No, George Soros shouldn’t be meddling in local Ga. race

George Soros (AP)

George Soros (AP)

Matthew McCord seems a bit upset, and I don’t blame him.

McCord, a Republican, had filed to run this fall for district attorney in Henry County, but recently withdrew from the race. He knew going in that he faced a tough fight against Democrat Darius Patillo, but he didn’t know that his difficult task would become almost impossible after Georgia Safety & Justice injected itself into the race.

Funded by George Soros, a liberal New York billionaire, Georgia Safety & Justice had spent $91,000 on Patillo’s behalf through August, making it hard for McCord to compete.

“Our district attorney’s office can’t be bought by people who don’t even live here,” a defiant McCord said before later deciding to withdraw. “Whether you are a Republican or a Democrat, it should be appalling that Mr. Soros and my opponent believe that the office of the Henry County district attorney is for sale.”

I agree. It’s appalling. Georgia Safety & Justice is one of a string of such groups set up by Soros around the country to help elect minority district attorneys who are sympathetic to a less punitive approach to criminal justice. Personally, I think that’s a worthy goal. But motive aside, a New York billionaire should not be able to sweep into a Georgia county and — by contributing what amounts to a rounding error in his $25 billion fortune — pretty much dictate who gets elected district attorney. There’s something profoundly undemocratic about it.

Likewise, there’s something undemocratic about the secret political action committee set up by Gov. Nathan Deal to help him push his own political priorities, such as passage of his controversial constitutional amendment allowing a state takeover of local schools and local tax money. Sleuthing by the AJC has uncovered a few of the contributors to Deal’s political slush fund, including large contributions by health-care groups, liquor distributors and others, but most of the donors remain shrouded in secrecy.

Health-care businesses and liquor distributors have no real interest in the fate of an education initiative, of course. But they do have an interest in buying the friendship and loyalty of a sitting governor. It’s also highly likely that for-profit education companies are contributing to Deal’s fund in hopes of winning future state contracts, but voters have no way of knowing.

So-called “dark money” also played a role in this summer’s GOP primary between Cobb County Commission Chair Tim Lee and challenger Mike Boyce. A so-called “social welfare organization” spent more than $140,000 from unknown contributors on Lee’s behalf, buying TV commercials and direct-mail pieces that spread blatant lies about Boyce’s positions and background. From the little that came to light publicly, at least some of the money came from people with a lot to gain from county contracts.

In one sense, the scale of such abuses at the local and state level can’t compare to U.S. House, Senate and especially presidential races. Voters and grassroots activists in both parties have grown justifiably cynical about the influence of special interests and billionaires who invest tens of millions of dollars in eager-to-please national politicians.

But as McCord learned in Henry County, a relatively small amount of outside, uncontrolled money invested in down-ticket races can have a even larger impact in distorting democracy.

Reader Comments 0

1396 comments
Hibbert
Hibbert

Sometimes out of state money is used for private profits, and sometimes out of state money is used for altruistic social justice issues. How shall we determine which is which ? 

Does Soros put more money in the campaign that say , the NRA ?  

tireOfIt
tireOfIt

Heard Eric Trump say on Outnumbered, that his father started with very little in life.

13Directors
13Directors

Why the Koch Brother's names are never mentioned in this article is baffling. 

Kamchak
Kamchak

Charlotte/Tulsa SHEETZ

td1234
td1234

@BuckeyeGa Does a gun have to be pointed at an officer before they are allowed to use deadly force? 

honested
honested

@td1234 @BuckeyeGa 

How far do you want to take that nonsense.

In your little world, do you believe that LEO's should be allowed to do drive-by's if they feel 'disrespected'?

Paul42
Paul42

Nick Danger

"...Richard Nixon released his tax returns while being audited. 

It appears that Trump is not even the man that Nixon was, when it comes to honesty and integrity."


I hope Hillary's team has an internet data-mining operation going full speed to capture gems like that to use in the debates.

ByteMe
ByteMe

@Paul42 It'll only resonate with old people who remember Nixon.

Lee30519
Lee30519

@Paul42 Internet data-mining....Maybe they can find those 55000 missing emails.

td1234
td1234

@Paul42 Where are those 33,000 emails from Hillary? I want to see those wedding plans and yoga emails.

honested
honested

@td1234 @Paul42 

Send her a petition after the election.

I'm sure she will ignore it as she should.

Eye wonder
Eye wonder

@td1234 @Paul42

33,000. 55,000. If you guys were better with math, you'd shave your head, shave your p(u)ssy (cat), and go with 55,000,000,000,000.

RaindroidWillBoy
RaindroidWillBoy

@Paul42 @ByteMe


Nixon is no Hillary Clinton nor sexual predator.  He covered up a break in for DNC data not sex with young woman in oval office nor maintaining a private server to hide from FOIA and put security at risk. He only erased a few minutes of tape..she erased thousands government documents.


Trump will have a field day if she brings up Nixon.


In terms of legacy accomplishments, they'd be lucky to a accomplish half what Nixon did....

Paul42
Paul42

@ByteMe

Good point.  So modify it with "Richard Nixon, the only president to resign in disgrace"

Trump reaction will be the point to watch for.

ByteMe
ByteMe

#FailureToThinkOfABiggerNumber

ByteMe
ByteMe

Whine whine whine.  That's all you trolls do.  Post incorrect info and whine or disappear when we call you on it.

honested
honested

@Lee30519 @Paul42 

Sugar Hill, one more time, the Voters who will be casting votes for the Winner of the Election don't care about the emails.

Bleating about it just makes you look foolish.

Paul42
Paul42

@RaindroidWillBoy

Hillary is a sexual predator?!!?

Or did you mean Trump?

She erased 'thousands' of government documents?

Proof?

Care to go to the thousands that the FBI recovered and show us one that has you all worried about our security?


honested
honested

@RaindroidWillBoy @Paul42 @ByteMe 

richard nixxonn was guilty of High Crimes and Misdemeanors against the United States and would have faced a fairly quick Impeachment, Trial, and Expulsion had he not resigned.

Yes, there is truly a difference.

TetoLeo
TetoLeo

Nick_Danger,

That's a question that could be asked of many that blog here, just switch Trump and Clinton's order in the question depending on poster

Paul42
Paul42

@honested


That's one of the things that gets me the most.  Conservatives seem to have no sense of proportion, of scale or of fact, for that matter.

Paul42
Paul42

@TetoLeo

It's more of what I observed about Lee and others:  about all we here from extreme conservatives is 'email.'

Yet go to a source that monitors the accuracy of all their campaign-related statements, Hillary has the award for the most accuracy and honesty by such a margin it isn't even a contest.

RaindroidWillBoy
RaindroidWillBoy

@Paul42 @honested


Lets see, "intentional deletion" and "extremely careless".  And of course she lies and lies 

about the server.  She claims she knows what a secret document looks like then forgets.  


Help me understand what proportion I'm missing here.


Trivia question...who said:


"“Certain elements may try to stretch this beyond what it was,” ?


Kamchak
Kamchak

@td1234 

If. Only. We. Could. Have. Just. One. More. Investigation.

#GameChanger

honested
honested

I read that chump will declare victory on Monday night if he fails to spontaneuosly-combust.

Lee30519
Lee30519

@honested Hillary will declare victory if she is able to make it through the debate and not have a seizure.