03/27/17

A Closer Look – George Soros

Hedge fund billionaire, George Soros, is well-known for his leftist political activism around the globe, but you might be surprised to learn that he was one of the top political donors in Texas in the 2016 election cycle. Mr. Soros made no political donations in Texas during the primary season, but catapulted himself into the top ten individual donors during the general election by giving $1,456,600.oo. He is the only avowed Democrat in the top ten and the only non-Texan on the list.

Here’s an overview of Mr. Soros’ giving in the last election cycle:

George Soros – A Closer Look
Total Donations $1,456,600
Total Number of Donations 10
Average Donation Amount $145,660
Donations to Republicans $0
Donations to Democrats $0
Donations to Texas House Candidates $0
Percentage of Donations to Texas House Candidates 0%
Donations to Texas Senate Candidates $0
Percentage of Donations to Texas Senate Candidates 0%
Donations to Statewide Candidates $0
Percentage of Donations to Statewide Candidates 0%
Donations to Advocacy Groups $1,456,600
Percentage of Donations to Advocacy Groups 100%

Key takeaways from Mr. Soro’s giving:

  1. Donating to elect a new District Attorney in Houston.
    100% of the money given by Mr. Soros in the last election cycle in Texas went to one political action committee, Texas Safety and Justice PAC. This advocacy group is part of a network of state and federal Super PACs as well as a national 527 group, all using the moniker “Safety and Justice” and all funded by Mr. Soros. These groups have a strategy to reform criminal justice and end deportations by electing like-minded district attorneys in key jurisdictions. Texas Safety and Justice donated more than half a million dollars to help oust Republican District Attorney Devon Anderson and replace her with Democrat D.A. Kim Ogg in Harris County, home to Houston, Texas’ largest city.
  2. Seeking to shutter private prisons.
    Another overriding mission of the network of Safety and Justice Super PACs is to close all private prisons. Texas would be a prime target because the conservative criminal justice advocacy group, Right on Crime, based at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, has advocated for and succeeded in making Texas a leader in outsourcing the construction and management of prisons to private companies.
  3. Biggest donor to the Texas Democrat Party via his Super PAC.
    During the 2016 cycle Mr. Soros was the biggest donor to the Texas Democrat Party, with gifts totaling $326,260.00 coming via the Texas Safety and Justice PAC. This was, no doubt, a not-so-subtle reminder to Texas Democrats that they should uphold their party platform plank to close private prisons and follow through on other Soros priorities.

Most interesting donation:

The most interesting thing about Mr. Soros’ donations is not the who but the where and the why. At first glance it seems odd that a Hungarian-born New York hedge fund manager would be one of Texas’ top political players and the top donor to the Texas Democrat Party. On further reflection, it makes perfect sense. Texas is a conservative leader on all fronts – particularly those Mr. Soros cares about deeply, including criminal justice reform, deportation of illegal aliens, and privatization of prisons, not to mention that Texas’ electoral college votes are the lynchpin to any Republican presidential victory. After all, “As Texas goes, so goes the nation.”

 

Our A Closer Look series provides a breakdown of a particular donor’s giving habits within Texas politics. We specifically analyze to whom money is given and when, providing context so citizens can determine the motivation behind the donor’s giving. Stay tuned for the next installment.

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