Soros dumps $1.4 million into Philly DA primary

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Billionaire George Soros, with a single check for $1.45 million last week, upended the money race in the Democratic primary campaign for district attorney in Philadelphia.


On April 28, Soros poured that cash into Philadelphia Justice & Public Safety, an independent political action committee running television ads in support of civil rights lawyer Larry Krasner, according to a campaign finance report filed Friday.

That PAC spent $497,456 of the money in the first two days after it registered in Philadelphia on April 25. That spending paid for TV commercials, campaign literature, and online ads, and to pay for people to canvass the city’s neighborhoods, seeking support for Krasner.


The PAC spent another $222,505 on Tuesday and Wednesday this week for more television air time and for literature to be mailed to voters, other reports show.

And the PAC reported owing $42,585 to a related nonprofit group, registered April 22 with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, for polling and research.

The Soros funding significantly surpasses what Krasner and the other six Democrats in the May 16 primary election for district attorney had been able to raise for the race.





And it fits a pattern that Soros started setting in 2015, when he began investing heavily in races for district attorney and sheriff across the country. A Soros spokesman told the Associated Press in November that he had spent $9.6 million to back candidates in those types of races because of his interest in law enforcement issues, including abolishing the death penalty.

Krasner, who has never worked as a prosecutor, has been the most vocal opponent of the death penalty in the primary election in Philadelphia.

A second independent PAC, Building a Better Pennsylvania Fund, is backing former assistant district attorney Jack O’Neill in the race. That PAC, founded in 2014 by Local 98 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and other building trades unions, reported having $255,724 in the bank at the beginning of 2017.

That PAC spent $144,340 in the last week to create and air a TV commercial and run newspaper ads, according to campaign finance reports filed Wednesday and Friday.

A 2010 U.S. Supreme Court ruling allows independent PACs to spend unlimited funds, exceeding the city’s campaign finance limits for this race of $6,000 for individuals and $23,800 for political action committees, as long as they don’t coordinate efforts with candidates or campaigns.


















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1 Philadelphia

Philadelphia News & Search

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