While the American political realm focuses on Donald J. Trump and the presidency, a quiet revolution driven by George Soros is taking place around the nation. He is intent on changing the country through the way its prosecutors work, and he’s winning. The four counties and over two million people that make up Northern Virginia have all chosen new prosecutors this year, all Soros picks. Considering the scope of change new candidates with new priorities bring to the offices, Mr. Soros has shown himself again to be a shrewd investor.
If something is prohibited, but there is no sanction for doing it, is it really prohibited? This is not a philosophical examination of the words used to describe laws, but an honest question. Mr. Soros has, for many years, worked to see a de-escalation of the drug war, including ending penalties for marijuana possession. Virginia has not joined other states in liberalizing its pot laws. The Old Dominion allows for one-year terms for a second possession, for instance, and there is a 20-year mandatory minimum for selling more than 100 kilograms of marijuana. If you can’t get the federal government to make the change from on high – no pun intended – and you can’t persuade the legislators in Richmond to make new laws, installing prosecutors who refuse to bring those charges is a powerful way to effect the change.
The Virginia Justice and Public Safety PAC is the vehicle through which Soros directs his financial support to these candidates. The latest disclosures show the PAC has spent about a dollar per voter this election cycle in Northern Virginia. While there aren’t any announced litmus tests, the various Soros backed candidates in Virginia and nationwide generally agree on these issues and what should be done about them:
Eliminate Cash Bail – If a person is arrested and does not pose a flight risk or danger to the community, they should not be held in jail simply because they are too poor to pay for a bail bond. This change in how we treat the accused is designed to lessen the destructive effect of being poor and under arrest.
Death penalty – Eliminate capital punishment.
Reduce Police Presence in Schools – Reduce the chances that schoolchildren will be involved in the criminal justice system by seeing police respond only to criminal complaints and ensuring police officers are not involved in general school discipline issues.
Drug War – Decline to prosecute marijuana use and possession cases while reducing the punitive effects of other enforcement measures for other drugs.
Police Oversight – One of the starkest distinctions between Soros backed prosecutors and their opposition has to do with their opinions on police oversight – they are for a more skeptical approach to police. Police nationally, and in Northern Virginia especially, enjoy a status with prosecutors’ offices that reformers are eager to repeal – one that refuses to question their behavior.
Soros prosecutor (Commonwealth’s Attorney) candidates swept the general elections in Loudoun, Fairfax, and Prince William counties in the first week in November. In Arlington County, he supported a challenger in the primary. While Soros seems to only support democrat candidates for DA races – his goal is to advance these ideas, not Democratic candidates generally.
A civic committee hosted an excellent debate between the two candidates for Commonwealth’s Attorney, incumbent Theo Stamos and challenger Parisa Dehghani-Tafti. Ms. Dehghani-Tafti presented an appeal to fiscal conservatives on an ROI basis, to libertarians on encroachment against liberty, and to the faithful to repeal the elimination of “rehabilitation and redemption from our system.” Ms. Stamos concluded with “[w]e already have a public defender in Arlington County, we don’t need one as the Commonwealth’s attorney.”
Mr. Soros started funding prosecutor races in 2015. He successfully backed candidates in Philadelphia and Chicago, among others. While his candidates swept Northern Virginia, they were not all successful. The Daily Wire reports: “Sandra Doorley, the incumbent Monroe County, New York district attorney running as a Republican, crushed her George Soros-backed challenger Shani Curry Mitchell on Tuesday night.” Mr. Soros spent $800,000 on that race. He is said to be worth north of $8 billion presently, and there will be many elections for prosecutors next November.
Read more from Scott D. Cosenza.