Soros Group Funnels $11 Million into Lobbying Efforts

Image: Soros Group Funnels $11 Million into Lobbying Efforts

Monday, 24 Feb 2014 08:53 AM

By Melissa Clyne

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Liberal billionaire George Soros' Open Society Policy Center spent $11 million on lobbying in 2013, according to The Washington Post.

The Washington-based advocacy organization more than tripled what it spent the previous year — $3.25 million — and has soared since 2002, when it spent just $330,000, according to data from OpenSecrets.org, a nonpartisan research group that tracks money in politics.

Unlike other political groups that do their own lobbying, the Open Society Policy Center  funds grants to organizations that the organization supports but that lobby on their own behalf. Its largest grant recipient — Alliance For Citizenship — which lobbies for "the broadest path to legalization with a path to citizenship" — was the key reason for the vast jump in OSPC spending in 2013, according to Stephen Rickard, the center's executive director.

Other factors explaining the increase, The Post reported, can be attributed to many of OSPC's initiatives entering the "legislative phase," such as criminal justice reform, national security issues and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Tax code prevents Soros' Open Society Foundations from lobbying, but its advocacy arm — OSPC — is permitted to lobby as well and support other lobbying groups. Founded by Soros in 1979, the Open Society Foundations' goal is "to build vibrant and tolerant societies whose governments are accountable and open to the participation of all people."

The 83-year old Soros for years has supported liberal causes like MoveOn.org and the Center for American Progress. He was a vocal opponent of President George W. Bush and told The Post in 2003 that removing Bush from office was "the central focus of my life."

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