- Multi-billionaire funder of leftwing causes and groups
- Founder of the Open Society Institute
- Stated that defeating President Bush in the 2004 election "is the central focus of my life"
In 1947 Soros' family relocated from Hungary to England. Five years later, George graduated from the London School of Economics. He subsequently worked for a London stockbroker.
In 1956 Soros, with meager personal assets, emigrated to the United States. He would go on to become one of the world's leading hedge fund investors and currency traders. In 1969 he started his enormously successful Quantum Fund, which, over the ensuing three decades, yielded its long-term investors a four thousand-fold gain on their initial 1969 investments.
In a $10 billion 1992 deal whose success was contingent upon the devaluation of the British Pound, Soros earned himself a $1 billion profit and the title, "the man who broke the Bank of England." To date, he has amassed a personal fortune exceeding $7 billion. In addition, his management company controls billions of dollars more in investor assets.
In 1979 Soros established the Open Society Institute (OSI), which serves as the flagship of a network of Soros foundations that donate tens of millions of dollars each year to a wide array of individuals and organizations that share the founder's agendas. Those agendas can be summarized as follows:
- promoting the view that America is institutionally an oppressive nation
- promoting the election of leftist political candidates throughout the United States
- opposing virtually all post-9/11 national security measures enacted by U.S. government, particularly the Patriot Act
- depicting American military actions as unjust, unwarranted, and immoral
- promoting open borders, mass immigration, and a watering down of current immigration laws
- promoting a dramatic expansion of social welfare programs funded by ever-escalating taxes
- promoting social welfare benefits and amnesty for illegal aliens
- defending the civil rights and liberties of suspected anti-American terrorists and their abetters
- financing the recruitment and training of future activist leaders of the political Left
- advocating America's unilateral disarmament and/or a steep reduction in its military spending
- opposing the death penalty in all circumstances
- promoting socialized medicine in the United States
- promoting the tenets of radical environmentalism, whose ultimate goal, as writer Michael Berliner has explained, is "not clean air and clean water, [but] rather ... the demolition of technological/industrial civilization"
- bringing American foreign policy under the control of the United Nations
- promoting racial and ethnic preferences in academia and the business world alike
- promoting taxpayer-funded abortion-on-demand
- advocating stricter gun-control measures
- advocating the legalization of marijuana
To view a list of many of the more important Soros donees that support the foregoing agendas, click here.
Moreover, there are numerous "secondary" or "indirect" affiliates of the Soros network. These include organizations which do not receive direct funding from Soros and OSI, but which are funded by one or more organizations that do. These secondary affiliates also include groups that work collaboratively or synergistically with Soros-funded entities. To view a list of some of these organizations, click here.
All told, Soros' foundation network made an estimated $5 billion worth of grants between 1979 and 2007.
PBS broadcaster and Schumann Center for Media and Democracy President Bill Moyers is a trustee of the Open Society Institute's Board of Directors.
In 1996 Soros launched the Soros Documentary Fund with a mission to "spur awareness, action and social change." Over the ensuing decade, this Fund would help finance the production of several hundred documentaries. In 2001, the Fund's leadership was turned over to Robert Redford's Sundance Institute with a continuing mission: "to support the production of documentaries on social justice, human rights, civil liberties, and freedom of expression issues around the world."
According to journalist Rondi Adamson, most of the documentaries that that the Fund supports "are highly critical of some aspect of American life, capitalism or Western culture," and generally share Soros' worldview that "America is a troubling if not sinister influence in the world, that the War on Terror is a fraud and terrorists are misunderstood freedom fighters, and that markets are fundamentally unjust." Films which have been produced with the aid of Soros' funding include Soldiers of Conscience (2007), An American Soldier (2008), and My Baghdad Family (in production as of late 2008).
In 1998 Soros was a signatory to a public letter addressed to United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, declaring that "the global war on drugs is now causing more harm than drug abuse itself." The letter blamed the war on drugs for impeding such public health efforts as stemming the spread of HIV, hepatitis, and other infectious diseases, as well as human rights violations and the perpetration of environmental assaults. Other notable signers included Peter Lewis, Tammy Baldwin, Rev. William Sloan Coffin, Jr., Walter Cronkite, Morton H. Halperin, Kweisi Mfume, and Cornel West.
In 2000, Soros was a signatory to a letter titled "Appeal for Responsible Security" that appeared in the New York Times. "We call upon the United States government," said the letter, "to commit itself unequivocally to negotiate the worldwide reduction and elimination of nuclear weapons, in a series of well-defined stages accompanied by increasing verification and control." Other signers included Jimmy Carter, Martin Sheen, Marian Wright Edelman, John Sweeney, and Ted Turner.
