$6.4 Million from Soros Behind Legal Battles for 3 Conservative 2016 Contenders, Media Ignore

The media should be reporting on this, but they consistently ignore it.

Legal battles against state governor’s with higher political aspirations keep cropping up. But looking deeper into attacks on Republican governors from Texas, Wisconsin and Louisiana reveals George Soros’ checkbook was behind it all – but the news media aren’t about to point that out.

The group that first filed an indictment charge against Texas Gov. Rick Perry was funded by Soros, the liberal billionaire, but the trail of his money didn’t end there. Both the recall election for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and an even less successful recall attempt for Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal were rooted in Soros-funded groups. Among them, these three potential Republican presidential candidates were targeted by groups receiving more than $6.3 million from Soros.

The media should be reporting on this connection, but so far they have completely ignored it. None of the broadcast news coverage of Walker’s recall election or Perry’s indictment on ABC, CBS or NBC have mentioned Soros. Attempts to recall Jindal weren’t mentioned by the networks, although left-wing outlets like The Huffington Post tried to promote them.

Soros Joined Unions to Recall Scott Walker

Walker’s 2012 recall election made national headlines, before he won reelection by a wider margin than he had won his original election.

Walker’s troubles began when he limited the bargaining power of unions. Predictably, this angered the AFL-CIO – and a Soros-funded network of liberal groups that the Wisconsin branch of the AFL-CIO was a part of. This network, dubbed America Votes, got at least $2.14 million from Soros in 2006 alone. Besides the AFL-CIO, America Votes includes the Human Rights Campaign (which had gotten $600,000 from Soros) and the American Federation of Teachers (which got $31,853).

And the apple didn’t fall far from the tree. Soros’ son Jonathan also donated $5,000 to Walker’s opponents. Jonathan is vice chairman and director of the board for the Open Society Foundation.

Common Dreams and Workers Independent News worked to promote this recall, as did other Soros-funded media outlets, including Mother Jones ($485,000) and Alternet. They were among the first to report on the recall threat. All four of these organizations are also members of the Media Consortium. The Media Consortium has received $675,000 from Soros since 2000.

Yet, in all the network news coverage of Walker, America Votes was never mentioned.

Soros Groups Try and Fail to Oust Governor Jindal

Jindal, the Republican governor of Louisiana, also faced recall attempts, including one in June 2014. That recent attempt to garner support for his recall took the form of a petition on the liberal petition site MoveOn.org. Soros gave at least $1.46 million to MoveOn.org. According to its website, MoveOn works to pass “progressive laws.”

Even MoveOn.org acknowledged the Soros connection, although they thought it was important to make excuses for it. According to MoveOn.org, “George Soros gave a sizable donation to MoveOn Voter Fund in 2004 to match the donations coming from small donors aimed at stopping President Bush's horrible policies. He hasn't given since and MoveOn's Voter Fund, a 527 organization, was closed down after the 2004 election.”

Only two governors in U.S. history have been successfully recalled: Gray Davis, D-Calif., in 2003, and Lynn Frazier, R-N.D., in 1921.

Governor Perry’s Indictment Attempt Started by Soros Group

Texas Governor Rick Perry is just the latest political target of George Soros’ network. Perry was indicted by a Texas grand jury for vetoing funding for the state’s public integrity unit, unless the lead prosecutor resigned following her drunk driving arrest. 

Texans for Public Justice, one of the groups behind Perry’s indictment charges, is part of a “progressive” coalition that has received $500,000 from Soros. Besides Texans for Public Justice, this coalition included Texans Together, the Sierra Club, Texas Legal Services, La Fe Policy Research and Education Center, Public Citizen, and the Center for Public Policy. 

Ironically, Texans for Public Justice (TPJ) listed “Exposing ‘Dark Money’” as one of its top initiatives in its 2013 annual report. This same report acknowledged TPJ’s attempts to discredit Perry, noting that “TPJ filed a formal complaint against the governor over his threats to veto the budget of the Travis County Public Integrity Unit, which prosecutes political corruption. A special prosecutor has been assigned to investigate TPJ’s allegations and potentially present them to a grand jury.”

In addition to Soros’ Open Society Foundations, TPJ listed the liberal Sunlight Foundation as one of its donors.

Since news broke of Perry’s indictment on Aug. 15, none of the network morning or evening news broadcasts have mentioned the Soros connection, or even the group Texans for Public Justice.

Mike Ciandella
Mike Ciandella
Mike Ciandella is a research analyst for the MRC's News Analysis Division