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Billionaire Soros Banking on a Bush Loss
AP ^ | 6-10-2004 | AMY WESTFELDT

Posted on 06/10/2004 9:51:58 AM PDT by Cagey

NEW YORK (AP) - George Soros' dream is President Bush losing in November - and so far, the billionaire philanthropist has donated nearly $13 million to independent groups that also want to turn that vision into reality. "I'm merely putting my money where my mouth is," Soros told The Associated Press.

After surviving the Nazi occupation of his native Hungary and giving away billions of his self-made fortune to charitable causes, Soros is entering national politics in a big way for the first time.

He says he is too disturbed by Bush's policies to do nothing.

"This is not a normal election. These are not normal times," Soros said.

The Bush administration, he said, has flouted past rules of international relations by declaring war in Iraq after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He urged Americans to defeat the "Bush doctrine" by ousting the president on Nov. 2.

"If we re-elect President Bush, we are endorsing that doctrine and we have to accept the consequences," Soros said.

To that end, Soros has given millions to three liberal-leaning organizations that also want to a Bush defeat: $10 million to America Coming Together, which aims to mobilize voters; $2.5 million to the voters' fund, which places anti-Bush advertising; and $300,000 to the Campaign for America's Future.

He also has pledged $3 million to the Center for American Progress, a think tank led by John Podesta, chief of staff to President Clinton.

This election year, Soros has spent about $4 million, more than any other individual, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonprofit Washington-based group that tracks political donations.

In recent speeches, Soros has referred to the Bush administration's anti-terrorism polices as a doctrine that has changed Americans from "victims to perpetrators." He says the fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq has claimed more lives than the Sept. 11 attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people in New York, Washington and a Pennsylvania field.

Democrats praise him as an inspiration to disaffected voters.

"He is helping to finance the fullest grass-roots campaign the Democrats have ever had in a presidential election," said Democratic strategist Mandy Grunwald.

To Republicans, he is a huge target. A Republican National Committee memo to congressional Republicans called Soros an "out of touch, left-wing radical pushing an extremist agenda on America."

Added GOP strategist Jay Severin: "He may be Bogeyman No. 1, above Teddy Kennedy and Hillary Clinton."

Soros, 73, who lives in suburban New York City, came to the United States in 1956 nearly a decade after he fled communist Hungary for England, where he graduated from the London School of Economics.

He became a U.S. citizen in 1961 and began to amass his fortune through Soros Fund Management, the private, international investment firm he founded in 1973, and managed. Soros was 54th on this year's Forbes list of the world's richest people, with an estimated $7 billion fortune.

Soros has been an active philanthropist since 1979, when he began to help black students attend the University of Cape Town under the then-apartheid government of South Africa.

Through the Open Society Institute, which he founded in 1993, Soros has given away billions - $450 million a year through his charitable foundation with branches in more than 50 countries, promoting policies and initiatives that foster open government. Among other causes, he has used his fortune to found Central European University in Budapest, pay for early childhood development programs in dozens of countries and promote democratic campaigns in several eastern European nations. He also supports better public schools in New York and legalizing marijuana for medical purposes.

Republicans hope Soros will galvanize more people against his views than for him.

"His views are not mainstream views," said RNC spokeswoman Christine Iverson, citing Soros' views on the Iraq war.

Soros acknowledged in a telephone interview that "Republicans were successful at using me as a bogeyman" earlier in the campaign.

But now, he said, particularly with the revelation of the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. soldiers, "the general public, including Bush's own constituency, is beginning to see through the lies. I don't think he has the credibility."

Soros, who backed Howard Dean before the former Vermont governor left the Democratic presidential race, has not formally endorsed John Kerry, the presumptive nominee. He said Republicans were unfairly trying to link his views to Kerry's. National Democratic Party officials and a Kerry spokesman didn't return telephone messages for comment.

Soros said Republicans have distorted his views on several issues, including by implying that his support for medical marijuana initiatives means he wants to legalize all drugs.

"I don't think that I'm a madman," Soros said. "I don't think that I'm an extremist."

TOPICS: Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: foreigner; madman; soros; sorosloserman
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"I don't think that I'm a madman," Soros said.

1 posted on 06/10/2004 9:51:58 AM PDT by Cagey
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To: Cagey

This garbagemouth considers himself a "citizen of the world" (the US isn't good enough for him) and will do anything to cut down this country which gave him shelter, wealth and the ability to make a complete fool of himself. We need to revoke his citizenship.

2 posted on 06/10/2004 9:55:07 AM PDT by laconic
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To: Cagey

This man is insane and should be investigated for trying to corrupt a legitimate election.

3 posted on 06/10/2004 9:56:51 AM PDT by Bikers4Bush (Flood waters rising, heading for more conservative ground. Vote for true conservatives!)
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To: Cagey
Soros is entering national politics in a big way for the first time.

