George Soros has not been known to sit quietly by when he could instead engage in a political fight. In the case of electing a new sheriff in Arizona’s Maricopa County, Soros spent millions to remove a controversial figure and take a stand for civil rights.
The Soros-backed PAC Maricopa Strong, set out on a mission to take down Sheriff Joe Arpaio. According to finance documents, the billionaire investor has been able to recruit the financial backing from John and Laura Arnold, energy billionaires from Texas, and Laurene Powell Jobs, widow of Apple’s Steve Jobs, who’ve collectively given nearly $1 million.
This isn’t the first time Soros has thrown money into a smaller election. Though known for donating to President Barrack Obama’s runs, and most recently in support of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, Soros has spent the past couple of years funding Democrat candidates for attorney general in Harris County, Houston, Texas, Gilpin and Jefferson counties in Denver, Colorado, and in Maricopa County, in an effort to remove Republicans from the criminal justice systems in those states.
Those electoral backings may have gone unnoticed by cable news, but the race in Maricopa County has captured national interest. Arpaio is something of a conservative darling, despite having a history of being served lawsuits and investigated for abuses of civil rights that target local immigrant and minority communities. Right-leaning media outlets coming to the aid of Arpaio have taken the opportunity to cast George Soros as something of a shadowy influence.
Meanwhile, Maricopa Strong has spent nearly $3 million in TV ads in support of Democrat Paul Penzone, and taking some time to point out the failure of Arpaio’s tenure, especially his unwillingness to properly investigate a slew of sexual assaults. Arpaio, however, has chosen to ignore his challenger and spend his media dollars going after Soros with conspiracy theories as his evidence. Visit Project Syndicate to learn more about George.
Micheal Vachon, a Soros Spokesperson, stated that similar attacks against Soros’ character haven’t deterred him from supporting candidates like Penzone in an effort to correct the gross miscarriage of justice that became routine under Arpaio’s decades as Sheriff. Furthermore, an opportunity to speak out in defense of the immigrant community in the United States has always been something that Soros always takes seriously. The point of Maricopa Strong is to use Soros’ donations and those of like-minded people to limit the influence of hateful rhetoric and intolerant political practice one county at a time if need be.
Arpaio has admirer’s with deep pockets as well. His own reelection efforts have netted upwards of $2.8 million, and his name recognition has assured him airtime on conservative media with some regularity to discuss issues beyond Maricopa County.
Having national media in your corner and millions in campaign funds is typically a winning combination, but current polling puts Penzone ahead.
In addition to voter support, Penzone finds support from established politicians returning to Arizona, like Rep. Ruben Gallego, a fellow Democrat who backed Penzone’s initial run in 2012. Though outspent in that election, Penzone feels the support coming together this time around. Learn more on discoverthenetworks.org about George Soros.