George Soros is a world-renowned businessman, philanthropist, and political activist. George Soros is considered to be one of the 30 wealthiest people in the world, as well as a very influential actor in liberal politics.
George Soros has long been an activist in the political world, speaking out and fundraising for progressive political candidates. This 2016 election year was no exception, as Soros was actively involved in contributing to candidates and speaking out on their behalf. In 2016 alone, Soros committed or donated $25 million to Hillary Clinton and other Democratic candidates. Soros had somewhat scaled back his giving since the 2004 presidential election, but felt that the stakes were too high in the 2016 election, so got behind Clinton in a powerful way. Soros, who has known Clinton for over 25 years, donated to a number of super PACs supporting Clinton, including Priorities USA Action, American Bridge 21st Century, and Immigrant Voters Win, among others.
Following the election of Donald Trump, Soros and other liberal donors gathered in Washington for a conference on devising ways to fight Donald Trump. The meeting was sponsored by the Democracy Alliance donor club, and was attended by a range of liberal leaders, including Nancy Pelosi, Elizabeth Warren, and Keith Ellison. At this meeting, Soros participated in a “conversation with George Soros” session, during which he discussed his experiences living through the Holocaust and communism in the Soviet Union.
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Soros was born in Hungary and lived there as a Jew during the Nazi occupation. As a result of this experience, George Soros has spent much of his career working to promote open societies, even founding the “Open Society Institute,” which financially supports civil society groups around the world that focus on advancing justice, education, public health and independent media. The dialogue with Soros at this closed-door meeting was intended to discuss these open societies and how the freedoms these open societies enjoy are now being threatened in the United States, according to Soros.
In addition to helping the Clinton campaign, George Soros also used is influence in other political races this year. For example, he gave $2 million to one group’s effort to defeat Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a conservative. This was his largest donation this year to a local race, and his first donation in a race for a sheriff’s seat. Soros got involved in this race because of the implications it would have on immigration reform, as well as criminal justice reform.
Soros also gave millions of dollars to local prosecutor races throughout the country, in hopes of electing new prosecutors who support criminal justice reforms. For example, he gave over $1 million for a district attorney race in Houston’s Harris County. He also gave $1.5 million to unseat a sitting district attorney outside of Denver. Additionally, he spent over $1 million against a Republican district attorney in Arizona.
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