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Soros' "Reform" By: James O. E. Norell
First Freedoms | Monday, May 31, 2004


If there were an illustration accompanying the word "hypocrisy" in the dictionary, it would be an engraving of globalist billionaire George Soros.

Soros, one of the richest men in the world, backed campaign finance reform with huge cash donations to a wide variety of Washington "reform" special interest groups to accomplish what his funding conduit called an effort "to reduce the corrupting influence of very large donors" and to ban pre-election "issue advocacy" ads by groups like the NRA.

Now, arch-reformer Soros is pouring perhaps as much as $30-million of his own money into left-wing "progressive" organizations he believes are uniquely inoculated against the restrictions of the very law Soros bought and paid for – restrictions like the ban on

Broadcast political advertising.

When the U.S. Senate debated the so-called campaign finance reform bill, March 19, 2001, U.S. Sen. Susan M. Collins (R-Maine) said of The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2001 (BCRA), "First and foremost, the bill closes the most glaring loophole in our campaign finance laws by banning the unlimited, unregulated contributions known as ‘soft money.’ Second, the bill regulates and limits the campaign advertisements masquerading as issue ads that corporations and labor organizations often run in the weeks leading up to an election. And third, the bill prohibits foreign nationals from contributing soft money in connection with federal, state, or local elections."

That oppressive law, which NRA opposed in Congress, and fought all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, bans any broadcast "issue advocacy" advertising paid for by independent organizations like NRA or by unions if the ads "refer to" a candidate for Federal office and can be seen or heard by people who are eligible to vote for that candidate. The ban takes effect 30 day before a primary and 60 days before the general election. And the ban has criminal penalties attached. Under rules adopted by the FEC, an ad that even refers to a candidate by generic title, such as "the President," is prohibited. An ad where the viewer can guess the subject of the ad is also prohibited.

U.S. Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.) voiced the "reformers" definition of the evil term "soft money" during the floor debate, saying, "Money that threatens to drown out the voice of the average voter of average means; money that creates the appearance that a wealthy few have a disproportionate say over public policy…"

Bingo.

But in terms of the public policy of so-called campaign finance reform, Dodd’s words couldn’t have been truer. Without Soros spending at least $18 million to fund an army of the slickest "public interest" D.C. lobbyists and PR spin meisters, it is doubtful that McCain-Feingold would have become law. Soros was the hand in the sock-puppet.

Once he bought that "disproportionate say" over that public policy, Soros moved on to fund opposition to the NRA’s U.S. Supreme Court challenge to the broadcast ban, and the umbrella suit bearing the name of U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnel, which challenged most sections of BCRA on First Amendment grounds.

Having done that, Soros moved on to what may have been his real purpose. The Washington Post – in a fawning November 11, 2003 profile interview with Soros – served up his political manifesto, erasing illusions about the "soft money reform," or at least the notion of the average little guy versus the average billionaire.

"George Soros, one of the world's richest men, has given away nearly $5 billion to promote democracy in the former Soviet bloc, Africa and Asia. Now he has a new project: defeating President Bush.

"‘It is the central focus of my life,’ Soros said."

In fact, Soros said he would spend all the billions of dollars in his personal fortune if he could be guaranteed that President Bush would be cast out of the White House.

Does that statement meet Chris Dodd’s cry of concern? "Money that threatens to drown out the voice of the average voter of average means" is a phrase that surely describes most NRA members, who pooling individual worth could not match the fortune at Soros’ disposal.

Soros believes he is the apostle of something he calls "the open society" under which national sovereignty is subjugated to global "democracy;" a vision that includes the borderless spread of international gun control. Soros has promoted this cause with an outpouring of funds from his Open Society Institute (OSI), which he also used to fund campaign finance lobbying for the last half of the 1990’s.

The Washington Post puff piece on Soros was sparked by news that the one-world billionaire had given $5-million – the largest "soft money" contribution in American history -- to an organization called MoveOn.org. It was the first of many such massive Soros contributions to this and other similar "stealth" groups set up after enactment of McCain-Feingold.

But Soros, as an unspeakably wealthy donor, is not alone. He is an enabler, a networker, a fund-raiser sparking huge contributions from other leftist billionaires – personal friends and business associates -- like Peter B. Lewis, chairman of Progressive Corp. (insurance), and Hollywood mogul Stephen Bing. These friends have ponied up millions to fund MoveOn.org, along with other shadowy, under-the-radar political organizations.

Soros -- a self-styled citizen of the world who has spent billions meddling in the internal affairs of many nations -- has been credited with wrecking national currencies and toppling governments.

