Soros Son Says, ‘Get Money Out of Politics’ - But, Helped Give $58M to Lefty Causes in 2011

Mike Ciandella | March 28, 2014 | 3:57pm EDT
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The son of one of the largest liberal donors of all time campaigning against money in politics might seem a bit strange.

What's even stranger is that, while he was spearheading that campaign, he was simultaneously vice chairman and director of the board of his father's multi-billion-dollar Open Society Foundation. In 2011 alone, while Jonathan Soros was vice chairman and director of the board, OSF gave $58,013,593 to blatantly liberal organizations alone.

That $58 million went to a variety of liberal causes including left-wings cornerstone organizations such as: the Center for American Progress ($1.3 million), ACLU ($3.5 million) and the Tides Foundation ($1.6 million). OSF was founded and is chaired by liberal billionaire George Soros and has donated more than $10 billion over the last 30 years. In 2012, the net assets of OSF were listed in 990 tax documents as more than $2.2 billion.

Politico ran a story on March 27 that profiled Jonathan Soros, the third of liberal bankroller George Soros' five children. Jonathan Soros has launched a "PAC to End All PACs," which allegedly strives to "get money out of politics." Except, at the end of the day, the Friends of Democracy PAC is little more than a scare campaign against much-hyped conservative dark money.

This review, written by David Freelander, the senior political correspondent for The Daily Beast, is glowing. Although Politico admitted that Jonathan "like his father, has given prodigiously to Democratic interests - more than $2 million in the last few years to various candidates and causes," the liberal outlet paints a picture of a champion of voters' rights, who is "quietly bankrolling an effort to limit the very influence of rich donors like him."

The article quotes Jonathan Soros as saying "I don't want to make a big deal out of this, but I do need to be honest about the role my family has played on the other side of this." Naturally, he failed to mention that he wasn't just the son of the man who gave over $608 million to liberal causes since 2000, he was vice chair and director of the board of the foundation that donated that money.

The numbers used in this report were gathered from the 990 tax forms for the Foundation to Promote an Open Society (commonly known as the Open Society Foundation), including the tax returns for 2011, which list Jonathan Soros as "vice chairman/director." The entire 2012 tax returns are not available via the Foundation Directory Online in spreadsheet format. Because of this, the story didn't have a completed tally of how much money was specifically given to all liberal organizations in 2012.

Some of the biggest liberal recipients from OSF in 2011 were:

  • ACLU: $3,593,170
  • Center for American Progress: $1,324,195
  • Common Cause: $275,000
  • Foundation for National Progress (Mother Jones): $260,000
  • Human Rights Watch: $10,100,000
  • Proteus Fund: $1,633,000
  • The Tides Foundation: $2,516,000
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