George Soros, along with Michael Bloomberg, has become the man conservatives love to hate; and with good reason. He harbors extreme left-wing political views, he is fabulously wealthy, and he has long-exhibited a willingness to “put his money where his mouth is.”
Perhaps even more important than his wealth, however, is the fact that Soros understands that to effect lasting and systemic societal change, requires a consistent focus on politics at the local level. In this, Soros shares an understanding with Bloomberg; but where the former New York Mayor continues to focus like a laser on one issue — gun control — Soros is intent on achieving a far broader goal – to alter the basic structure of our judicial system.
Soros cleverly — and smartly — has concluded that one of the most effective vehicles through which to accomplish this ambitious goal, is to fund left-leaning candidates for the one elected office that perhaps more than any other is able to change the fundamental values by which communities function — the local district attorney or “D.A.” While Soros’ crusade to implement this plan has not met with success in every instance, his victories in just the past four years have been significant.
Throughout our nation’s history, prosecutors have enjoyed significant power to decide which cases to investigate and prosecute. The principle of “prosecutorial discretion” inherited from British law, clothes prosecutors with immunity against being second-guessed in their decisions about which cases to pursue and which to leave aside — in other words, what values to prioritize by prosecuting which crimes.
Thus, if a prosecutor determines that a potential case involving a police officer who has exercised deadly force against a civilian is not prosecutable, his or her decision will not be overridden by a court. Or, if a prosecutor implements a policy that certain low-level misdemeanors or felonies, such as shoplifting or check forgery, will not be prosecuted, the only recourse is to remove that prosecutor via the ballot box.
Soros also understands that local D.A. races garner significantly less voter attention than elections for governors, senators and representatives; making it far easier for him to slip money in under the radar and improve the odds of winning.
Beginning in 2015 and 2016, Soros appears to have decided to begin dumping large amounts of cash into local district attorney races through political action committees that do not bear his name, and to do so late in the campaign cycle; significantly raising the likelihood that his chosen candidates would win. Consistent with Soros’ left-wing political philosophy, of course, campaigns identified for this financial shot-in-the-arm were those of lawyers espousing a similarly “progressive” — in some cases, anti-law enforcement — platform.
This “progressive” prosecution philosophy reflects such notions that law enforcement in contemporary America has become unacceptably discriminatory, if not outright racist, and that many property crimes were being committed by poor people as a means of survival in a society that itself had become “classist.”
This philosophy plays itself out in prosecution guidelines such as those now being implemented in such major metropolitan areas as Albuquerque, New Mexico; Chicago, Illinois; Shreveport, Louisiana; Orlando, Florida; Houston and Dallas, Texas; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and other cities across the country in which Soros-backed “progressive prosecutors” won elections in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Common themes among these district attorneys are calls to end the death penalty, cash bail and “mass incarceration” (not clearly defined) especially for “people of color”; and policies not to charge individuals for property theft crimes valued less than $1,000 (Chicago D.A. Kim Foxx, of Jussie Smollett notoriety) or $750 (Dallas D.A. John Creuzot). As explained — quite seriously — by Creuzot, such a policy is warranted because it would just not be right to prosecute someone who “is stealing to eat, to sustain themselves.”
Despite not having any personal stake in such races, groups funded by Soros and other liberal organizations are pumping millions of dollars into local prosecutor contests across the country (for example, $1.7 million into just a single race — Larry Krasner’s 2017 winning election in Philadelphia). The goal? To reshape justice in America to fit their liberal mold.
This movement’s impressive win-loss record reportedly has emboldened it to now embark on a drive to begin electing judges with similarly leftist philosophy. If recent history is any indication, conservatives had best be prepared to fight fire with fire.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.