Soros has compared Bush to Hitler and told a European audience he was seeking "regime change" in the U.S. "America, under Bush, is a danger to the world, and I'm willing to put my money where my mouth is," Soros told the Washington Post.

He told Bill Moyer’s PBS NOW broadcast that his multi-million-dollar gift is "the same kind of grass roots organizing that we did when we helped in Slovakia when Mechar was defeated, in Croatia when Tudjman was defeated and in Yugoslavia when Milisovioc…" He is widely credited last year with funding the revolution that ousted the elected leader in the former Soviet Republic, Georgia.

How does the infusion of billionaire dollars to MoveOn.org bring about a "regime change" in America?

What Soros’ and his "progressive" billionaire partners are getting from MoveOn.org in return for their breathtaking "soft money" largess is a massive attack-ad campaign – which they believe is immune from BCRA – designed to move radical voters to "take back America." That means "take" the power of the national government – the White House and Congress.

In targeting President Bush, The MoveOn.org Voter Fund website brags, "We will produce convincing anti-Bush TV spots and get them on the air in targeted states. We will buy enough airtime to effectively deliver our message to swing voters in those states.

We will sustain our advertising presence continually throughout the pre-primary and primary periods."

So how is it that MoveOn.org is doing what law-abiding non-profit grass roots organizations cannot do? And how is it that even the "appearance of corruption" that soft money represented doesn’t apply to Soros.

Soros and his fellow billionaire travelers are poster boys for what they once claimed were the evils of soft money. But in Soros’ grand vision of himself, "the corrupting influence of very large donors" (his OSI’s words) doesn’t apply to him or his pure motives. In his thick Hungarian accent, he told National Public Radio that his massive contributions to affect the November 2004 elections were morally above question.

"I am not motivated by self-interest but by what I believe to be the public interest. So when the Republican National Committee attacks me and distorts my motives… You see, I'm different from their contributors," he said.

In other words, Soros believes he is above the law, above even the question of appearance of corruption, because, in his heart he knows he’s right. Soros indeed believes he is special -- not just in moral purity, but under the law as well.

While the long debate over campaign finance was rife with the use of the pejorative, "loophole," Soros and the handful of "progressive" political activists he funds believe they have found total immunity from the laws Soros paid so heavily to have applied to everyone else. The loophole they have sought comes not in the BCRA, but in the Federal Tax Code, which covers certain entities known as "527’s."

Since it is now against the law for national parties to receive "soft money" -- which they used in pre-McCain-Feingold days used for get-out-the-vote drives and issue advertising -- the theory is that those functions, along with the unlimited funds from big donors like Soros can be shifted to "527’s".

In essence, "527’s" claim to have immunity from sunshine reporting and all other strictures demanded by the FEC under BCRA, because they were created under the U.S. Tax code. It’s like a drunk driver saying the traffic laws don’t apply to him because anti-pollution laws in a vehicle cover him. Hiding under the "527" category are some very inbred Democratic Party operatives – all on the radical left. Their organizations have become stealth political parties – in the case of Soros’ benefaction, stealth ultra-left, anti-gun-rights political parties.

And unlike the Democratic or Republican parties, nobody elects those who control "527" functions, and many of these organizations aided by Soros operate in near total secrecy.

Some – like former Clinton White House operative Harold Ickes’ Media Fund – which scant press reports say will be launching attack ads against President Bush -- can’t be found in a Google Search. Some are merely addresses in nowhere.

The Washington Post, perhaps the only media outlet waking up to the depth of this scam, editorialized on an entity created in Texas called the Sustainable World Corp., incorporated on December 10, 2003. A few days later it split $3.1 million between a "527" called Joint Victory Campaign 2004 and the Ickes Media Fund. The Post noted that the only public information available on the Sustainable World Corp. is a Houston post office box, and that its registered agent refused to identify the principals of his client.

Another "527" listed on the IRS website called "Campaign for a Progressive Future" (CPF) has expenditures tied to the Million Mom March. It has an address in the tiny town of Washington, Virginia. Among its donors are George Soros and Soros Fund Management and the Irene Diamond Fund, which helped bankroll the NAACP anti-gun lawsuit. Each Fund gave the CPF $500,000. A Google Search on the CPF produces nothing but an information page under the heading "Silent Partners" from the Center for Public Integrity, which lists the group as an "organization that supports candidates opposed by the National Rifle Association." (The NRA-ILA Website provides a good but necessarily sketchy a fact sheet as well.)

