States it can be difficult, even for mega donors like George Soros, to truly understand how much influence is being "bought." That's why Soros is pursuing a new strategy to dump millions into the campaigns of local district attorneys, a position which "exercises the greatest discretion and power in the system." So far, Soros has funneled $3 million into seven local DA races over the past year but his support is "expected to intensify in the next few years, thanks to longer-term planning and candidate recruitment." In general, Soros looks to fund progressive DAs running on platforms to "reduce racial disparity in sentencing" and support prison "diversion programs" for drug offenders instead of trials that could result in jail time.
And now it appears, as Politico's Scott Bland reports, Soros' efforts to "reshape the American justice system" are acceleratingas the billionaire has contributed $2 million to a group working to defeat Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Arizona,the latest target of Soros’ big spending in local law enforcement campaigns over the past year.
The Soros-funded PAC, Maricopa Strong, will file campaign finance documents Friday showing Soros’ multi-million dollar investment against Arpaio, along with $500,000 from Texas energy billionaires Laura and John Arnold and $250,000 from Laurene Powell Jobs (the widow of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs). The group had previously reported a $300,000 donation from Soros, one of the Democratic Party’s biggest donors.
Soros has spent millions in 2015 and 2016 funding campaigns to defeat local prosecutors around the country and elect new ones who back criminal justice reform measures. Soros-backed groups are currently spending big in three big-city district attorney races: Houston’s Harris County, where Soros has contributed over $1 million, according to local campaign finance filings; Gilpin and Jefferson counties outside Denver, where Soros has given about $1.5 million to unseat an incumbent; and Phoenix’s Maricopa County, where a Soros-funded PAC has also spent over $1 million against the Republican district attorney, Bill Montgomery.
Read more here...