Liberal mega-donor George Soros is actively distancing himself from now-ousted progressive San Francisco district attorney Chesa Boudin, who suffered a crushing defeat in a June 7 recall election. Just a day after Boudin's landslide loss in the deep-blue city, a Soros-funded PAC rushed to correct the record.
In an email obtained by Townhall, a representative for Justice & Public Safety PAC, the political action committee primarily funded by Soros, denied that the billionaire philanthropist ever endorsed or provided campaign funding to Boudin. "Mr. Soros has not—directly or indirectly—backed or supported or contributed to Mr. Boudin," the email sent Wednesday morning read. The message provided an outdated list of prosecutors with Soros-spending ties that were uploaded in April 2021 by watchdog InfluenceWatch. "Mr. Boudin is not on that list," the email from the Soros-funded PAC representative emphasized. When asked to specify which of Boudin's campaigns the assertion referred to, the source told Townhall both the 2019 general election and the 2022 recall.
There's truth to the repudiating statement asserting that Soros hasn't left visible fingerprints on the defunct Boudin brand. According to results from a campaign finance study on cost-per-vote (CPV) data of Soros-affiliated PAC expenditures in prosecutor races, Boudin's general election campaign had no "Soros PAC Involvement" with "Soros CPV" equaling $0.00, the amount Soros-affiliated PACs purportedly spent for every pro-Boudin vote entered. (A fall 2020 analysis of the study published in The Washington and Lee Journal of Civil Rights and Social Justice explains that CPV is a metric used in political science and economics research to approximate the impact of Big Money spending on elections. For the study, CPV values were calculated by taking the dollar amount of a donation, then dividing it by the number of votes the beneficiary received.)
Representatives for Soros went on a media blitz in the aftermath of the disgraced prosecutor's double-digit unseating by liberal San Fran voters. They've contacted The Washington Free Beacon to reject its characterization of Boudin as a "George Soros darling" and alleged it is wrong to label him a "Soros prosecutor."
"We disagree with any analysis that labels any prosecutor as a ‘Soros prosecutor'—each candidate stands on their own," a representative for PR firm BerlinRosen told The Free Beacon, maintaining that "Justice & Public Safety PAC, the political action committee through which Mr. Soros supports prosecutor candidates, has not supported—in the past or in the present, directly or indirectly—Boudin." The Free Beacon noted it has characterized Boudin as a "Soros prosecutor" in the past and never received a correction request before from Soros. "Our disagreement is particularly strong when the [Soros prosecutor] label is applied to an elected official who participates in an event or an organization that has a second or third degree association with Mr. Soros," BerlinRosen representative Alex Navarro-McKay continued to assert to The Free Beacon. "Candidate X joins Org A which gets funding from Org B which gets from Donor C? Bluntly, it's a ridiculous contortion."
Soros, a household name, has become a buzzword in the media, known by many as an influential powerhouse and shadowy puppet master pulling the strings in contentious district attorney races. Regardless of tangible ties, it seems common sense that the cool and calculating Democratic strongman would not want the Soros image to be affiliated with the loser of a humiliating recall effort. Nevertheless, while Soros is not named as a contributor on any official Boudin campaign filing, there's a convoluted money trail that leads back to the notorious investor.
Boudin is the first glowing profile that pops up on the "Meet the Movement" webpage for the Fair and Just Prosecution (FJP), a Soros-linked group that opposes "tough-on-crime" approaches to prosecuting criminals and supports ending cash bail. Boudin is still touted as the face of FJP's new generation of elected prosecutors that have emerged to overhaul the criminal justice system into one that's "fair, equitable, and compassionate...for all." As the organization's media darling, Boudin co-authored a July 2020 op-ed with FJP executive director Miriam Krinsky urging governors to decarcerate prisons during the COVID-19 crisis, he's bragged to NPR about personal steps he took throughout the pandemic as San Francisco's chief prosecutor to release prisoners in his jurisdiction, and the ex-DA has been featured at a virtual FJP conference on parole and probation reform.