In his NPR NOW interview, Soros claimed, "I am contributing to independent organizations that are by law forbidden to coordinate their activities with political parties or candidates." That is what he sees as the only restriction on his obscene soft money largess.

But a search on the Democratic National Committee Website for the words "MoveOn.org" produces a few paragraphs that raise instant questions for Soros.

One item says, "The DNC is also conducting a major petition drive in partnership with MoveOn.org. More than 310,000 Americans have signed the petition to protect our courts - with more than 172,000 of those signatures coming in the past 36 hours. The petition calls on Bush and the Republicans to stop nominating judges that are out of step with mainstream Americans and praising the Democrats for standing up for their rights." The DNC website links the petition.

The other announcement involved what the DNC called "a massive public mobilization" in which "The Democratic Party is partnering with MoveOn.org…" to fight President Bush’s tax cuts.

But this is just the beginning of obvious coordination of this "527" and the DNC. A December 9, 2003 In These Times magazine cover-story described the work of a small network of radical "527’s" including MoveOn.org Voter Fund which were "created after McCain-Feingold to circumvent the ban on soft money. Named for the section of the tax code that regulates them, these progressive 527s -- nearly all funded and organized by traditional Democratic allies such as labor, environmental and reproductive rights groups -- can raise huge sums of unregulated money for voter education and registration so long as they do not advocate for a specific candidate."

As for their source of "huge sums of unregulated money," the article says, "So far the 527’s haven't had much of a problem finding cash, thanks in no small part to billionaire financier George Soros, who has donated $12 million so far to 527’s and has pledged millions more."

George has in reality shut down the traditional functions of political parties. Campaign finance reforms have allowed a small handful of left wing radicals to hijack the key machinery of a whole segment American politics.

The key stealth "527" organization funded by Soros is something called American’s Coming Together (ACT), to which Soros reportedly provided $10-million in seed money.

An August 8, 2003 press release from the group said, "A new political action committee, America Coming Together (ACT), will undertake a substantial effort in 17 key states to defeat President George W. Bush and elect progressive officials at every level in 2004, and to engage and mobilize millions of voters on key public issues." The press release characterization was a slip of the tongue. In fact, ACT is not a political action committee at all but a 527.

Sugar-daddy Soros’ America Coming Together is headed by Steve Rosenthal, formerly the Political Director of the AFL-CIO, whose title is now Chief Executive Officer of ACT, and by and Ellen R. Malcom, founder of EMILY’s list, the nation’s most notable pro-abortion "special interest" political action committee. Ms. Malcolm’s title is President, though the ACT website says she will keep her post at EMILY’s List.

In addition the ACT website www.americacomingtogether.com lists:

Minyon Moore, "formerly Chief Operations Officer for the Democratic National Committee;" Gina Glantz, the former national campaign manager for the Bill Bradley for President Campaign; Cecile Richards, "President of America Votes, a coalition of 17 national organizations working together to educate and mobilize voters in the 2004 elections…;" Andy Stern, President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU); and Carl Pope, Executive Director of the Sierra Club. Pope is listed as ACT’s Treasurer.

There’s more. An Internet search produces a press release on the Democratic National Committee website announcing Minyon Moore’s August 2002 departure as the DNC’s Chief Operating Officer to work for Dewey Square Group, a Democratic political consultancy.

According to the DNC, "Moore served as White House political director under President Clinton, as Political Director of the DNC… Moore will continue to serve as a senior advisor to the DNC and to Chairman (Terry) McAuliff." In addition, the chairman said, "I couldn’t be more thrilled than to nominate her to serve as an At-Large DNC member as well as a member of the DNC’s executive committee." The release quotes Ms. Moore: "I look forward to maintaining a close relationship with the DNC in my new position at Dewy Square…"

Cecile Richards is the activist daughter of Anne Richards, the former Governor of Texas who lost her job to George W. Bush. She is a former organizer for the Service Employees Union and is President of America Votes, which just so happen to be another 527 organization getting soft money. Before coming to America Votes, Ms. Richards was Deputy Chief of Staff to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

At Ms. Richard’s America Votes website (www.Americavotes.org) the group claims to be a "non-partisan political organization" which includes among its "coalition," – you guessed it – America Coming Together. Also among the 17 America Votes affiliates are the Service Employees Union, the Sierra Club and EMILY’s list.

The address for America Votes is:

888 16th St., N.W. Suite 440
Washington, D.C. 20006

Incidentally, that is the same address as America Coming Together, which is located one door down at suite 450.

