Soros Pours $5.1 Million Into New 2020 PAC

Soros's Democracy PAC launched in January; also pushed $1.1M into Justice & Public Safety PAC  

George Soros / Getty Images
August 1, 2019

Liberal billionaire George Soros poured $5.1 million into a new political action committee that was quietly established earlier this year for the 2020 election cycle, filings show.

In early January, a statement of organization was filed to the Federal Election Commission to establish the Democracy PAC. The filing for the PAC listed Michael Vachon, Soros's spokesperson, as the PAC's treasurer.

Now, new semi-annual filings reveal that the financier pushed $100,000 into the Democracy PAC on Feb. 13 and $5,000,000 more into the committee on June 2. Soros is the only donor to the PAC as of June 30. During the first half of the year, the Democracy PAC disbursed $6,620.17 to the Perkins Coie law firm and $600 to NGP Van, a voter database and consulting company.

An individual familiar with the PAC told Politico Wednesday evening that Soros plans to use the entity to fund other liberal groups and organizations. "He has, unlike Tom Steyer or [Michael] Bloomberg, funded things like Senate Majority PAC and Priorities USA and EMILY's List and Planned Parenthood and expects to continue to do so," the source told the publication.

Michael Vachon, Soros's spokesman, did not respond to an inquiry on the PAC by press time.

This marks the first time the billionaire has made large-scale moves for the 2020 election cycle after so far only providing maxed out contributions to Reps. Tom Malinowski (D., N.J) and Pramila Jayapal (D., Wash.). A $2,800 contribution was also given to Sen. Jeanne Shaheen's (D., N.H.) campaign.

Soros, however, also cut hefty checks to a PAC that is primarily used to fund efforts where far-left district attorney candidates he backs are seeking office.

Soros deposited $110,000 into the Justice & Public Safety PAC on Feb. 2, according to its mid-year filings. The financier pushed another $975,000 into the PAC's coffers on April 17.

The Justice & Public Safety PAC's largest expenditure throughout the first half of the year was $190,000 to Parisa Dehghani-Tafti, who at the time was a candidate for Arlington County commonwealth's attorney. Tafti ultimately defeated Theo Stamos, the incumbent Democratic prosecutor, by just under 3 points.

Soros also supported Steve Descano, a candidate for Fairfax County commonwealth's attorney, who beat incumbent Democrat Ray Morrogh by just over 2 percentage points. Soros spent more than $1 million backing Tafti and Descana.

The Justice & Public Safety PAC disbursed $70,000 on June 20 to the New York Working Families Party, who was working to elect Tiffany Cabán, a candidate in the Democratic primary for Queens district attorney.

Cabán, who received help from the Democratic Socialists of America and was endorsed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D.,N.Y.), declared victory following the June election. Ocasio-Cortez also took a victory lap on Twitter.

Following a recount, which concluded this week, Cabán was declared the loser of the race.

Additionally, Soros's Justice & Public Safety PAC donated $75,000 to New Virginia Majority, a group that organizes "within Latinx, African American, Asian American Pacific Islander, and youth communities, centering the leadership and demands of working class women of color." The civic engagement and issue advocacy group claims to have registered more than 200,000 Virginia voters and knocked on more than 1 million doors since 2015.

New filings also show Soros directly contributed $55,000 in April to the Youth Progressive Action Catalyst PAC, a youth-led group that connects young people directly to progressive candidates and campaigns. Soros donated $50,000 in May to the United for Progress PAC, whose primary purpose is to "build community-based political power and influence in the growing Puerto Rican and Latino constituencies in Florida."