Liberal billionaire George Soros has flooded Democratic PACs and campaigns with $50 million this election cycle, shattering his personal record by tens of millions with four months to go before the elections.
Soros ramped up his political spending this cycle through the Democracy PAC, which he created last year to pump large sums into the coffers of other left-wing groups. New filings to the Federal Election Commission show the PAC doled out nearly $17 million last quarter, bringing its total cash disbursements this cycle to $48 million. Soros gave another $4 million directly to Democratic campaigns and committees without first depositing the money into his PAC. The $52 million cash influx is more than double Soros's previous high of $22 million, which came during the last presidential election.
Democratic candidates benefiting from Soros's cash have railed against the influence of money in politics. Joe Biden's government reform plan includes a promise to "reduce the corrupting influence of money in politics." The presidential candidate's website says, "We could improve our politics overnight if we flushed big money from the system and had public financing of our elections.... Democracy works best when a big bank account or a large donor list are not prerequisites for office."
Such rhetoric from Soros-backed candidates has drawn criticism from the right. "While Democrats across the country sanctimoniously rail against the influence of dark money in politics, their party’s largest donors are bankrolling a massive web of liberal organizations to get them elected," one GOP operative told the Washington Free Beacon earlier this month. "George Soros's unprecedented spending further highlights just how dependent Democrats are on contributions from billionaires, despite their hypocritical rhetoric."
Soros is one of several Democratic megadonors who opened their checkbooks last month to provide large sums to outfits backing Biden and hammering Republicans. The Biden Victory Fund in particular has benefited from a windfall of cash. It pulled in a whopping $83 million thanks to the Democratic Party's wealthiest donors, including Soros, who donated $500,000.
The liberal billionaire is taking steps to obscure his election spending this cycle. In the past, he made donations to groups directly in his own name. This cycle, he has operated primarily by transferring tens of millions from the Fund for Policy Reform, a $750 million nonprofit in his sprawling Open Society Foundation network, into Democracy PAC. The PAC then disburses it to other Democratic PACs and committees. This arrangement allows Soros to keep his name from the top of donor lists. His $50 million in contributions makes him the largest donor of the 2020 cycle, though only $8 million is coming directly from him.
Soros has said he views the 2020 elections as especially important. Earlier this year during a speech at the World Economic Forum, the 89-year-old billionaire said the "fate of the world" is at stake and referred to Trump as a "con man" and "authoritarian" who is "willing to sacrifice the national interests for his personal interests."
Democracy PAC has provided financial backing to dozens of liberal PACs and state-level politicians. This past quarter, its donations ranged from $90,000 to $2 million. Some of the largest donations went to the Nancy Pelosi-linked House Majority PAC ($2 million), Chuck Schumer-tied Senate Majority PAC ($1.5 million), Planned Parenthood Votes ($625,000), and the dark money group Sixteen Thirty Fund ($1 million).
Soros’s $4 million in direct donations includes hundreds of thousands each to the DNC-led Democratic Grassroots Victory Fund, the Nancy Pelosi Victory Fund, and the Biden Victory Fund.
The liberal billionaire has also increased his lobbying expenditures. The Open Society Policy Center, his D.C.-based lobbying shop, spent $48 million in 2019—a personal record for Soros. This amount was more than corporate giants such as Amazon, Facebook, Boeing, and Google's parent company, Alphabet spent. The group finished the year as the country's second-largest lobbying spender.
Soros's spokesperson did not return a request for comment on the election donations by press time.
Published under: 2020 Election , Democratic Donors , George Soros