Also in 2000, Soros signed a letter addressed to President Bill Clinton, asking him to place a moratorium on federal death penalty executions. The letter maintained that the "death penalty system" was "distorted by bias and arbitrariness." Other signatories included Mary Frances Berry, Julian Bond, Wade Henderson, Jesse Jackson, Norman Lear, Jim Wallis, Robert Reich, and Barbra Streisand.
During the 2000 presidential election season, Soros first experimented with the idea of raising campaign funds through "Section 527" groups. Such organizations are used for raising "soft money" which is not intended for "express advocacy" of any particular candidate, but rather for "voter education," "issue-oriented" political advertising, and other such nebulous enterprises. As such, there are no limits on how much money they may receive from any given donor. In practice, however, 527s can exert -- through public statements, press releases, media citations, research reports, and direct action campaigns -- immense influence on the political views and voting decisions of the American public.
Soros assembled a team of wealthy Democrat donors to help him push two of his pet issues -- gun control and marijuana legalization -- by funneling large amounts of cash to some 527s that were committed to those particular objectives. The financial contributions that Soros and his fellow donors made to these 527s greatly exceeded the sums which campaign finance laws would have permitted them to give to any political candidate, political party, or Political Action Committee (PAC). By funding the 527s, Soros et al were helping them promote messages and worldviews that were consistent with those of leftist politicos; as such, the funders were indirectly but quite substantially helping candidates of the left. In a sense, Soros and his fellow donors effectively laundered their political contributions through Section 527 groups, which were dubbed "stealth PACs" by the media of that time.
Having experienced this success in 2000, Soros moved to exploit the power of 527s on a much larger scale during the 2004 election cycle. Toward that end, he was a key force in the creation of the so-called "Shadow Party" in 2003. This term refers to a nationwide network of unions, non-profit activist groups, and think tanks whose agendas are ideologically to the left, and which are engaged in campaigning for the Democrats. This network's activities include fundraising, get-out-the-vote drives, political advertising, opposition research, and media manipulation.
According to Richard Poe, co-author (with David Horowitz) of the book The Shadow Party:
"The Shadow Party is the real power driving the Democrat machine. It is a network of radicals dedicated to transforming our constitutional republic into a socialist hive. The leader of these radicals is ... George Soros. He has essentially privatized the Democratic Party, bringing it under his personal control. The Shadow Party is the instrument through which he exerts that control.... It works by siphoning off hundreds of millions of dollars in campaign contributions that would have gone to the Democratic Party in normal times, and putting those contributions at the personal disposal of Mr. Soros. He then uses that money to buy influence and loyalty where he sees fit. In 2003, Soros set up a network of privately-owned groups which acts as a shadow or mirror image of the Party. It performs all the functions we would normally expect the real Democratic Party to perform, such as shaping the Party platform, fielding candidates, running campaigns, and so forth. However, it performs these functions under the private supervision of Mr. Soros and his associates. The Shadow Party derives its power from its ability to raise huge sums of money. By controlling the Democrat purse strings, the Shadow Party can make or break any Democrat candidate by deciding whether or not to fund him. During the 2004 election cycle, the Shadow Party raised more than $300 million for Democrat candidates, prompting one of its operatives, MoveOn PAC director Eli Pariser, to declare, 'Now it's our party. We bought it, we own it.…'"
In a November 11, 2003 interview with Laura Blumenfeld of the Washington Post, Soros described how he had jump-started the Shadow Party during the summer of 2002 by summoning a team of political strategists, activists, and Democrat donors to his Southampton beach house in Long Island. The attendees included: Morton H. Halperin (Director of Soros' Open Society Institute); John Podesta (Democrat strategist and former Bill Clinton chief of staff); Jeremy Rosner (Democrat strategist and pollster, and ex-foreign policy speechwriter for Bill Clinton); Robert Boorstin (Democrat strategist and pollster); Carl Pope (America Coming Together co-founder, Democrat strategist, and Sierra Club Executive Director); Steve Rosenthal (Labor leader, CEO of America Coming Together, and former advisor to Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich); Peter Lewis (major Democrat donor and insurance entrepreneur); Rob Glaser (major Democrat donor and Silicon Valley pioneer); Ellen Malcolm (co-founder and President of America Coming Together and founder of Emily's List); Rob McKay (major Democrat donor); and Lewis and Dorothy Cullman (major Democrat donors).
At that meeting, Soros laid out his plan to unseat incumbent President George W. Bush.
Profoundly contemptuous of Bush, Soros blamed the President not only for many of the ills that plagued the United States, but for a host of problems afflicting other nations as well. Speaking at a conference of the Jewish Funders Network in November 2003, for example, Soros said:
"There is a resurgence of anti-Semitism in Europe. The policies of the Bush administration and the [Israeli prime minister Ariel] Sharon administration contribute to that.... I'm critical of those policies.... If we change that direction, then anti-Semitism also will diminish."
