George Soros has been busy since early in the 2016 election cycle, putting millions into state and local contests in a bid to shift local politics against the interests of the law-abiding middle class.
One of Soros’ signal successes was defeating “Sheriff Joe” Arpaio in Maricopa County, Arizona in 2016. As one of his first actions, the new sheriff, Paul Penzone, announced that his department would no longer be honoring ICE detainer requests. In a county that sees one of the biggest annual influxes of illegal migrants in America, this must certainly count as a policy shift against the interests of the middle class.
In November 2017, Soros achieved another signature success when he got Larry Krasner, a radical-left defense lawyer, elected as Philadelphia’s district attorney.
Joe Schoffstall recounts at Washington Free Beacon that Soros’ funding constituted virtually all of Krasner’s campaign money:
Krasner, who has represented Occupy Philadelphia and Black Lives Matter, and has sued the police department more than 75 times, had a major fundraising advantage that was provided almost exclusively by Soros, who has made it a mission to fund district attorney races throughout the country and has notched victories along the way. …
On April 28, Soros initially cut a $1,450,000 check to the Philadelphia Justice and Public Safety PAC, a super PAC that was established with the sole intent of backing Krasner. The PAC lists its address as the Perkins Coie law office, a Washington, D.C.-based powerhouse law firm that represents a number of Democratic politicians, committees, and interests. Whitney Tymas, who has been involved with a number of Soros PACs, is the operator of the Philadelphia Justice & Public Safety PAC.
Soros gave $214,000 more to the PAC on May 23, bringing the total amount in support of Krasner to $1.7 million, an unusual high for the average district attorney race. This was the first time a PAC had supported a candidate for district attorney in the city.
In Philadelphia, a Democrat was going to win the contest anyway. Krasner beat Republican opponent Beth Grossman by more than 40 percentage points. The real purpose, and impact, of Soros’ money was to get Krasner past a field of six other, mostly less radical Democrats.
The Soros project is only to elect “Democrats” in places where that will change the map from red to blue. The map is already blue in Philadelphia; in a place like Philly, the project is to elect progressive radicals.
Krasner was sworn into office on Tuesday. On Friday, he dismissed 31 staffers, many from the capital murder and drug crime squads. (Krasner campaigned on opposing the death penalty and promising never to seek it.)
It’s probable that not all the dismissals were a bad idea. In a big-city prosecutor’s office, there can always be senior staffers who basically need dismissing. It’s fair to make that point. But it’s also clear that Philadelphia is buzzing over this because the action is unusual, and seen by many as ill-considered and even outrageous.
Meanwhile, a clearer indication of where Krasner is coming from is probably this endorsement of his campaign and intentions by an organized prison group, which congratulated itself after the November 2017 vote for getting him elected.
The group’s history, in brief:
Twenty years ago, radical black prisoners in the State Correctional Institution Greene, a super-max prison in rural southwest Pennsylvania, started the Human Rights Coalition, or HRC — a radical new model of advocacy for human rights in criminal justice reform. …
Prisoners who were leaders in HRC joined the advisory boards of local and national organizations such as the American Friends Service Committee, Decarcerate PA, Families and Communities United and Reconstruction, Inc. They then encouraged their family members and loved ones to join community organizations as rank-and-file members to ensure their voices were heard. Prisoners at State Correctional Institution Graterford, in particular, organized a political action campaign in Philadelphia that saw their families and communities influence the 2015 Pennsylvania Supreme Court judicial elections, resulting in a clean-sweep of Democratic justices being elected to the state’s Supreme Court.
The prison-based HRC takes its voting-base case to candidates:
Earlier this year , the community organizations’ spokespersons were able to contact the candidates and explain that SCI-Graterford prisoners are 5,000 in number and have an average of five family members who will vote for the candidate of their choice. That means a potential 25,000-strong voting bloc.
Krasner won their endorsement by overcoming what may have been politicized objections to an appearance he scheduled at the Graterford prison (objections that might have come from supporters of a Democratic opponent). According to the authors, during his rescheduled appearance at the prison:
Speaking to several hundred prisoners, he unequivocally adopted their proposed criminal justice reform agenda.
The prison group worked with area activists to drum up votes for Krasner. Affiliated groups included Soros-backed Color of Change, one of the activist organizations prominently involved in the nationwide Soros effort to elect local law enforcement candidates (see top link at Politico). It’s important to understand that this is how Soros works: by backing multiple groups, so that when there are a number of them from the radical left coming together, the dominant factor is Soros money.
Having unequivocally adopted the prisoners’ platform for criminal justice reform, Krasner had their full-throated support. The blog authors summarize their win:
Prisoners mobilized a base — their family and friends — that is often disconnected and disenfranchised from politics, showing that winning isn’t necessarily predicated on co-opting centrists. It can also be done by organizing people who aren’t normally involved in the election process to vote as a bloc. That’s why last night 147,666 people voted for Krasner, as compared to just 89,238 votes for the Democratic candidate in 2013.
Not everyone is so overjoyed. Families awaiting justice for homicides are suddenly encountering situations like this one:
Andrew Notaristefano, a homicide prosecutor and District Attorney’s Office employee for more than a decade, said he had a homicide trial scheduled to start Monday — and that he’d met with the victim’s family Thursday night to prepare. He was at his desk working Friday when a human resources employee took him aside and told him he was fired, he said.
Notaristefano, who secured dozens of murder convictions during his career, said he was given “no explanation.” He requested to leave after prosecuting his upcoming trial but was told no, he said. His request to speak to Krasner was also denied, he said.
Hearing from several families of homicide victims who are very concerned about how these firings will affect their upcoming cases. Many have waited a long time for their cases to go to court, others have bonded with the ADA’s on cases. https://t.co/DJCqK0SAHg
— Helen Ubiñas (@NotesFromHeL) January 5, 2018
The Philadelphia Inquirer says 14 new people have already been hired to replace some of the 31 dismissed. It may be tempting to ignore this Soros-backed effort. Most of us don’t live in Philadelphia, or Maricopa County. But Soros money is probably already at work somewhere near where we do live. This will require countering to knock back.