Soros resources help district attorney races go liberal

George Soros’ impact on local elections

Jonathan Fahey and Nicole Wittmann on George Soros’ role in the upcoming Virginia State Legislature elections.

More local attorneys have won elections this cycle with the help of money tied to megadonor George Soros, raising additional questions about the the billionaire's apparently ongoing campaign to influence local law enforcement.

Soros, for example, donated at least $1.5 million to the California Justice and Safety PAC, which backed Democrat George Gascón of Los Angeles. Shalena Cook Jones, the Democratic district attorney-elect for Chatham County in Georgia, also won her race after receiving at least $80,000 in advertising support from that same PAC, according to the Athens Banner-Herald.

In St. Louis, Soros' PACs reportedly contributed $116,000 to Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner's re-election bid, which she won. Earlier this year, Gardner brought felony charges against Mark and Patricia McCloskey, who brandished guns while confronting protesters at their home.

Soros-connected victories are nothing new in local politics. Last year, The Washington Post reported that the Justice and Public Safety PAC had fed progressive challengers nearly $1 million in Arlington and Fairfax Counties' Democratic primaries for prosecutor. And in 2016, a Republican running for district attorney in Henry County, Georgia exited the race after Soros Fund Management backed his opponent. 

“After consulting with my family and trusted advisers, it has become clear that we will most likely not be successful against an unlimitedly financed opponent, and I refuse to put my family through what has transpired in other Soros-backed elections," attorney Matt McCord said at the time.

His opponent, now-District Attorney Darius Pattillo, claimed at the time that Soros hadn't donated directly to him or his campaign. Because of the nature of PACs, they can attempt to influence elections with large sums of money without directly contributing to a particular campaign. 

Both Pattillo and Jones indicated that the focus on Soros was a distraction. "[B]y fanning the flames of George Soros and making them think there's a ghost behind the curtain, we are getting away from the principles of equality and justice for all and that's the only thing I'm trying to offer these people," she said.

She also said that she had "done the hard work of raising money for my race. If they have invested that money in me, I didn't ask for it and I don't know anything about it."

Conservatives have been accused of turning Soros into a boogeyman but according to Dan Gainor, vice president at the conservative Media Research Center, and others, Soros's influence is real.

"This has been a Soros-funded operation for several years designed to influence local legal systems around the country," he told Fox News on Wednesday. Gainor's organization regularly reports on and tracks funding from Soros-backed entities.

Gainor pointed to a Los Angeles Times report on Soros spending more than $16 million on county races outside of California. That 2018 report said the billionaire's spending in California topped $2.7 million.

Gainor added that Soros paid the American Civil Liberties Union $50 million .

"Soros knows that district attorneys and states attorneys have incredible power," Gainor said. "He threw $2 million into the campaign of Cook County States Attorney Kim Foxx, who dropped the charges in the Jussie Smollett case."

The Open Society Foundation, which Soros founded, did not immediately respond to Fox News' request for comment.

His financial activities caught the attention of Attorney General William Barr, who warned last year that the trend would lead to more violent crime. More recently, Soros-connected attorneys have participated in "Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commissions," which teamed with an organization that's in favor of defunding the police.

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