Asserting that America needed "a regime change" to oust Bush, Soros declared that derailing the President's reelection bid in 2004 "is the central focus of my life ... a matter of life and death." "America under Bush," he said, "is a danger to the world, and I'm willing to put my money where my mouth is."
Soros had previously experienced considerable success in effecting "regime change" elsewhere in the world. For instance, he helped fund the 1989 "Velvet Revolution" that brought Vaclav Havel to power in the Czech Republic. And by his own admission, he helped engineer coups in Slovakia, Croatia, Georgia, and Yugoslavia.
When Soros targets a country for "regime change," he begins by creating a shadow government -- a fully formed government-in-exile, ready to assume power when the opportunity arises. The Shadow Party he has built in America greatly resembles those he has created in other countries prior to instigating a coup.
Claiming that "the Republican party has been captured by a bunch of extremists," Soros accused the Bush administration of following a "supremacist ideology" in whose rhetoric he claimed to hear echoes from his childhood in occupied Hungary. "When I hear Bush say, 'You're either with us or against us,'" Soros explained, "it reminds me of the Germans. It conjures up memories of Nazi slogans on the walls, Der Feind Hort mit (The enemy is listening). My experiences under Nazi and Soviet rule have sensitized me."
Soros likened Republicans generally, and the Bush administration in particular, to "the Nazi and communist regimes" in the sense that they are "all engaged in the politics of fear." "Indeed," he wrote in 2006, "the Bush administration has been able to improve on the techniques used by the Nazi and Communist propaganda machines by drawing on the innovations of the advertising and marketing industries." Soros would elaborate on this theme at the January 2007 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where he told reporters: "America needs to ... go through a certain de-Nazification process."
In 2004 Soros spent some $26 million of his own money in an effort to drive Bush from office. That sum included a $5 million donation to MoveOn.org, a $10 million grant to a Democratic Party 2004 get-out-the-vote initiative called America Coming Together, and $3 million to the Center for American Progress (CAP), a think-tank headed by former Clinton chief-of-staff John Podesta. (Soros himself was instrumental in establishing CAP in 2003 as "a nonpartisan research and educational institute" aimed at "developing a long-term vision of a progressive America.")
Though Soros and his Shadow Party failed to bring about "regime change" in 2004, the vast network of interrelated Shadow Party groups would prove to be key players in the 2006 midterm elections that saw Democrats seize control of Congress. Of particular significance was Democracy Alliance, a non-tax-exempt nonprofit entity registered in the District of Columbia, which Soros had founded in 2005, and whose long-term objective was to develop a funding clearinghouse for leftist groups.
In 2008, Soros' Shadow Party was again a major force in the movement that not only expanded the Democratic Party's congressional majorities, but also delivered the presidency to Barack Obama.
Soros' ties to Obama date back to 2004, when the multi-billionaire hosted a fundraiser for Obama during the latter's 2004 campaign for the U.S. Senate. In December of 2006, as Obama contemplated making a run for the presidency in 2008, Soros met in his New York office with the Illinois senator. Then, on January 16, 2007, Obama announced the creation of a presidential exploratory committee. Within hours, Soros sent the senator a contribution of $2,100, the maximum amount allowable under campaign finance laws. Later that week, the New York Daily News reported that Soros would back Obama over the Democrat he had previously favored for the presidency, Hillary Clinton. Soros averred, however, that he would support Mrs. Clinton if she (rather than Obama) were ultimately to win the Democratic Party's nomination.
In 2008, Obama announced that upon his election to the office of President, he would create a "Social Investment Fund Network," which would provide federal money to "social entrepreneurs and leading nonprofit organizations [that] are assisting schools, lifting families out of poverty, filling health care gaps, and inspiring others to lead change in their own communities." According to columnist Michelle Malkin, "this Barack Obama brainchild would serve as a permanent, taxpayer-backed pipeline to Democratic partisan outfits masquerading as public-interest do-gooders," and would serve as a "George Soros Slush Fund" by continuing to bolster numerous Soros-founded and funded organizations.
Soros has been a vocal critic of America's military endeavors and foreign policies in recent years. He also has rejected the very notion that a war on terror needs to be fought. In August 2006 he wrote a Wall Street Journal piece titled "A Self-Defeating War," whose premise was that "the war on terror is a false metaphor that has led to counterproductive and self-defeating policies." "Five years after 9/11," Soros elaborated, "a misleading figure of speech applied literally has unleashed a real war fought on several fronts -- Iraq, Gaza, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Somalia -- a war that has killed thousands of innocent civilians and enraged millions around the world. Yet al Qaeda has not been subdued."
