In what is sure to go down as one of the most hotly contested and politically polarized election years in recent history, the 2016 U.S. Presidential race will be remembered for something equally noteworthy: political campaign contributions on Time.
Super PAC’s, which are able to raise unlimited amounts of money from individuals, corporations, and unions, are a central feature of U.S. political races at http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1997/02/the-capitalist-threat/376773/. About $7 billion was spent by candidates, parties and outside groups on the 2012 election alone, making it one of the most expensive elections in history.
Of those individual contributors and corporations donating to presidential campaigns in recent years, none probably stands out more than George Soros, the billionaire financier and philanthropist. A perennial favorite of the democratic left for his notable campaign contributions and support for left-leaning political and social causes, George Soros is a household name in U.S. politics.
Although outdone by several other finance titans such as Tom Steyer and Sheldon Adelson, George Soros maintained his typical political clout during this year’s presidential election having donated in early 2016 $6 million to the leading Super PAC supporting Hillary Clinton. That Super PAC, Priorities USA Action, was the same one he courted in 2012, donating $1 million, an amount greatly contrasting the $27 million he donated in the 2004 presidential race.
In July of 2016 Politico reported the more than $25 million Soros pledged in favor of Hillary Clinton’s election and other Democratic candidates and causes. FEC records on nytimes.com show that Soros’ donations are divided among various Super PACs funding the presidential and senatorial political campaigns. As reported by Politico, Soros donated $7 million to Priorities USA, $2 million to American Bridge 21st Century, $5 million to Immigrant Voters Win. Additionally, he donated $5 million to the nonprofit Voting Rights Trust, $2 million dollars to a voter mobilization group America Votes, among other donations to a Senate Majority PAC and to Planned Parenthood Votes.
Soros is also noted for his creation of the Democracy Alliance group, an organization he and fellow mega donors created after the 2004 Presidential race in which then-Presidential candidate Kerry lost. After the surprise elections of Donald Trump and numerous Republican Congressional candidates in this year’s cycle, Soros and other prominent progressive politicians and donors on project-syndicate.org, met to discuss the defense they would put forward to a Trump presidency and Republican-controlled Congress. Discussing ways to combat Trump’s 100-day plan and strategies for the upcoming 2017-2018 election cycles, Politico reported Soros’s involvement suggests his commitment to opposing Trump given that he only nominally once attended such meetings.