George Soros has all but bought another district attorney’s seat.
The left-wing billionaire turned the Philadelphia district attorney’s race on its head by giving $1.45 million to fund a super PAC in support of his preferred candidate, Larry Krasner. Krasner, a progressive lawyer who has never worked as a prosecutor, sailed to an easy victory in the Democratic primary on Tuesday. Because Philadelphia is a Democratic stronghold, Krasner’s primary victory all but guarantees him to win the general election in November.
The influx of money from Soros gave Krasner a significant leg up over his opposition. Despite splitting votes with six other candidates, Krasner, who was not a favorite to win before Soros’ investment, finished 18 points ahead of the second-place finisher. As one Philadelphia Inquirer writer put it after the billionaire’s investment: “Soros changed the game.”
The outcome of the Philadelphia district attorney’s race followed a now-familiar playbook. A candidate aligned with Soros’ left-wing politics emerged victorious thanks to the billionaire’s willingness to flood local races with the kind of capital typically reserved for important national political campaigns. Soros, a funder of Black Lives Matter, is a staunch advocate for reforming policing methods and softening drug laws. Installing like-minded district attorneys allows Soros the opportunity to influence law enforcement policies around the country.
In one such instance, Soros poured $600,000 into the Houston district attorney’s race last fall. Soros initially gave $100,000 to Morris Overstreet, a former judge who was the first African-American elected to a statewide office in Texas history. Overstreet’s Democratic primary opponent, Kim Ogg, called Soros’ influx of cash “a last-minute money dump to try to buy the nomination.” Ogg won the Democratic primary and later the general election, thanks in part to her own last-minute money dump from Soros, who spent $500,000 on ads supporting Ogg.
Soon after she was sworn in, Ogg moved to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana, placing her at odds with U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ call for stricter enforcement of the nation’s drug laws.
Soros spent more than $7 million influencing local prosecutorial races in 2015 and 2016, The Washington Times reported.
It appears that Soros will continue involving himself in local races.
His intervention on behalf of Krasner was the first time in Philadelphia history that a super PAC had supported a candidate for district attorney, Philadelphia Magazine noted. Whitney Tymas, an officer for the Soros-funded super PAC, told the magazine that the money flowing to Krasner was “because of his commitment to public safety and criminal justice reform.” As he often does, Soros worked from the shadows — Krasner claimed Soros supported him despite the fact that he’s “never met” the billionaire or anyone from his organization.
“I think everybody realizes that the vast majority of police officers in Philadelphia are really good people,” Krasner said in a conciliatory victory speech. “Like me, they hate bad police officers and they need the backing of law enforcement to make sure that the good police officers are promoted, that the good police officers have room to do their job, that the good police officers are safe, and that the bad police officers who endanger them and who cause there to be disrespect and a rift between them and the community are out of the way.”
Krasner’s supporters, however, showed far less tact.
As the results rolled in, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, anti-police chants rang out from the crowd: “No good cops in a racist system!”