According to Soros:
"[T]errorism is an abstraction. It lumps together all political movements that use terrorist tactics. Al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, the Sunni insurrection and the Mahdi army in Iraq are very different forces, but President Bush's global war on terror prevents us from differentiating between them and dealing with them accordingly. It inhibits much-needed negotiations with Iran and Syria because they are states that support terrorist groups.... The war on terror emphasizes military action while most territorial conflicts require political solutions.... [It] drives a wedge between 'us' and 'them.' We are [supposedly] innocent victims. They are [supposedly] perpetrators. But we fail to notice that we also become perpetrators in the process; the rest of the world, however, does notice. That is how such a wide gap has arisen between America and much of the world. Taken together, these ... factors ensure that the war on terror cannot be won. An endless war waged against an unseen enemy is doing great damage to our power and prestige abroad and to our open society at home."
In the April 12, 2007 issue of the New York Review of Books, Soros penned an article titled "On Israel, America and AIPAC," wherein he derided the Bush administration for "committing a major policy blunder in the Middle East" by "supporting the Israeli government in its refusal to recognize a Palestinian unity government that includes Hamas, which the U.S. State Department considers a terrorist organization." In Soros' calculus, "This precludes any progress toward a peace settlement at a time when progress on the Palestinian problem could help avert a conflagration in the greater Middle East." Added Soros:
"Israel, "with the strong backing of the United States, refused to recognize the democratically elected Hamas government and withheld payment of the millions in taxes collected by the Israelis on its behalf. This caused great economic hardship and undermined the ability of the government to function. But it did not reduce popular support for Hamas among Palestinians, and it reinforced the position of Islamic and other extremists who oppose negotiations with Israel.… [Hamas] was not willing to go so far as to recognize the existence of Israel but it was prepared to enter into a government of national unity which would have abided by the existing agreements with Israel.… But both Israel and the United States seem to be frozen in their unwillingness to negotiate with a Palestinian Authority that includes Hamas. The sticking point is Hamas's unwillingness to recognize the existence of Israel; but that [recognition] could be made a condition for an eventual settlement rather than a precondition for negotiations.… The current policy of not seeking a political solution but pursuing military escalation—not just an eye for an eye but roughly speaking ten Palestinian lives for every Israeli one—has reached a particularly dangerous point."
In a November 2008 interview with Spiegel, Soros made some comments that accurately outlined precisely the course that President Obama's administration would eventually pursue in 2009:
"I think we need a large stimulus package which will provide funds for state and local government to maintain their budgets -- because they are not allowed by the constitution to run a deficit. For such a program to be successful, the federal government would need to provide hundreds of billions of dollars. In addition, another infrastructure program is necessary. In total, the cost would be in the 300 to 600 billion dollar range [in addition to the $700 billion bailout which the government already had given to the financial industry]…. I think this is a great opportunity to finally deal with global warming and energy dependence. The U.S. needs a cap and trade system with auctioning of licenses for emissions rights. I would use the revenues from these auctions to launch a new, environmentally friendly energy policy. That would be yet another federal program that could help us to overcome the current stagnation."
The interviewer then said: "Your proposal would be dismissed on Wall Street as 'big government.' Republicans might call it European-style 'socialism.'" Soros replied:
"That is exactly what we need now. I am against market fundamentalism. I think this propaganda that government involvement is always bad has been very successful -- but also very harmful to our society…. I think it is better to have a government that wants to provide good government than a government that doesn't believe in government…. At times of recession, running a budget deficit is highly desirable. Once the economy begins to recover, you have to balance the budget. In 2010, the Bush tax cuts will expire and we should not extend them. But we will also need additional revenues."
Apart from the more than $5 billion that Soros' foundation network has donated to leftist groups like those listed here, Soros personally has made campaign contributions to such notable political candidates as Charles Rangel, Al Franken, Tom Udall, Joe Sestak, Sherrod Brown, Harry Reid, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Barbara Boxer, Ken Salazar, Patrick Leahy, John Kerry, Charles Schumer, Howard Dean, Bill Clinton, Tom Harkin, Jon Corzine, Joe Biden, Richard Durbin, Lane Evans, Dennis Kucinich, Maurice Hinchey, and Al Gore. He also has given large sums of money to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and the Democratic National Committee Services Corporation.
In October 2010, Soros announced that he was donating $1 million to Media Matters for America, which would use the money to hold “Fox [News] host Glenn Beck and others on the cable news channel accountable for their reporting.”
Also in October 2010, journalist Matthew Vadum reported that Soros was "bankrolling a documentary that celebrates left-wing terrorists who plotted to napalm Republicans at the 2008 GOP convention in Minnesota." A trailer for the film, titled Better This World, suggested that the terrorists in question -- David Guy McKay and Bradley Neil Crowder -- were merely idealistic activists who “set out to prove the strength of their political convictions to themselves and their mentor.”