Boudin attended an FJP event in December and stood side-by-side for a group photo with district attorneys that have received direct funding from Soros, including Los Angeles district attorney George Gascón, Philadelphia's top prosecutor Larry Krasner, and Cook County state's attorney Kim Foxx, who dropped charges against hate crime hoaxer Jussie Smollett. Soros pumped $333,000 into Foxx's first campaign in 2016, another $2 million for Foxx's successful re-election run in 2020, and almost $1.7 million to boost Krasner's 2017 rise to power.
A big thank you to all the elected prosecutors in the FJP network and the experts who joined us in Los Angeles. We look forward to seeing how the important information and innovations shared by all spread to offices and communities around the nation! pic.twitter.com/S1BoD9pLSP— Fair and Just Prosecution (@fjp_org) December 11, 2021
FJP is a "fiscally-sponsored project" of umbrella incubator Tides Center, an offshoot of the Tides Foundation. Both of the Tides appendages count the Soros-founded Open Society Foundations, Foundation to Promote Open Society, and the Open Society Policy Center Inc. as major left-wing donors. From 2016 through 2020, the trio of Soros grantmaking foundations made 77 grants totaling more than $22.4 million to the Tides grantees: almost $12 million to the Tides Center and nearly $10.5 million to the Tides Foundation, according to Open Society's awarded grants database. (Some grants and their "modified" descriptions are omitted "under some circumstances, including where it is necessary to comply with personal data protection laws, and when disclosure may put at risk the safety or work of a grantee or the Open Society Foundations.")
The last known Soros donation to the Tides project was in 2019, when the Foundation to Promote Open Society made a $10,000 grant to aid FJP's participation in the International Harm Reduction conference.
The Tides Center is part of a collective known as the Tides Nexus that encompasses a mixed bag of advocacy organizations and public charities. At the top of the hive mind is the brain, the Tides Network, which charges fees in exchange for providing management services. While the Tides Center handles fiscal sponsorship of new groups, the Tides Foundation facilitates pass-through grantmaking operations as an elusive funding vehicle.
Funneling billions in the name of "social justice," the Tides Foundation has made grants to activist groups "covering almost every policy issue on the left," according to Capital Research Center. It's almost impossible to trace Tides grants back to the original donor, a public-relations insulation tactic of "washing" away the connection between the contributor and the grant recipient. In addition to obscuring the sources of its funding, the "philanthropy work" (considered a money-laundering enterprise by onlookers) makes it difficult to discern how the funds are being used. Tides founder Drummond Pike sugarcoats the function of the Big Money apparatus, telling The Chronicle of Philanthropy: "Anonymity is very important to most of the people we work with."
In 2020, the Foundation to Promote Open Society gave $50,000 to the Tides Foundation to provide support to the Prosecutors Alliance of California, a Tides project focused on criminal justice reform across the state. Boudin serves on the alliance's Advisory Committee that's tasked with providing the organization with "strategic advice and guidance." Other notable committee members include Contra Costa County district attorney Diana Becton and Gascón—both of whom have profited off of big Soros bucks. Soros spent at least $2.25 million on Gascón's 2020 victory and $652,000 on Becton's 2022 re-election bid. Gascón also happens to be Boudin's predecessor.
A pro-Gascón PAC, Real Justice PAC, donated $100,000 to the anti-recall opposition campaign that was seeking to protect Boudin, the California Secretary of State's office reports. The filing shows the PAC made the lavish contribution to the San Franciscans Against the Recall of Chesa Boudin Sponsored by Real Justice PAC committee, which was essentially self-dealing. According to San Francisco Ethics Commission campaign finance filings for the June 7 recall ballot measure, other pro-Boudin heavy hitters included the likes of Future Justice Fund founder Kaitlyn Krieger, whose husband co-founded Instagram, and Heising-Simons Foundation chair Elizabeth "Liz" Simons, the daughter of ultra-wealthy hedge fund manager James Simons. The most controversial Boudin backer was Ripple Labs chairman Christian Larsen who was charged in 2020 by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission with illegally selling $1.3 billion in cryptocurrency. Larsen considers Boudin "a friend" he's gotten to know "quite well" and whom he's "super impressed with," according to Forbes.
Townhall has reached out multiple times to Open Society Foundations for the Soros organization's response to Boudin's recall and widespread claims that he was a Soros-backed district attorney.