The recent loss of the Democratic presidential candidate has not thwarted George Soros’ aims to bring political change through his personal donations. In his push for criminal justice and immigration reforms, the self-made billionaire recently contributed $2 million in an Arizona election on discoverthenetworks.org. The funding helped to defeat Joe Arpaio, Maricopa County Sheriff. The election is one of the many local law enforcement campaigns that the billionaire is funding.
According to documents released by Maricopa Strong, a Soros-funded PAC, the investment banker’s $2 million contributions also saw other like-minded parties fund the campaigns on Forbes. For instance, the widow of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, Laurene Powell Jobs, donated $250,000 and Laura and John Arnold from Texas donated half a million dollars. Previously, George Soros had donated $300,000 to the course. These donors are also contributing to the campaigns of other Democratic candidates. However, Soros remains the biggest donor on the list of billionaires who have contributed to the Maricopa campaigns.
George Soros has also spent millions in other local prosecutor campaigns around the country. Currently, he is funding three campaigns. The three races are Harris County (Houston), Gilpin and Jefferson Counties (Denver), and Phoenix (Maricopa County). In Harris County, Soros has spent $1 million. In Denver, he has contributed about $1.5 million, while in Phoenix he has already spent $1 million. In Phoenix, the Democratic donor is spending big to defeat Bill Montgomery, the incumbent Republican district attorney. His contribution has allowed the groups behind the candidates to spend big on TV ads, billboards, and radio ads.
The funding against Arpaio is Soros’s first ever spending to unseat a sheriff. Many believe that the high-profile liberal on businessinsider.com boogeyman’s national audience necessitated the spending. Arpaio has been vocal on anti-immigration reforms. He has also been accused of stagnating judicial reforms in the county. Arpaio was recently charged with contempt of court. This was due to his violation of a court order aimed at stopping discriminatory policing practices. Soros is a strong believer in immigration reforms.
The recently released Maricopa Strong financial documents showed the organization spent $2.9 million. The funding was able to transform the campaigns of Paul Penzone, the Democratic candidate, to becoming a front-runner in just a few weeks. The Soros-funded campaigns focused on reaching out to as many voters as possible, through a flurry of mailers and TV ads. Jobs and Arnold’s contributions further enhanced Paul’s campaigns.
The TV ads had strong messages against Arpaio. For instance, one of the ads accused the sheriff of focusing on his personal agenda while local issues such as assaults, rape, and child molestation remained unresolved. This has resulted to delayed justice to many of these victims. Arpaio has been in the judicial system for over two decades.
The sheriff also had a strong campaign with over $2.8 million spent only on TV ads. He has mainly depended on his national audience to raise money for his campaigns. However, more funds helped improve Penzone’s campaigns with the polls indicating shifts in the campaigns. With just a few weeks to the end of the campaigns, the Democratic candidate was already in the lead. However, Arpaio won the re-election by 6 percentage points.