George Soros, Trendsetting Political Donor

Billionaire George Soros has been a leading contributor to the Democratic party over the past two decades. In 2004 he gave $27 million in an effort to see George W. Bush defeated in the presidential race. After that he pulled back on his donations, until the 2016 election. For the 2016 election he gave or committed more than $25 million to get Hillary Clinton and other Democratic candidates elected. George Soros planned on attending the Democratic Convention for the first time to see Hillary get the nomination, but had to cancel.

Soros, who was born in Hungary, has amassed a wealth estimated at $24.9 billion. He lives in New York now, and has shared a relationship with Hillary Clinton going back 25 years. Those in contact with Mr. Soros say this is the most engaged in politics they have seen him in many years. They think it is because of a combination of the faith he had in Clinton and the fear he had for Republican candidate Donald Trump. He and his political advisor Michael Vachon felt the stakes were especially high this election year.

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George Soros felt specifically threatened because of Mr. Trump, and the conservatives radically difference in views from his own. George holds some views especially close and has worked to support them, such as immigration reform, criminal justice reform and religious tolerance. He felt as though Donald Trump, or any Republican would work against his views on these issues.

The Democrats saw such big contributions from Soros and other investors as a good sign for Clinton and the party. Some of the other high dollar investors were Tom Steyer, a San Francisco environmentalist, Don Sussman, a New York hedge funder, and media moguls Haim Saban and Fred Eychaner. Soros’ though is looked at as a trendsetter for giving, due to his history of investments in the party.

After Soros’ unprecedented funding of the campaign against Bush in 2004, he hinted that he may never spend that much on political financing again. After that election he focused his donations on his international foundations. Soros backed President Obama in his 2012 reelection campaign, but admitted to a Clinton ally he regretted supported Obama over Clinton. He felt Clinton had a more “open door policy” with him, that he could meet with her at any time to discuss issues. His relationship and faith in Clinton combined with his dislike for Donald Trump and his policies could have been the push Soros needed to get back in political funding heavily.

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