Virginia Democratic gubernatorial nominee Terry McAuliffe accepted a $250,000 contribution from liberal megadonor George Soros, who has spent at least $1 million to support defunding police.
Soros sent McAuliffe a quarter of a million dollars on Aug. 17, the former governor's latest campaign finance report shows. Just months earlier, the progressive billionaire gave $1 million to Color Of Change PAC, a "racial justice" group that has called policing "a violent institution that must end" and works to "[divest] from and [dismantle] the systems that unjustly harm Black people."
Soros's contribution could provide a political headache for McAuliffe, who has faced criticism from both GOP opponent Glenn Youngkin and local sheriffs over his ties to the movement to defund the police. After McAuliffe said he was "proud" to receive an endorsement from prominent anti-law enforcement group New Virginia Majority, he faced pushback from Montgomery County sheriff Hank Partin at a September forum. When Partin questioned if McAuliffe supports defunding police, the Democrat asked Partin if he was "out of his mind," an answer the sheriff called "unbelievable."
"I don't care what you believe!" McAuliffe responded.
Hours later, McAuliffe flip-flopped on his pledge to repeal qualified immunity, a legal shield that protects police from most lawsuits while they're on the job. While the Democrat in April pledged to repeal the policy as part of his plan to "increase police accountability," McAuliffe told voters Thursday he "would not end" qualified immunity. For Youngkin, the reversal exemplified "why the law enforcement community doesn't trust" the Democrat.
McAuliffe did not return a request for comment.
In addition to his Color Of Change PAC contributions, Soros has spent more than $2 million backing a trio of liberal prosecutors in Virginia's northern suburbs. The three prosecutors—Fairfax County's Steve Descano, Loudoun County's Buta Biberaj, and Arlington County's Parisa Dehghani-Tafti—now face a recall effort after implementing lenient law enforcement policies, which have coincided with a rise in crime.