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May 25th, 2017

Insight

Billionaires for Hillary

Greg Crosby

By Greg Crosby

Published March 21, 2016

Billionaires for Hillary

Listen to her speeches and she'll tell you how we must keep big money out of politics. She'll tell you how America needs to clean up the way political campaigns are financed by the one per-centers, the Wall Street moguls. Check out this quote from one of her recent campaign statements:

'We have to end the flood of secret, unaccountable money that is distorting our elections, corrupting our political system, and drowning out the voices of too many everyday Americans. 'ur democracy should be about expanding the franchise, not charging an entrance fee.'

That's nice. So how come Hillary Clinton is one of the largest recipients of 'big donor' money in the whole wide world? Federal Election Commission filings last June showed Clinton raised $48 million from more than 250,000 contributors. The figure today is upwards of $188 million.

According to the nonpartisan campaign finance watchdog 'pen Secrets, 82% of Clinton's contributions come from 'large individual donors' to the tune of more than $100 million. And that doesn't include money from super PACs, which have raised $60 million more.

Her top donors read like a Who's Who of Wall Street, law, high tech, liberal academia and Hollywood. Morgan Stanley. Creative Artists. Latham & Watkins. Time Warner. Yale University. University of California. J.P. Morgan. Google. All make the list. A lot of the cash has been raised by 'bundlers,' powerful friends of Bill and Hillary who use their influence to bring in tons of money. They include Hollywood media mogul Haim Saban, billionaire J.B. Pritzker of Chicago, Las Vegas publisher Brian Greenspan and Susie Tompkins Buell, the founder of Esprit.

And many of these same supporters have also given (and continue to give) many tens of millions to her family's 'charitable foundation.'

But the real 'big boy' contributor to Hillary is none other than our old progressive friend George Soros, the billionaire New York wedge-fund financier. He alone has already spent or pledged $13 million to help Hillary Clinton and other Democrats this year. Soros's importance to Clinton goes beyond the checks he writes; the man welds enormous influence with other major Democratic donors.

Recently it appears that Soros has expressed alarm over the past few months at the candidacies of Republicans Donald Trump and Ted Cruz and will do almost anything to defeat them and put Hillary in office. Last weekend, many blamed Soros for demonstrations in Chicago that caused Trump to cancel a planned rally, pointing to George Soros's past support for one of the groups that organized the protests, Move'n.org. The disruptors were definitely part of a planned left-wing effort to shut down freedom of speech at the Trump rally.

Soros's personal fortune is estimated at about $24 billion. Back in 2004 Soros spent $27 million trying to defeat Bush's re-election, much of it through independent groups known as 527s that could accept donations of unlimited size. Soros signed on as an early backer of 'bama during the 2008 campaign, but spent only about $5 million on political causes that cycle, a mere pittance in Soros's world.

It has been divulged in a Clinton e-mail dated 2012 when Hillary was still 'bama's Secretary of State, that Soros regretted that he backed 'bama instead of Hillary in the 2008 primary. He told Clinton confidant that he wished he hadn't backed 'bama in the primary four years earlier. Soros received several warm e-mails from Clinton's office at that time. 'ver the past few years, Soros' charities have given between $1.5 million and $6 million to the Clinton Foundation. Soros's biggest contribution this year is a total of $7 million to Priorities USA, the main super-PAC supporting Clinton.

In addition, Soros gives many millions to other liberal groups and super-PACs. The $13 million total puts Soros near the top of the list of this election cycle's biggest donors. And you might say that George and Hillary have a special bond.

So when Hillary says, 'We have to end the flood of secret, unaccountable money that is distorting our elections and corrupting our political system,' maybe she should start by unfriending George Soros.

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JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. He's also a Southern California-based freelance writer.

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