San Antonio, TX— A political action committee (PAC) backed by progressive billionaire philanthropist George Soros, who has spent millions targeting local District Attorney races in recent years, has contributed to yet another local election in Texas.
An investigation of campaign finance documents by The Daily Caller revealed that Soros, through a state-level PAC called Texas Justice & Public Safety, spent $70,000 in support of primary opponent Joe Gonzales against sitting Bexar County District Attorney Nicholas LaHood.
LaHood is actually a Democrat, but due to his opposition to sanctuary cities and proclaimed support of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s stated intent to target cities that disregard federal immigration law, his seat has become a target. More than $30,000 was spent by the Texas Justice & Public Safety PAC on mailers that label LaHood as “bigoted,” “racist” and “Islamophobic” in both English and Spanish.
The Daily Caller report notes:
Soros has repeatedly backed left-wing district attorney candidates with massive donations typically only seen in gubernatorial, congressional or presidential campaigns. Soros spent more than $9 million on local DA races in 2015-2017 alone, allowing the New York resident to influence local criminal justice policies all across the country.
Interestingly, while other billionaires have used the Citizens United decision to inject millions into presidential and other high-profile congressional races, Soros has enacted a strategy of infusing millions into local DA races with a stated goal of reforming the U.S. criminal justice system.
According to a report by Politico:
His money has supported African-American and Hispanic candidates for these powerful local roles, all of whom ran on platforms sharing major goals of Soros’, like reducing racial disparities in sentencing and directing some drug offenders to diversion programs instead of to trial. It is by far the most tangible action in a progressive push to find, prepare and finance criminal justice reform-oriented candidates for jobs that have been held by longtime incumbents and serve as pipelines to the federal courts — and it has inspired fury among opponents angry about the outside influence in local elections.
Soros has spent on district attorney campaigns in Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas through a network of state-level super PACs and a national “527” unlimited-money group, each named a variation on “Safety and Justice.” (Soros has also funded a federal super PAC with the same name.) Each organization received most of its money directly from Soros, according to public state and federal financial records, though some groups also got donations from nonprofits like the Civic Participation Action Fund, which gave to the Safety and Justice group in Illinois.
As a means of pushing back against the Soros influx of funding, LaHood and others have attempted to publicize Soros’ involvement, accusing him of trying to buy DA seats across the country.
“We know George Soros is a billionaire who has purchased at least 10 other district attorney’s offices around the country, not to mention other political positions,” LaHood said in the ad aimed at highlighting Soros, titled, “Your DA’s Office is Not For Sale.”
Thus far, the only losing effort by a Soros-backed candidate has been in Houston’s Harris County. Keeping in line with the strategy of targeting races with large urban centers, Bexar County is Texas’ fourth most populous county and includes the city of San Antonio.