OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Left-wing billionaire financier and philanthropist George Soros has been heavily criticized for funding the campaigns of ‘progressive’ candidates for local district attorney races.
Many of those candidates have gone on to win their races in cities like Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Philadelphia, before adopting what critics have called “soft-on-crime” policies they blame for spikes in violence, murder, and thefts.
But rather than apologize for his actions, Soros has defiantly doubled down and is insisting he has no plans to stop funding such candidates, despite the backlash even in Democrat-run cities full of liberals.
In a recent report, the Capital Research Center said that since 2016, the organization’s data crunchers identified some $29 million in funding provided by Soros “through a personal network of political action committees (PACs) formed specifically to back left-wing DA candidates.”
In an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal, Soros said he won’t be cutting back funding anytime soon.
“I have supported the election (and more recently the re-election) of prosecutors who support reform. I have done it transparently, and I have no intention of stopping,” he wrote.
“Our system is rife with injustices that make us all less safe. The idea that we need to choose between justice and safety is false,” he claimed, in spite of hard evidence that crime has gone up significantly in cities whose DAs he helped finance have softened enforcement by curbing prosecutions and seeking far less jail time for a range of offenses.
“They reinforce each other: If people trust the justice system, it will work. And if the system works, public safety will improve,” he wrote.
“Some politicians and pundits have tried to blame recent spikes in crime on the policies of reform-minded prosecutors. The research I’ve seen says otherwise,” Soros went on.
Soros’ piece comes on the heels of one of the DAs whose campaign he funded, Chesa Boudin, being recalled by voters in San Francisco.
Boudin’s landslide loss “should send a clear message across the nation — that serving as District Attorney yet not holding criminals accountable is a dereliction of duty,” a spokesperson for the recall effort, Richie Greenberg, noted on Twitter.
My statement on the success of recalling Mr Chesa Boudin: pic.twitter.com/OZK8Lm2GYc
— Richie Greenberg (@richieSF2016) June 8, 2022
Recently-deposed Chesa Boudin of San Francisco: violent crimes: up 4%, year to date; property crimes: up 8.2%, year to date; total crime rate: up 7.8%, year to date.
Alvin Bragg, Manhattan: major crime rate: up 43.2%, year to date.
George Gascón, Los Angeles: violent crimes: up 7.7%, year to date; property crimes: up 13.3%, year to date; total crime rate: up 11.9%, year to date.
Kim Foxx, Chicago: major crime rate: up 34%, year to date.
Larry Krasner, Philadelphia: violent crimes: up 6.3%, year to date; property crimes: up 27.1%, year to date; total crime rate: up 22.2%, year to date.
Kevin Hayden, Boston: violent crimes: up 4.4%, year to date; property crimes: up 4.8%, year to date; total crime rate: up 4.7%, year to date.
Gascón, a former LAPD officer who received nearly $3 million in campaign funds from Soros-linked entities, is also facing a recall.
In his op-ed for the WSJ, Soros hit upon a familiar talking point for left-wing social commentators: That the U.S. system is allegedly racist.
“We need to acknowledge that black people in the U.S. are five times as likely to be sent to jail as white people. That is an injustice that undermines our democracy,” he wrote without putting his claims into context.
We spend $81 billion every year keeping around two million people in prisons and jails. We need to invest more in preventing crime with strategies that work—deploying mental-health professionals in crisis situations, investing in youth job programs, and creating opportunities for education behind bars. This reduces the likelihood that those prisoners will commit new crimes after release.
This agenda, aiming at both safety and justice, is based on both common sense and evidence. It’s popular. It’s effective. The goal is not defunding the police but restoring trust between the police and the policed, a partnership that fosters the solving of crimes.