PINE BLUFFS - Overshadowed recently by reports of the resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez, that two years after Hurricane Katrina the flow of federal dollars to the Gulf Coast exceeds the entire sum spent on the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe after WWII, and that Virginia Tech could have saved lives if campus authorities had immediately circulated a warning, was news that threatened to deal another blow to already tarnished efforts by Democrats to position themselves as “Mr. Clean” for the 2008 elections.
From the Associated Press (AP), came news that the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) has levied a $750 thousand dollar penalty against America Coming Together (ACT), an independent political group allied with Democrats and heavily financed by billionaire George Soros. It’s the third largest civil penalty ever assessed by the FEC.
What did America Coming Together do to deserve such a massive fine? According to AP reporter Jim Kuhnhenn (FEC Fines Political Group from 2004 Race, 8/30/07): “The outfit was formed in 2003 by liberal and union-related activists as a response to the voter mobilization efforts of the Bush-Cheney campaign. It raised $137 million, much of it from George Soros and the Service Employees International Union. The money was split between a political action committee, which could spend on federal candidates, and a separate organization set up under IRS rules, which could raise unrestricted funds.”
ACT was one of many 527 committees designed to support Democrat candidates in the 2004 Presidential election. Democracy 21, the Campaign Legal Center, and the Center for Responsive Politics, three independent citizen watchdog groups, filed a complaint with the FEC in January 2004 challenging three 527 outfits as illegal schemes to circumvent the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA), by tossing millions of dollars of soft money into the campaign ̶ money raised outside federal limits to improperly influence the 2004 election. The other respondents were the Leadership Forum and the Media Fund. In its complaint, Democracy 21 alleged: “We do not want to see the Federal Elections Commission again license the injection of massive amounts of soft money into federal campaigns; this time not through the political parties but through section 527 groups whose major purpose, in fact whose overriding purpose is to influence federal elections.”
Siding with the watchdog organizations, the FEC found that ACT inappropriately used funds collected outside federal election limits to help federal candidates. ACT had claimed that $70 million in expenses during the 2004 election was spent on voter drives which could be financed by soft money. But the FEC investigation found that ACT spent the funds on “clearly identified federal candidates in a manner that could [legally] only be paid for with federal funds.”
What Mr. Kuhnhenn and the AP did not report is that ACT had been created by Democrat Socialist hedge fund investor George Soros in August 2003, when he declared war against George W. Bush, Capitalism, and the Republican Party. At the time, Soros stated that he would give $10 million to ACT to ensure that Mr. Bush was not re-elected. Soros’s initial announcement declared that the PAC would be named America Coming Together and it would campaign actively in 17 states.
According to an article by a Washington Post staff writer (Financier Contributes $5 Million More in Effort to Oust President, 11/11/03): “Soros’s contributions are filling a gap in Democratic Party finances that opened after the restrictions in the 2002 McCain-Feingold law took effect. In the past, political parties paid a large share of television and get-out-the-vote costs with unregulated ‘soft money’ contributions from corporations, unions and rich individuals. The parties are now barred from accepting such money. But non-party groups in both camps are stepping in, accepting soft money and taking over voter mobilization.”
And a piece in that same Washington Post a few months later (3/10/04): “The Democratic 527 organizations have drawn support from some wealthy liberals determined to defeat Bush. They include financier George Soros and his wife, Susan Weber Soros, who gave $5 million to ACT and $1.46 million to MoveOn.org; Peter B. Lewis, CEO of the Progressive Corp., who gave $3 million to ACT and $500 thousand to MoveOn.org., and Linda Pritzker of the Hyatt Hotel family, and her Sustainable World Corp., who gave $4 million to the joint fundraising committee.”
When announcing a grant of $5 million from the Soros Fund Management, LLC, and $43 million from the Joint Victory Campaign 2004, to ACT, Soros said, “The fate of the world depends on the United States, and President Bush is leading us in the wrong direction. ACT is an effective way to mobilize civil society, to convince people to go to the polls and vote for candidates who will reassert the values of the greatest open society in the world.”
By now most Americans have heard of George Soros ̶ multi-billionaire funder of left wing causes and self-styled enemy of President Bush ̶ who, in a November 2003 interview with the Washington Post, declared that defeating Mr. Bush in that election was “the central focus of my life.”
Well, he didn’t accomplish his goal. But apparently his life has not lost its newest self-proclaimed “central focus.” Soros and his foundations have contributed money to numerous left wing organizations since then. The Tides Foundation, the Tides Center, the National Organization for Women, Feminist Majority, the American Civil Liberties Union, People for the American Way, Alliance for Justice, NARAL Pro-Choice America, the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, the National Lawyers Guild, MoveOn.org, Planned Parenthood, and Catholics for a Free Choice are just a few.
Although he’s famous for his association with radical liberals and left wingers, most of us know little about him. Who exactly is this global financier who has said: “America needs a regime change to oust President Bush,” and that he would “gladly have traded his entire fortune in exchange for a Bush defeat in 2004”?
Let’s first check out his website, GeorgeSoros.com. There it’s stated that he “is Chairman of Soros Fund Management, LLC and founder of the Open Society Institute. Born in Budapest in 1930, he survived the Nazi occupation and then fled communist Hungary for England, where he graduated from the London School of Economics. He then settled in the United States and accumulated a large fortune through the investment advisory firm he founded and managed. Mr. Soros has been active as a philanthropist since 1979. He has established a network of philanthropic organizations that are now active in more than 50 countries . . .”
