of a national economy as long as you you got your cut?
As the 1990s progressed, his association with the Clinton White House grew stronger and he was a frequent guest of Bill and/or Hillary Clinton. Soros himself bragged about their relationship and he often characterized himself as a trusted adviser to both as well as being a close friend. During the Clinton impeachment proceedings as Hillary hunkered down and hid in the White House, she granted access to a select few trusted individuals. George Soros counted himself among the select few. They developed a lasting bond of friendship and mutual admiration that persists to this day.
Before ending part 1, it is important to discuss Soros and his connection to McCain-Feingold. After Clinton suffered midterm losses in 1994 rendering control of the House and Senate to the GOP, through the OSI Soros became convinced that Republican campaign donations were responsible for the losses. In particular, the highly effective “Harry and Louise” commercials were believed to not only sink Democratic strength in Congress, but also kill Hillary Clinton’s health care reform initiative. Republicans enjoyed a 2-1 advantage when it came to campaign donations at the time and Soros was determined to negate that advantage. To Soros, the television media was the deciding factor in 1994 since print media was giving Hillarycare positive coverage. Soros was going to do something and that something was campaign finance reform.
Almost soon after the midterm elections, the OSI and other sister organizations began bankrolling front groups and experts demanding campaign finance reform. Between 1994 and 2004, some $140 million was expended on this public relations campaign to convince America of the corrupting influence of money in politics. Although described and sold as scholarly work, it was simply a political ploy as some recipients of grants later admitted. The “research” was slanted to advance the cause.
The two major characteristics of McCain-Feingold were restrictions on the timing of television advertising and regulation of donor amounts. With the former, no political advertisements were permitted 60 days prior to a general election or 30 days before a primary election unless (1) it was the official party advertising and (2) major media networks were exempt. The major media networks were Democratic-leaning to start with, so they had that advantage.
The latter half of the law dealt with onerous limits on campaign donations to candidates or parties, known as “hard money.” Although the limits were raised on these contributions, there were bans on “soft money” contributions. These are donations to groups for voter education or position advocacy and were allowed provided they did not endorse a particular candidate or attack a candidate. This is where Democrats often made up for that 2-1 difference in fundraising since they relied on soft money from large organizations, especially labor unions. It would seem counter-intuitive that Soros and Democrats would seek to eliminate this equalizer.
Left alone by McCain-Feingold were so-called “527’s-” tax exempt organizations that operated like a PAC but were not required to register with the FEC. They were permitted as long as they were not involved in particular candidate advocacy. Since they did not have to register with the FEC, they could receive unlimited sums of money from donors who did not have to disclose their identity. Soon after it was signed into law by Bush in 2002, Soros set out to form a network of 527 committees for issue advocacy and Democratic Party building initiatives that would pay dividends in 2006 and 2008. In effect, they not only served to give Democrats control of Congress in 2006 and the White House in 2008, they pushed the Democratic Party increasingly to the Left.
But it also had another effect. Instead of that soft money now going to the Democratic Party, it was being directed to that network of organizations established, funded and controlled by Soros through the OSI. Ironically, the law actually increased the influence of money in politics and further concentrated it in fewer hands. One of the greatest beneficiaries was George Soros. Today’s cries against Citizens United, which struck down these provisions of McCain-Feingold, were actually set in motion by the American Left spearheaded by George Soros. Those cries are not about the influence of money in politics; they are against conservative money in politics. The Supreme Court leveled the playing field between the parties. While the Left today wraps themselves in a cloak of self-righteousness when it comes to campaign finance, it was they who started the whole process to gain an advantage over the GOP. The fact that conservatives quickly adapted is what truly riles the Left and Soros.
In part 2, I will discuss the further influence of Soros in many activities from George W. Bush onward, the increasing relationship between him and Hillary Clinton, his association with Obama, and where things stand today. It is the story of a complex network of groups and individuals that shape Clinton’s and the Democratic Party’s principles and agenda. Too many people move through the Clinton and Soros far Left orbits to be coincidence.