And it is the address of another 527 "stealth PAC" – The Partnership for America’s Families, which according to The Center for Public Integrity, received funding from the Dewey Square Group, Ms. Moore’s employer, and DNC consultant.

There is a phrase for this. Political incest.

In case there is any doubt about the possibility of coordination with a party, 888 16th Street is the same address as the Democratic National Committee’s temporary headquarters.

How on earth can anybody pretend there is no coordination?

Author Christopher Hayes’ description in the In These Times, article, "Door by Door -- Progressives hit the streets in massive voter outreach, bears repeating:

"These field operations will be supervised, coordinated and executed by these same dozen so-called 527s, such as Americans Coming Together and America Votes, created after McCain-Feingold to circumvent the ban on soft money."

"Issue advocacy and voter contact in an election year is nothing new, but never before have progressive groups come together to coordinate their efforts, pool their resources and collectively execute the program. Although the organizational structure binding the half-dozen largest 527s is to a certain extent ad hoc, most of the groups are staffed by the same pool of veteran political organizers and headquartered in the same office building at 888 16th St.-across the street from the AFL-CIO in Washington, D.C.

"Alongside groups that will manage and execute the field operations are a few 527s, like America Votes, dedicated solely to coordinating these efforts.

"The energy surrounding field efforts is palpable, and many veteran party activists and organizers who were critical of the ways in which the Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act would end up handcuffing the Democrats now say that birth of the 527s has reinvigorated the party by moving money and manpower outside the Democratic National Committee and closer to activists."

So there it is. In the pre-McCain-Feingold political world, national parties, with officials elected by members, with platforms debated in open forums, with all sorts of sunshine through existing campaign laws, were the center of power. Now, under the "reform," power is in the hands of people who know no party discipline, hold no responsibility to voters, and are indeed beholden for their very existence to a few "very large donors."

And where are the big reformers in all of this?

Remarkably, McCain – whose face was everywhere on television pontificating about the corruption of soft money and sham ads during the years leading to enactment of BCRA -- has been deadly silent about Soros’ huge soft money donations. And he is silent about the unfettered television attack ad campaign by MoveOn.org.

An October 28, 2003 Bloomberg News Wire story did quote someone closely associated with McCain: ‘"The McCain Feingold bill was not intended to drive money from politics’ said Trevor Potter, a former FEC chairman who worked for McCain…’George Soros has a constitutional right to spend $10-million.’" Potter was among the heavyweight Washington attorneys defending the law in court.

As for Russell Feingold, the Wisconsin Senator was quoted in that same Bloomberg piece as saying, "The soft money ban was designed to break the connection between big money and elected officials, not to dry up or clamp down on political activism."

So MoveOn.org’s massive anti-Bush ad campaign morphs from "electioneering communication," to "political activism." And Soros’ obscene infusion of money to change the ideological direction of the nation is not "soft money" and has no connection with elected officials.

In the looking-glass-world of campaign finance reformers, "A rose by any other name…" is not a rose at all. In the floor debate John McCain looked to the future and to circumvention of the law he was forcing by sleight of hand on the American people.

"Do I believe that any law will prove effective over time? No, I do not. Were we to pass this legislation today, I am sure that at some time in the future, hopefully many years from now, we will need to address some new circumvention. So what? So we have to debate this matter again. Is that such a burden on us or our successors that we should simply be indifferent to the abundant evidence of at least the appearance of corruption," he said.

That last notion – "the appearance of corruption" was the essence of the case for banning "soft money" and for banning non-profit corporations like the NRA and unions from spending money on pre-election issue advocacy ads. There was never any evidence of corruption. No Senator or Congressman got up and pointed the finger or confessed that a vote was bought and paid for.

Senator Russ Feingold summed it up, saying, "We are going to talk about corruption, but, more importantly, what is much more obvious and much more relevant is the appearance of corruption. It is what it does to our Government and our system when people think there may be corruption even if it may not exist."

But the corruption does exist and its name is "527."

Herb Kohl, another of the sanctimonious supporters of McCain- Feingold, gave the best Alice in Wonderland description of fraud the Congress was about to foist on the American electorate, saying "Let me be clear, I do not believe that our system is corrupt or that elected officials are corrupted by campaign contributions. However, I agree that we must combat the perception of corruption.

"Whether the presence of unlimited political contributions is corrupting or whether it just creates the appearance of corruption, the damage is done," he said.

Open your eyes, Senator. The appearance may well be the reality, and you voted to create it.


James O. E. Norell is a writer for the National Rifle Association.


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