Liberal Hungarian-American activist George Soros revealed that he has been quietly pouring money into a campaign for a second Brexit referendum set to begin "in the next few days," according to the billionaire.
Speaking to an audience at the European Council for Foreign Relations in Paris on Tuesday, Soros said that Brexit was an example of "territorial disintegration," that has impaired the smooth function of the EU, according to The Times.
"Most of the damage is felt right now when the European Union is in an existential crisis, but its attention is diverted to negotiating a separation agreement with Britain. That’s a lose-lose proposition, but it could be converted into a win-win situation," said the 87-year-old Soros.
Soros has reportedly given £700,000 (US$927,000) to the group "Best for Britain," an anti-Brexit organization which has been pushing for a second referendum.
According to the billionaire, another referendum "would be good for Britain but would also render Europe a great service by rescinding Brexit and not creating a hard-to-fill hole in the European budget. But the British public must express its support by a convincing margin in order to be taken seriously by Europe. That’s what the Best for Britain is aiming for by engaging the electorate. It will publish its manifesto in the next few days."
Back home, Soros has reportedly become involved in funding 21 different district attorney races across the country, according to the San Jose Mercury News.
The liberal New York billionaire and progressive organizations are throwing big money to challengers in Alameda, Sacramento and San Diego counties, according to campaign finance records.
District attorney races typically have favored law-and-order incumbents with support from local law enforcement and, in some cases, because they faced no legitimate opponent. But the millions spent leading up to the June 5 election is giving a voice to candidates who want to reduce incarceration, end the death penalty and crack down on police misconduct.
The new political strategy in California is backed by the California Justice & Public Safety PAC, which is funded by Soros; Real Justice, a political action committee that includes the wife of Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz; and civil rights leader [sic] and writer Shaun King, who has offered endorsements and speeches. -San Jose Mercury News
Soros has also contributed to several non-profit organizations engaged in targeted political activities that are not required to report donations, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Federal tax laws allow nonprofit advocacy groups to hide the source of their money and to disclose summaries of their spending years after the fact. It will be 2020 before Californians will be able to see the full scale of the involvement in June’s elections.
But tax forms, grant documents and interviews by The Times and the Marshall Project show that a coalition of wealthy donors, private foundations and advocacy groups by last year had sunk $11 million into grants focused on district attorney elections across the nation. At the top is the Open Philanthropy Project, a foundation started by Moskovitz and Tuna, that from 2014 to 2017 directed $6.6 million toward “prosecutorial reform” or similar terms.
As Joel Pollack notes: "The irony, at least in California, is that local law enforcement officials have blamed a slew of recent reforms — such as Proposition 47 in 2014, which reduced sentences for some crimes — for a rise in crime in parts of the state."