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1 Aug, 2019 21:33

Soros gifts $5.1 million check to Democrats as he enters 2020 funding game

Soros gifts $5.1 million check to Democrats as he enters 2020 funding game

Billionaire financier George Soros has created a super PAC and written a $5.1 million check for Democrats ahead of next year’s election. However, the liberal mega-donor has not revealed which candidate will get his blessing.

Soros spent more than $20 million during the 2016 election, donating more than $9 million to Political Action Committees (PACs) supporting Hillary Clinton, and the rest on committees working to install Democrats in Congress and to boost minority turnout at the polls.

According to records filed with the Federal Election Commission on Wednesday, the 88-year-old billionaire kicked his 2020 efforts off with a deposit of $5.1 million into his own Democracy PAC, more than doubling the $2.1 million he had donated at this point in the 2016 cycle.

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Though no doubt spurred on by a desire to unseat President Donald Trump, Soros has not revealed who among the two dozen Democratic hopefuls his PAC will bestow its wealth on. Speaking to the Washington Post last year, the Hungarian-born investor said he would stay out of the party’s primaries, as playing favorites would “divide the Democratic Party.”

Well known for funding liberal causes around the world, Soros’ fingerprints can also be found on some of the world’s most powerful think tanks, including some with less-than-peaceful aims. Soros funds the neoconservative Center for American Progress and the Atlantic Council - a pro-intervention lobby propped up by a slew of arms manufacturers. The Hungarian investor has also been linked to the “pro-democracy” European group Avaaz, which has advocated for no-fly zones in Libya and agitated for regime change in Venezuela and Iran.

In his broader quest to advance the cause of his brand of liberalism around the world, Soros has also funded Facebook’s third-party ‘fact checking’ partners, to filter forbidden news and views from the platform.

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In Soros’ native Hungary, Viktor Orban’s government has made the billionaire the face of its anti-immigration policies, landing it in trouble with the European Union. Soros has openly called for increased immigration and refugee flows to Europe and castigated Orban’s government for securing its border.

Soros is not the Democratic Party’s largest donor. In recent years billionaire environmental activist Tom Steyer has been the party’s largest bankroller. However, Steyer entered the presidential race himself last month, and with former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg yet to drop his promised $500 million giga-donation, Soros remains the largest donor of the 2020 race so far.

Prior to Soros’ filing, hedge fund manager Donald Sussman was the largest donor of the 2020 cycle, as of April at least. Sussman gave more than $865,300 to Democrats, followed by Dirk Ziff – heir to his father William Bernard Ziff’s publishing fortune – who chipped in $689,200. The largest donation to the Republican party so far is a $618,500 sum given by  investment banker Warren Stephens. 

Donation season has yet to begin in earnest, and cash will likely begin to flow into the 2020 race quicker after next month’s debate in Houston, Texas. In a bid to whittle down a crowded field, the Democratic National Committee has decided that only candidates polling at more than two percent with at least 130,000 unique donors will be allowed to participate. Presently, only seven candidates have announced that they meet this requirement.

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