Billionaire George Soros, a frequent donor to liberal campaigns, has begun spending large amounts on local district attorney candidates, The Mercury News reports.
Multiple political action committees with ties to Soros have donated to candidates running in Alameda, Sacramento, and San Diego counties in California, mostly through California Justice & Public Safety PAC, which Soros founded.
For decades, the Alameda County D.A. has essentially handed the position off to their deputy when leaving office, as current D.A. Nancy O'Malley was when her predecessor retired. O'Malley, a liberal whose supporters include Gov. Jerry Brown, D-Calif., and Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., is running for re-election again this year, but this time she faces a challenger from the left.
California Justice PAC has cast is support behind civil rights lawyer Pamela Price, who is running on bail reform and equitable treatment for blacks and Latinos in the criminal justice system. The group has spent over $550,000 so far in support of Price.
"Soros is definitely trying to push a political view," said Ken Scheidegger, a conservative and legal director of the Criminal Justice Legal Fund. "As far as the candidates themselves go, it's not unusual to find somebody who wants to move up to a higher office. Whether they are suited for the office is another question."
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