While the high-profile politicians on the left receive most of the attention, people tend to forget that they are only able to push their agenda if they've got the money to do so. One of the major sources for that money: radical leftist billionaire George Soros, who is single-handedly funding many of the left's progressive projects. Here are nine things you need to know about him.
1. Soros is a convicted felon. Soros was convicted of insider trading in France in 2002, a court determining that he had "acted with the knowledge that the bank might be a takeover target," according to Bloomberg. The court ordered Soros to pay 2.2 million euros, or $2.9 million, in restitution.
2. Soros comes from an anti-Semitic Jewish family and was a Nazi collaborator. "My mother was quite anti-Semitic, and ashamed of being Jewish," Soros said in an interview with CBS' 60 Minutes. "Given the culture in which one lived, being Jewish was a clear-cut stigma, disadvantage, a handicap-and, therefore, there was always the desire to transcend it, to escape it."
Soros later said in the interview that he did not feel any remorse "about confiscating property from Jews as a teenager."
"I don’t deny the Jews their right to a national existence–but I don’t want to be part of it," Soros said.
Soros is a rabid anti-Israel advocate, and has compared Israel to the Nazis.
3. Soros basically funds the leftist mainstream media. The Media Research Center chronicled back in 2011 how Soros has ties to over 30 news outlets in the mainstream media. For instance, at the time of the MRC report, the Soros-funded Pro-Publica's Journalism Advisory Board featured the following journalists:
- Jill Abramson - New executive editor of The New York Times;
- Kerry Smith - The senior vice president for editorial quality of ABC News;
- Cynthia A. Tucker - The editor of the editorial page of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The following members of the media have also been on the boards or advisory boards of Soros groups as well:
- Christiane Amanpour - Anchor of ABC's Sunday morning political affairs program, ''This Week with Christiane Amanpour.'' A reliable lefty, she has called tax cuts ''giveaways,'' the Tea Party ''extreme,'' and Obama ''very Reaganesque;''
- Matt Thompson - Editorial product manager at National Public Radio and an adjunct faculty member at the prominent Poynter Institute.
- Ben Sherwood - ABC News president and former ''Good Morning America'' executive producer;
- Kathleen Hall Jamieson - Author and the Walter H. Annenberg Dean of the Annenberg School for Communication of the University of Pennsylvania;
- Michele Norris - Host of NPR's newsmagazine ''All Things Considered,'' public radio's longest-running national program.
- Phil Bronstein, director of content development and editor-at-large for Hearst Newspapers;
- David Boardman, The Seattle Times;
- Len Downie, former Executive Editor of the Washington Post, now VP;
- George Osterkamp, CBS News producer.
Amanpour is now the CNN's chief international correspondent and host of Amanpour. Thompson is now the deputy editor of The Atlantic, Norris now works for the The Race Card Project. Bronstein has since left Hearst for a bigger role at Soros-funded Center for Investigative Reporting, and Boardman is now the Dean of the School of Media and Communication at Temple University.
Additionally, the CRI lists The Washington Post, Salon, CNN and ABC News as "media partners."
Soros also funds the Clinton-allied Media Matters organization, which numerous media outlets – including The Los Angeles Times and The New York Times – have used for content.
4. Soros created a "Shadow Party" of leftist organizations that basically have control of the Democrat Party. According to Discover the Networks, the McCain-Feingold law allowed for organizations called "527 committees," defined as independent groups that could produce "issue-oriented ads, voter-education initiatives, get-out-the-vote drives, and other 'party-building' activities'" that moved the Democrat Party further to the left. Some of these organizations included MoveOn.org and Center for American Progress.
5. Soros is bankrolling Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. Investor's Business Daily reports that Soros gave $9 million to pro-Clinton Super PACs and "was able to dictate State Department policy in Albania." Soros also recently had dinner with Clinton's vice-president, Tim Kaine.
6. Soros is connected with Donald Trump. Soros funded the building of Trump International Hotel & Tower in Chicago to the tune $160 million. In fact, the two had a cozy relationship at one point, according to The Daily Beast.
In 2011, Trump even told conservatives to "forget Soros, leave him alone, he’s got enough problems."
While Soros is committed to defeating Trump, he did help prop up Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R-OH) in the primary, siphoning off votes from Sen. Ted Cruz and paving the way for Trump to win. It's not outside of the realm of possibility that Soros, believing his old buddy Trump wouldn't stand a chance against Clinton, made sure that he would be the nominee over Cruz.
7. Soros' Open Society Foundation says that Europe's refugee crisis should be viewed as the "new normal." A leaked memo from OSF states the following, via The Daily Caller:
“Accepting the current crisis as the new normal and moving beyond the need to react.”
“Observing our partners as they respond and adjust to the new reality in light of the crisis in Europe and the Mediterranean, we see little attention given to long-term planning or fundamentally new approaches to advocacy.” The conclusion also stresses the need to fight back against “growing intolerance toward migrants.”
For more on why the West shouldn't be accepting Syrian refugees, read this.
8. Soros funds Black Lives Matter groups. According to a Washington Times analysis of the Soros-funded OSF's tax returns, the organization gave at least $33 million to BLM groups in one year. The Daily Beast attempted to cover for Soros, but their story was based on OSF simply denying they fund BLM and trying to claim that it would be impossible to track the $33 million.
9. Soros' funding has a tendency to benefit himself. The Washington Free Beacon reports:
While Soros has increased his multi-million dollar investments in both U.S. and foreign companies that extract shale oil and gas, the Obama administration has championed natural gas as a less carbon-intensive bridge fuel toward a “clean-energy future.” The administration’s proposal to offer incentives to companies that use trucks powered by natural gas would benefit Westport Innovations, a company that converts diesel engines for natural gas use and is partially owned by Soros’ hedge fund.
Soros’ political advocacy also tends to blend with his investments. He proposed in 2009 that developed countries create a “green fund” to combat climate change in developing countries by directing billions from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) toward forestry, land-use, and agricultural projects. Soros’ fund controls more than a $200 million stake in Adecoagro, a Luxembourg-based company that owns hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland in South America and would benefit from the IMF cash infusion.
For more on Soros, read Michael Qazvini's piece here.