Liberal billionaire George Soros may have kept a low profile over the last two months, with reports of him being suspiciously “missing”, but he sure made his presence felt still by pouring his wealth on lobbying during President Donald Trump’s first year in office in record numbers.
A D.C.-based 501 (c) (4) nonprofit, The Open Society Policy Center, that focuses on domestic and international advocacy efforts gave $16.2 million for lobbying for the entire 2017. It is a separate entity from Soro’s Open Society Foundations.
Soro’s group reported spending $4.6 million for the first six months of 2017 for lobbying efforts. The billionaire also added $1.25 million to the total during the third quarter. Most of the expenditures were spent during the fourth quarter from the period of October 1 to December 31. The total for that is $10.3 million.
Soros spent most of the money on issues close to him, especially those that are perceived to attack him, such as Hungary’s Bill on Foreign-Funded Organization 9 (LexNGO), a crackdown on the foreign-funded organization in that country.
The billionaire also pushed funds to lobby on such issues as the Restricted First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017, the National Defense Authorization Act for the fiscal year 2018, and the Preventing Preemptive War in North Korea Act of 2017, among others, based on the disclosure forms records. Soro’s The Open Society Policy Center lobbied the Senate, House of Representatives, State Department, National Security Council, and the Department of Defense last year.
Curiously, though, Soro’s policy center only spent an average of $1.9 million on lobbying Congress and other agencies between 2002 and 2012. The most it spent prior to last year was in 2014 when it spent $12.4 million.
The group’s disclosure forms also show that Soros has sought the help of a number of outside lobbying shops including Orion Strategies, the Mitchell Firm, and Glover Park Group, all D.C.-based firms. Those were aside from the three in-house lobbyists already rendering services for the Soro’s group.
The group’s most recent tax reforms also show that The Open Society Policy Center hauled in $17 million in contributions in 2015. One of the group’s largest recipients of funds during that year was Advocacy Fund, described as an organization that helps to navigate “lobbying, political and funding rules to win campaigns for social change”. The amount given to Advocacy Fund was $800,000.
Interestingly, Advocacy Fund is involved with New York-based public policy organization Demos whose board of directors is chaired by Democrat Senator Elizabeth Warren’s daughter, Amelia Warren Tyagi.
One of the most prominent anti-Trump group known as Indivisible is also listed under the Advocacy Fund’s projects.
There’s also Democracy Alliance, a secretive donor club, where Soros is a founding partner. It is composed of wealthy liberals generous of their money to fund liberal groups.
The Free Beacon was able to attend the group’s secretive fall investment conference last November at the La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad, California. Free Beacon was able to get confidential documents at the supposed “retreat” where the group made its “next steps” plans in the “resistance” movement, or simply known as efforts to malign, undermine, oppose and eventually oust Trump.
Soros and Democratic House Minority Leader and one of the most vocal Trump critics Nancy Pelosi led the event. Other Democrats including another fervent Trump hater, Rep. Maxine Walters, also either attended or participated in the event through video messages.