WASHINGTON – Everyone knows about the tens of millions of dollars various George Soros front groups poured into Hillary Clinton’s failed presidential efforts in 2016, but the Republicans he supported – from Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan and his predecessor, John Boehner, have received less attention.
Republican presidential candidate John Kasich was also a big recipient of Soros largesse – to the tune at least $202,700. That makes Soros one of the Kasich presidential campaign’s top funders.
While the Soros Fund Management, just one of the Hungarian billionaire’s political tentacles, spent $224,300 on Democratic Party congressional campaigns in 2016, it also spent $31,400 on Republicans, including $10,800 on Ryan – the most of any member of the GOP, the same as it invested in Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, a Democrat.
Other GOP congressional recipients of Soros contributions include Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., ($2,500); Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. ($2,700); Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nev. ($2,700); Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio ($2,600); Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif. ($2,500); Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla. ($1,000); Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa ($1,000); Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis. ($1,000); Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash. ($1,000); and Rep. Dan Donovan, R-N.Y. ($300).
Soros has aided hundreds of left-wing groups since 2000 under the auspices of his Open Society Foundations promoting environmental activism, gun control, immigration groups, opposition to voter ID laws and anti-police groups like Black Lives Matter. In one year, Soros funding of at least $33 million helped persuade the public that Michael Brown was murdered by a police officer in the city of Ferguson, Missouri.
“The intense anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim rhetoric that has been fueled by the Republican primary is deeply offensive,” Soros said in the statement during the 2016 campaign. “There should be consequences for the outrageous statements and proposals that we’ve regularly heard from candidates (Donald) Trump and (Ted) Cruz.”
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Michael Vachon, a spokesman and political adviser to Soros, said there was no single cause for the increase in spending.
“His support of Clinton is one reason,” he said. “The tone of the other candidates is the other.
Soros’ personal fortune stands at about $24 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Soros handed off day-to-day management of his hedge-fund business in the late 1980s to focus on his charitable pursuits, many of which seek to promote democracy around the world. The Open Society Foundations say they have spent some $13 billion over the past three decades.
Soros organizations have also donated between $1.5 million and $6 million to the Clinton Foundation.