Soros Saved Them!

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Sept. 27 2012 5:20 PM

Soros Saved Them!

Back in May, when I talked to George Soros's spokesman, I learned that the Democrats' old mega-donor would largely stay out of 2012. He found Super PACs distasteful. He wouldn't play. "George Soros believes the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United opened the floodgates to special interests’ paying for political ads," said that spokesman, Michael Vachon, to Nick Confessore. "There is no way those concerned with the public interest can compete with them."

Or, you know, maybe they can. Here's Confessore again, reporting on Soros's $1 million donation to Priorities USA, the pro-Obama Super PAC.

The longtime political adviser to Mr. Soros, Michael Vachon, made the announcement at a luncheon on Thursday hosted by the Democracy Alliance, a group of liberal donors who have already invested heavily in building grassroots organizations and research institutes. Mr. Soros will also give an additional $500,000 to two super PACs backing congressional Democrats.
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The $1 million isn't all that significant in itself. That money will burn up like tissue paper on the air in Miami-Dade or Tampa. The key thing is the flip-flop. Soros was adamant: He hated Super PACs. Barack Obama used to be adamant about that, too. It was a reason why Priorities USA struggled with money, seemingly rising from the depths only when Bill Maher cut it a $1 million check. But now, Soros is cutting a check and other rich Democrats are cutting $10 million worth of them. (Read more Confessore on this.) A yearlong campaign to make these people scared and cynical has paid off.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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