George Soros’ Political Influence

George Soros is the founder of Soros Fund Management. He is worth about $25.2 Billion. He is ranked number 22 on the World Billionaire List.

George Soros Politico

He is one of the most politically influential people around the world. He has been spending his wealth to influence the politics of different countries around the world. His influence in American politics is the strongest by any individual today.

He derives his influence from his $13 billion personal wealth and another $25 billion he controls in Soros Fund Management. Additionally, he has passionate messianic zeal. He is an atheist and one time said he viewed himself as a god, or a great economic game-changer like Keynes, or like a great scientist like Einstein. He said that money is what makes the world go round.

His Roots and Development

He was born in Hungary to non-practicing Jewish parents 86 years ago. Tivadar, his father, was an attorney by profession. In 1936, his father changed the family’s surname to an Esperanto name, Soros.

Tivadar divided his family when the Nazi’s occupied Hungary in 1944. This was done to increase the survival chances during the war. His children changed their names to Christian names and were adopted by Hungarian friends. George Soros sometimes went with his host to confiscate property from Jews and giving them to Germans.

After the WWII, the family moved to England in 1947. He joined London School of Economics (LSE) where he met philosopher Karl Popper. He says he was his spiritual mentor. Soros says he was introduced to the idea of “open society” by Popper’s book called The Open Society and Its Enemies.

Know more: https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/people/george-soros

He graduated from LSE in 1952 and joined Singer and Friedlander, a London brokerage company. He then moved to New York and joined the Wall Street as a stock trader. Since he was not planning to settle permanently in America, George Soros planned to save $500,000 in five years, and then go back to Europe. When he joined Arnhold and S. Bleichroeder Inc., he decided to stay in America.

In 1969, he spent $250,000 of his own money to start the “Double Eagle Fund” with a capital of $4 million. In 1979, together with Jim Rogers, they established Soros Fund Management. By 1985, the company was valued over $1 billion and had changed its name to The Quantum Fund. Read his profile at Forbes.

Soros Rises Again

In 2004, Soros spent $27 million in 2004 to defeat President Bush. After that, he went silent and later reemerged in 2016. He gave and promised to donate over $25 million to support Hillary Clinton and other candidates in the Democratic Party. Read this story about George at Politico.com.

His Philanthropy

Soros has many Open Society Foundations that he uses to help other people. He helped Hungary establish democracy. He opened an office in Moscow and spent $3 million in helping countries in Central Asia and those under the communists Europe. His annual expenditure hit over $300 million by 1992. He started the Open Society Institute in 1993 in 1992.

CITIZENS UNITED: DEMOCRACY TURNED INSIDE OUT

Historically, federal law prohibited corporations and unions from using their funds in financially supporting political candidates within thirty days of any primary. The law, therefore, prohibited any “electioneering communication” which was defined as advertising in support of any identified candidate on any” broadcast, cable, or satellite.” The concern in prohibiting corporations and unions from making financial contributions directly to candidates was that significant amounts of contributions would have a corrosive effect on the political process, with a tendency to corrupt individual politicians.

 

David N. Bossie was the president of the non-profit corporations, Citizens United and Citizens United Foundation since 2001. Citizens United produced documentaries that were critical of Hillary Clinton. Bossie was mindful of the statutory restrictions, in which the Federal Elections Commission could seek both civil and criminal penalties against Citizens United, for making corporation contributions to support or defeat individual candidates.

 

Anticipating a legal action, after Citizens United released a documentary critical of Senator Hillary Clinton, Bossie sought protection from the courts. He argued that the statute restricting corporate spending was unconstitutional and violated Citizens United First Amendment Rights rights to free speech. The Supreme Court, jumping through some legal hurdles, held that the free speech rights of Corporations would be violated and ruled for Citizens United.

 

Under the ruling of Citizens United, corporations and unions made unlimited contributions. As a result of Citizens United, those contributing to Super PACs need not disclose their names and affiliations. Thus, small groups of very wealthy individuals had an extraordinary influence over the outcomes of elections. Billions of dollars were raised and paid to individuals as candidates for the 2016 election season.

 

While Democrats funded their Super PACs, Republicans, being better prepared, substantially benefited from Bossies’s decision to open up the stream of funds, which helped many Republican candidates. However, in 2016 a political action committee, End Citizens United PAC, a committed group of Democrats, has raised at least 11 million dollars with the projection of raising up to $35 million dollars for the purpose of electing Democrats in the next two and four-year cycle of political campaigns.

 

Up to 100,000 people contributed to the PAC for the first quarter of 2017. The interest in ending the impact of Citizens United drew at least 40,000 individuals who gave at the average of $12 each. The goal is not only to elect Democrats but to defeat Citizen United with campaign finance reform legislation.

 

Just around the corner, on April 11, 2017, the first test of the Trump effect is in two special elections. End Citizens United has been at the forefront in the donation which produced $500,000 to fund the congressional campaign of Democrat Jon Ossoff, a novice political candidate in Georgia.