AMAC Exclusive – By Andrew Abbott
Last week’s recall election ousting progressive District Attorney Chesa Boudin was a resounding rebuke of the progressive legal movement and a repudiation of the far-left push to dismantle the criminal justice system. The final results – over 60% of highly liberal San Francisco voters voted “yes” on the recall question – sent a powerful message to liberal billionaire megadonor George Soros in particular that his attempt to single-handedly undermine the American justice system may be in serious jeopardy.
An avowed “deincarceration” advocate, Chesa Boudin came into office with a promise to radically upend the current justice system and remained steadfast in this aim even as crime rates skyrocketed across the city. Like other progressive prosecutors around the country, Boudin essentially stopped prosecuting crimes like robbery and drug possession, refused to do anything about open-air drug sales, and ended cash bail, among other progressive “reforms.” Unsurprisingly, San Francisco soon became one of the most crime-ridden cities in the country, as many stores were forced to close entirely when Boudin’s office refused to prosecute shoplifters.
Despite clear frustration among voters with Boudin’s policies, he originally dismissed the recall as “millions of dollars in lies.” Boudin insisted to the end that the recall campaign was only supported by rich San Francisco Republicans (even though vanishingly few remain) and that minority voters would continue to back his policies. Instead, it was minority voters who played a key role in sending Boudin packing.
The results in San Francisco have many pundits questioning if the progressive prosecutor movement – primarily funded by Soros – may be on the cusp of a widespread reckoning even with typically-liberal voters this fall and beyond. After all, if a progressive movement can’t survive in San Francisco, where can it?
According to a new Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund (LELDF) report, Soros has financially backed and successfully helped install at least 75 “social justice prosecutors” over the last decade. This small cadre of radicals “represent more than 1 in 5 Americans or more than 72 million people, including half of America’s 50 most populous cities.” While Soros did not directly fund DA Boudin’s election in 2019, several Soros-aligned groups have backed Boudin publicly, and Soros himself personally invested a million dollars to oppose his recall.
In total, Soros has spent more than $40 million in direct campaign spending to get prosecutors elected. His spending campaigns were so aggressive that from 2018 to 2021, he spent $13 million in just ten races. In each race, he was by far the largest single booster and, in some, represented 90% of all election dollars spent in the race.
District attorney races are, traditionally, “low-dollar” elections. Most have campaign budgets of a few hundred thousand dollars and rarely exceed $1 million. By targeting and flooding the election field with so much money, Soros aims to effectively buy the elections for his chosen candidates. A series of interconnected and overlapping organizations allow Soros to circumvent campaign spending laws and spend his vast wealth in elections across the country.
The rubric under which candidates receive funding from Soros is a shared commitment to “social justice” reform. District Attorneys have tremendous power via “prosecutorial discretion,” which Soros hopes to use to “transform” the criminal justice system. This means that progressive policies that are too unpopular to pass as laws can be implemented via a prosecutor’s refusal to prosecute them. In the case of most Soros-backed DAs, this ended cash bail, incarcerating people only as a last resort, and even refusing to prosecute certain crimes.
Following the death of George Floyd and the subsequent riots, crime began to spike across the country. These prosecutors’ refusal to hold criminals accountable led to skyrocketing crime in many major American cities. Multiple viral videos showed criminals raiding and looting stores with impunity. Those few who were arrested were often released within hours. The LELDF report notes that in 2021 “over 40% of U.S. Homicides” occur in the district of a “Soros-linked prosecutor.”
But despite this latest backlash against his movement, Soros appears to be doubling down on his funding efforts. LELDF President Jason Johnson stated following the Boudin recall that “Soros isn’t done yet – he’s already spent another million so far this year on his hand-picked district attorneys… Soros is using that campaign money and the hundreds of millions more for supporting organizations to quietly transform the criminal justice system for the worse, promoting dangerous policies and anti-police narratives to advance his radical agenda.”
Last week, for example, it was revealed that Soros is bankrolling a new Latino Media Network. This would constitute “18 Hispanic radio stations across ten different markets.” The goal appears to be to promote the progressive propaganda to Hispanics, a demographic Democrats have struggled with in recent elections – and which played a large role in ousting Boudin.
With billions of dollars at his disposal and a complete unwillingness to reevaluate his positions, it’s likely that average Americans will still have to contend with Soros-backed prosecutors for some time. However, voters in San Francisco showed that no matter how liberal a city’s reputation is, Americans of all political stripes won’t put up with uncontrolled chaos in their streets. That means no matter how much money Soros pours into local races, the progressive prosecutor movement’s days may be numbered.
Andrew Abbott is the pen name of a writer and public affairs consultant with over a decade of experience in DC at the intersection of politics and culture.