This description brings to mind the fictional Spectre, an evil international organization of James Bond movie fame, which tried to gain control of the world.
Soros arrived in the United States in 1956 at the age of 26, with very little money, but a highly developed knowledge of investing acquired at the London School of Economics. He supported himself as a stock trader and analyst, until, according to his website, “he adapted [an English philosopher Karl] Popper’s ideas [on open societies] to develop his own ‘theory of reflexivity,’ a set of ideas that seeks to explain the relationship between thought and reality, which he used to predict, among other things, the emergence of financial bubbles. Soros began to apply his theory to investing . . . In 1967 he helped establish an offshore investment fund; and in 1973 he set up a private investment firm that eventually evolved into the Quantum Fund, one of the first hedge funds, through which he accumulated a vast fortune.”
Indeed he did. In the following thirty years, the Quantum Fund yielded its long-term investors a four thousand fold increase on their initial investment.
However, during his career Soros has initiated several extremely risky and ethically questionable deals. In 1992, in a $10 billion deal, the success of which was contingent upon the devaluation of the British pound sterling, he earned a $1 billion profit and the dubious title, “the man who broke the Bank of England.” Since then he has amassed a fortune of at least $7 billion, to become one of the world’s richest men, and has given away huge amounts of money to fund “open societies” in the former Soviet Union, Africa, and Asia. In the process his activities have put him in conflict with the governments of many nations, as his own peculiar ideas of what an open society should be and how governments must go about supporting it, have developed.
One might think that a philanthropist financier of his scope would revere the capitalist system upon which he depends and because of which he was able to make his fortune. Not so. For the reason why, we must return to England and the year 1947.
While a young man there, Soros broke his leg. George applied to various Jewish relief agencies but they refused him the help he believed he was owed. He was given medical care by England’s National Health Care Service free of charge. His father was among those paying the taxes it took to support such a system. These events produced in the young Soros a favorable opinion of Democratic Socialism, and an unfavorable view of many Jewish groups.
But why has Soros developed such intense feelings of hatred for President Bush? “America under Bush is a danger to the world,” he said. And with that he has become a major financial player on the left, contributing the sums previously mentioned and more.
Soros seems to see in this White House “a supremacist ideology,” which brings back memories of his childhood in occupied Hungary. “When I hear Bush say, ‘You’re either with us or against us,’ it reminds me of the Germans. It conjures up memories of slogans on the walls, Der Feind Hort mit (The enemy is listening). My experience under Nazi and Soviet rule have (sic) sensitized me.”
And this: “Neo-conservatives are exploiting the terrorist attacks of September 11th to promote a preexisting agenda of preemptive war and world dominion. Bush feels that on September 11th he was anointed by God,” says this nonbeliever from his upscale home in Westchester, NY. “He’s leading the U.S. and the world toward a vicious circle of escalating violence.”
This remarkable but puzzling view held by an obviously bright individual, ignores much of what has gone before, stretching all the way back to the first World Trade Center bombing in ‘92, and other terrorist attacks by radical Islamic Muslims since then. It also sets him at odds with scholars and important thinkers on today’s world scene, including Pepperdine University’s Professor of Public Policy, Robert Gordon Kaufman. In Kaufman’s latest book, In Defense of the Bush Doctrine, University of Kentucky Press May 2007, he mounts a full-scale defense of Mr. Bush’s strategy announced on June 1, 2002 at the U.S. Military Academy, of promoting free societies as a means to world peace and stability, and advocating the concept of preemptive self-defense. These are changes in American foreign policy which do take into account conditions in the present world. Kaufman refers to his own effort as moral democratic realism, which he defines thus: “Moral democratic realism offers a . . . compelling framework for American grand strategy. . . because it takes due measure of the centrality of power and the constraints of the dynamics international politics impose, without depreciating the significance of ideals, ideology, and regime type. It grounds American foreign policy in Judeo-Christian conceptions of man, morality, and prudence that inoculate us against two dangerous fallacies: a utopianism that exaggerates the potential for cooperation without power, and an unrealistic realism that underestimates the potential for achieving decency and provisional justice even in international relations. It rests on a conception of self-interest, well understood, and respect for the decent opinions of mankind, without making international institutions or the fickle mistress of often-indecent international public opinion the polestar of American action. . .
“Moral democratic realism follows Augustine in its determination to see things as they are, and Thomas Acquinas in its resolve not to leave things as they are, when prudence indicates that positive change is possible.”
Whatever his philosophical motivation, George Soros has joined forces with the Democrat Party, allies in organized labor, and a network of politically left-leaning organizations, to make war against Mr. Bush and the country which offered him shelter in 1956. Further, according to former Republican National Committee spokeswoman, Christine Iverson: “It’s incredibly ironic that George Soros is trying to create a more open society by using an unregulated, under-the-radar-screen, shadowy, soft money group to do it.”
Perhaps with this ruling and fine, the FEC has put an end ̶ at least for a time-to another of George Soros’s fantasies; massive financing of left-wing causes in an attempt to elect Democrats and change America into a Socialist regime.