When you like a product, you give it your stamp of approval – whether it’s the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval or the USDA imprint on food. But if you love a product, then you pony up the cash. George Soros knows this as much as anyone. Soros, the moneybags of the left, has spent $36 million in the last several years funding politicians and the left’s political machine. He also gave $550 million to liberal causes in 2000-2009.
There’s no product the Soros family likes better than Obama. The Democratic president has received more money from Soros and his kin than any other political candidate in the last 11 years – $16,000 and counting. They gave an additional $250,000 to the inauguration fund, with five members of the family each giving the maximum contribution of $50,000.
Given limits on donations, that’s an impressive amount of support. Obama leads a list of the most doctrinaire liberals running for office – all funded by Soros and his family. Those include former comic-turned Sen. Al Franken, lefty Calif. Sen. Barbara Boxer and new “progressive” darling and Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren.
Soros has propped up liberal politicians for years in the United States, with more than $4 million in direct funding from him and his family. Well known for funneling millions of dollars to liberal groups in their attempt to destroy President George W. Bush in 2004, Soros has continued to give money to promote causes and politicians on the left.
This campaign season, he’s already donated $100,000 to the Majority PAC and another $75,000 to the House Majority PAC. Both of those are designed to put Democrats in office and keep them there. While Soros initially stayed out of the 2011 Super PAC race by not donating to the pro-Obama Priorities USA, he later came out saying that he was undecided on if he would contribute to or create his own Super PAC.
Ironically, Soros has claimed he tried to stay out of domestic political turmoil, his political donations show otherwise. Soros claimed he tried to remain above internal politics in his opening essay to Chuck Sudetic’s book “The Philanthropy of George Soros.” Soros wrote that he learned, “to keep a greater distance from the internal politics of the countries where I have foundations.” Normal people would stay they’d stay out. Soros just wanted to give the appearance of distance.
But he hasn’t stayed out of U.S. politics at all. Through an extensive network of nonprofits, media properties and activist organizations, Soros has become increasingly influential in American elections. His hold over the American political left is especially strong. He and his family gave more than $36 million to politicians and political groups through the past two decades. Soros alone spent more than $32 million in an attempt to oust President Bush in 2004. The liberal grassroots groups MoveOn.org, Joint Victory Campaign 2004, and America Coming Together were among the top recipients of that Soros funding.
To put that in perspective, he vastly outspent the libertarian Koch Brothers in individual political donations 8 to 1. Promoting left-wing ideology to include everything from electing judges to immigration reform, Soros has exerted his power over the nation’s liberal political elite.
The Kochs have been labeled as everything from “Tea Party puppeteers” by New York Times columnists Charles M. Blow to industrialists that “help keep the Tea Party movement well-caffeinated,” and vilified for their extensive giving to conservatives. But Soros has fondly been described as a philanthropist. The media fail to note that Soros has outspent the Kochs in individual-funded political activity.
An analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics’s Oopensecrets.org compared contributions by the Koch brothers and George Soros. This review from Sept. 21, 2010 showed Soros lavished more than $34 million on 527s, candidates, and committees. This compared with a mere $4 million from the Koch brothers. The Kochs do surpass Soros in funding to candidates, parties, and committees, but the difference is a little more than a million dollars. Opensecret.org is part of the Soros-funded Center for Responsive Politics. They received $500,000 in grants from the Open Society Foundation since 2000.
All this funding is a key part of the Soros empire with more than $8 billion donated through his Open Society Foundations – and it’s about to help impact another election.
-- Iris Somberg contributed to this column.
Dan Gainor is the Boone Pickens Fellow and the Media Research Center’s Vice President for Business and Culture. His column appears each week on The Fox Forum. He can also be contacted on Facebook and Twitter as dangainor.