Dr. Kenneth Wright — a California Republican running for U.S. Congress next year — has been crying wolf about George Soros, making several unsubstantiated claims that the billionaire philanthropist “funds” his Democrat opponent, Rep. Ted Lieu, who currently represents the 33rd District. The baseless accusations began last week and have spread rapidly on social media after many of Wright’s GOP followers amplified his assertions, unknowingly reducing themselves to conspiracy enthusiasts.
There are plenty of valid reasons to malign Congressman Lieu. He has attempted to make Americans lose faith in our democratic process. He has encouraged leaks to undermine the Trump administration. His general disloyal, childish behavior has debased the legislative branch overall. But there has been no evidence presented to suggest Lieu “took money from Soros,” as repeatedly alleged by Dr. Wright.
“Congressman Ted Lieu receives funds from Soros,” Wright, a pediatric eye surgeon, first tweeted on August 27. “Disgraceful.”
Not from George Soros, or his international grantmaking network, or even one of his companies.
The trivial $2500 offering came from a lone employee, of a former hedge fund, which had Soros’ name on it.
If Dr. Wright had more expertise in navigating the website to which he linked, he would know that the one-time donation came from a portfolio manager named Joshua Donfeld — more than 18 months ago. He parted ways with Soros’ organization last year after a disagreement with its chief investment officer over the future of global markets. In May, Donfeld made a $10,000 donation to the National Republican Congressional Committee. He’s also given thousands to Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), as well as House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis).
Meanwhile, more than 200 accounts retweeted Wright’s proclamation that Lieu “receives Soros money.”
Still, many conservatives and Republicans desperate to replace Lieu are playing along, presumably unaware that Wright’s Soros tweets are bunk, such as the fake quote he posted portraying African-Americans as “the easiest to manipulate.”
Although Dr. Wright appears to be picking up popularity points by promoting Soros as the progressive boogeyman, he’s just crying wolf with no valid proof to back up his claims – making fools of his Party, supporters, and those exposing the real, Soros-funded meddling running rampant throughout California.
Follow Jeffrey Cawood on Twitter @Near_Chaos.