George Soros said he was staying out of the 2010 elections. It appears he wasn’t exactly telling the truth.
After helping Al Franken steal a U.S. Senate seat in 2008, Soros’s ultra-wealthy buddies in the Democracy Alliance, a billionaires’ club that funds left-wing political infrastructure, are spending money to level the playing field for vote fraudsters. (Soros is also funding an effort to take away democratic elections for state supreme courts, as John Gizzi notes in a new Capital Research Center paper.)
Their money is flowing to secretary of state candidates directly and to the Secretary of State Project, a “527” political committee that can accept unlimited financial contributions that it doesn’t have to disclose publicly until after the election. The SoS Project, which has raised at least $170,836 in this election cycle, is an officially approved Democracy Alliance grantee. Not surprisingly, members of the Alliance are opening their wallets to help secretary of state candidates across America endorsed by the SoS Project.
The purpose of the SoS Project is to destroy the remaining vestiges of electoral integrity. The group endorses left-wing, Democratic secretary of state candidates who have no respect for clean, honest elections.
Political observers know that a relatively small amount of money can help swing a little-watched race for a state office few people understand or care about. Once elected, a leftist secretary of state can help deliver a close election to Democrats as Minnesota’s Mark Ritchie accomplished through skullduggery in the 2008 contest between Franken and incumbent Norm Coleman. Both Franken and Ritchie, by the way, were endorsed by ACORN Votes, ACORN’s federal political action committee.
According to reports filed with the IRS, members of the Democracy Alliance gave sizable contributions this year and last year to the SoS Project. Alliance member and SoS Project co-founder Michael Kieschnick, who heads Working Assets, a long distance provider that funds so-called social justice projects, gave $10,000. Office furniture heir John R. Hunting, who is also an Alliance member, kicked in $20,000.
Democracy Alliance member Paul Rudd — not the comic actor — gave $10,000. Heiress Pat Stryker gave $25,000 and financier Nicholas Hanauer gave $5,000. The McKay Foundation, headed by Taco Bell heir and Alliance chairman Rob McKay, donated $10,000.
Two individuals with close ties to the Democracy Alliance also gave the SoS Project money in the same period. Elizabeth “Liza” Pike, wife of Drummond Pike, gave $2,500. Drummond is the founder of the uber-radical Tides Foundation and treasurer of the Alliance. Lawrence Litvak, chairman of the board of Tides, gave $239.
Former community organizer Ritchie is up for reelection this year. Four Democracy Alliance members gave his campaign money: real estate heiress Patricia Bauman ($250); child psychologist Gail Furman ($200); career activist Megan Hull ($500); and lawyer Scott Wallace ($500). Contributors to Ritchie’s 2006 campaign included Soros, Drummond Pike, and veteran community organizer Heather Booth, a Saul Alinsky disciple who co-founded the Midwest Academy, a radical school that breeds Marxist agitators.
The SoS Project is endorsing Jocelyn Benson, candidate for secretary of state in Michigan, whom it lauds as an “[e]lection law scholar and community organizer.” Benson hardly needs the help: she’s raised an eye-opening $802,273 so far, according to state campaign filings.
Frances Kieschnick gave Benson $1,000. She is the wife of Michael Kieschnick of Working Assets, a long distance provider that funds so-called social justice projects. Michael also co-founded the SoS Project and is a member of the Democracy Alliance. (Michael gave Benson $3,400.) Philanthropist and Alliance member Barbara Lee — not the congresswoman — gave $2,000. The political action committee of People for the American Way, an Alliance-approved group, gave $200.
Other Alliance members who have money to Benson: Rockefeller heiress Anne Bartley ($250.00); Patricia Bauman ($750); financier Blair Hull ($3,400); Megan Hull ($9,400); Rob McKay ($3,000); founder of ACORN’s Project Vote affiliate Sanford Newman ($500); and Atlantic Philanthropies executive William J. Roberts ($500).
SoS Project endorsee California Secretary of State Debra Bowen, whom the group describes as “one of the most progressive Secretaries of State in the nation,” was endorsed in her previous run by California ACORN PAC. Alliance members giving her money for this run include Michael Kieschnick, who gave $1,000.
Endorsee Iowa Secretary of State Michael Mauro took in $4,000 from Megan Hull and $4,000 from Michael Kieschnick. Endorsee Colorado Secretary of State Bernie Buescher received $525 from Frances Kieschnick and from these Democracy Alliance members: Michael Kieschnick ($525); software entrepreneur Tim Gill ($1,050); Pat Stryker ($1,050); and from Local 105 of SEIU ($10,600). Endorsee Maryellen O’Shaughnessy in Ohio took $4,000 from Michael Kieschnick and $1,500 from Megan Hull.
The secretary of state candidates the group endorses all sing the same familiar song about electoral integrity issues that we routinely hear from ACORN: Voter fraud is largely a myth, vote suppression is used widely by Republicans, cleansing the dead and fictional characters from voter rolls should be avoided until embarrassing media reports emerge, and anyone who demands that a voter produce photo identification before pulling the lever hates poor people and minorities.
The strategic targeting of the SoS Project yielded astounding results in 2008 and 2006. The group brags it helped to elect “9 out of 11 reform candidates for chief elections officer in key states in 2006 and 2008” and “raised nearly 1 million dollars for SoS candidates in both election cycles.”
That’s an excellent return on investment and Soros knows it.
Finally, although some conservatives have been attacking Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller, a Democrat seeking reelection, for his skepticism towards recent reports that Harry Reid’s Senate campaign has been cheating, such criticism appears misplaced. It is hard to believe Miller would tolerate Reid breaking the law for one reason: Miller and Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, also a Democrat, have gone far out on a political limb for their vigorous prosecution of election fraud committed by the left’s favorite crime syndicate, ACORN.
Their investigators jointly raided the offices of Las Vegas ACORN in 2008 and discovered that the group had been running an illegal scheme that gave voter registration canvassers cash rewards for exceeding daily quotas. One ACORN employee has already been convicted in the scheme, and his supervisor, Amy Busefink, goes on trial Nov. 29. (Despite the pending felony charges, Busefink is currently heading the get-out-the-vote effort now being conducted by ACORN’s vote manufacturing subsidiary, Project Vote.) Even ACORN itself, the shell corporation that runs 300-plus affiliated groups nationwide and overseas, is under indictment in Nevada thanks to Miller.
Miller, who was endorsed by the SoS Project when he ran in 2006, was not endorsed by the group this time. Coincidence?