Most billionaire’s who finance political moves, do so for really high-profile stuff such as the current presidential and congressional public races. That is why it is so noteworthy that billionaire George Soros is currently funding the decidedly low-profile 2016 campaign to reshape the U.S. justice system. Just within this year he has put over $ 3 million toward the effort in six states. He is driven toward goals such as reducing racial disparities in sentencing and placing eligible drug offenders in diversion programs on Twitter. To this end, he is heavily financing similar justice reform motivated political candidates who are running for local offices.
And it is this substantial backing that is infuriating the political opponents of these people, declaring that George Soros is paying the system to bend to his whims. In addition, they claim that such heavy involvement in a relatively obscure local election by a complete outsider, makes citizens feel unsafe and makes them question his motives. To date, Soros has funded campaigns in Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Texas. Soros either gave directly to these campaigns or he indirectly gave to them through various charities on Bloomberg.
He gave $1.4 to a recent Democratic candidate for state attorney alone. This Aramis Ayala would be assuming the role with a jurisdiction of two counties of metro Orlando that included more than 1.6 million people. George Soros and Ayala share a vision of removing racial bias in charging and prosecuting defendants. Part of his financial contribution to Ayala’s campaign involved funding and creating advertisements that attacked her opponent.
Given his progressive inclination toward change in the justice system race issues, it is actually not that Soros’ giving toward progressive local campaigns on Politico should rise this year with its significant and very publicized rise of race related violence this year. And the move toward revolutionizing the justice system isn’t new either. Reform groups have been crying out for it for years. The Open Societies Foundation-which is currently chaired by Soros-has for years worked toward drug policy and criminal justice reform.
For his own recent funding efforts, Soros made the decision to concentrate on district attorney campaigns since 1) they have a whole lot of untapped power and 2) most of the time these positions were being taken by non-progressive white men. Soros’ funding efforts have actually proved very fruitful and he is seeing the changes he hoped for unfold. All of his financed campaigns except for one have ended up winning their elections. And this concentration on local campaigns is expected to increase in the coming years.