Not true! Soros tried to manipulate politics in Russia - disguised as philanthrophy - the Russians saw through it and closed his operation down!

He is deranged! And he will be exposed for the power hungry globalist that he is.

4 posted on 06/10/2004 9:56:58 AM PDT by TrueBeliever9 (Life is uncertain. Ride your best horse first. Unknown but sounds like John Wayne.)
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To: Cagey

I'd like to slap a zipper on his face and shove a Shamu sized buttplug in the other end and stuff this turd up!

5 posted on 06/10/2004 9:57:00 AM PDT by gunnygail (George Soros, a pimple on the world's butt.)
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To: Cagey
...I don't think that I'm a madman,"...

They never do.

..."This is not a normal election. These are not normal times," Soros said...

"I am not normal eether," Soros continued.

6 posted on 06/10/2004 9:58:04 AM PDT by GunsareOK
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To: Cagey

I wish he'd put ALL of his money on this election.
I'd so love to see him penniless.

7 posted on 06/10/2004 9:59:00 AM PDT by onyx
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To: Cagey

I've heard others say his political positions are for the sole purpose of manipulating currency for profit, which I suppose is his 'job.'

Anyone heard this?

8 posted on 06/10/2004 10:00:12 AM PDT by subterfuge (Liberalism is, as liberalism does.)
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To: Cagey

Gee whiz, sure am glad we got all those new campaign financing reform laws passed. Otherwise, any lunatic rich man could muck with our political process.

9 posted on 06/10/2004 10:00:21 AM PDT by Grim
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To: onyx

I second that. Hope he bets it all.

10 posted on 06/10/2004 10:02:00 AM PDT by SpaceBar
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To: Grim
Gee whiz, sure am glad we got all those new campaign financing reform laws passed. Otherwise, any lunatic rich man could muck with our political process.

So worth repeating.

11 posted on 06/10/2004 10:02:04 AM PDT by Cagey
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To: Cagey
Notice how the media does NOT bash liberal Sugar Daddy Soros like it does Richard Mellon Scaiffe

"Who Is Richard Mellon Scaife?
He's very rich and very partisan, but is he behind an anti-Clinton conspiracy?
By Brooks Jackson/CNN

"WASHINGTON (April 27) -- Who is Richard Scaife? He's a 65-year-old billionaire Republican wielding power from the shadows. According to President Bill Clinton's allies, he's the main money man behind a right-wing anti-Clinton conspiracy, attacking with his money. Former White House counsel Lanny Davis argues, "He's using it to destroy a president of the United States."

If it's a conspiracy, it's a pretty open one. Scaife's tax-exempt foundations disclose their grants on the Web. Among them: $2.4 million over several years to American Spectator to pay for anti-Clinton reporting, even a private eye to dig up dirt. And millions more went to other anti-Clinton groups.

Documents: Grants From Scaife Foundations, 1994-1996

He refused CNN's request for an interview, but this much is undisputed: Richard Mellon Scaife is very rich and very partisan. He was born to great wealth, the great grand-nephew of Andrew Mellon, growing up in Pittsburgh at the family's opulent home, Penguin Court. Often in the care of servants, his hobby was reading newspapers.

Burton Hersh, author of "The Mellon Family," said, "Even as a child, he always saw the correlation between the media and the reputation of politicians. That's certainly been a sub-theme of his life." Today he owns a newspaper, Pittsburgh's second largest, the Tribune-Review. But he has made his main mark not as a media baron, but by financing Republican politics.

He was the second-largest donor to the Nixon-Agnew campaign in 1972, giving $1 million. Former President Ronald Reagan appointed many veterans of Scaife-funded think tanks to his administration. Later, Scaife gave to GOPAC, the political fund that helped make Newt Gingrich speaker in 1994. Gingrich says Scaife's money laid the basis for modern conservatism. And his money still flows:

To the Heritage Foundation alone, nearly $3.5 million from Scaife foundations in the most recent three years on record. $1.22 million to the American Enterprise Institute.
$1.40 million to Stanford University's Hoover Institution.
$325,000 to the Cato Institute.
$575,000 to the Citizens for a Sound Economy, among others.
Scaife has particular contempt for the Clintons. At a Heritage Foundation event in November 1994, Scaife said, "I think maybe Hillary and company have it figured out right. They wouldn't be happy here." Scaife's foundations shovel millions into groups hostile to Bill Clinton. The Free Congress Foundation, which runs a conservative cable channel, received $1.9 million from 1994 to 1996.

Hollywood's Center for the Study of Public Culture, which sees liberal bias in the movies, got nearly $1.8 million. Accuracy in Media, a group still promoting the idea that Clinton aide Vince Foster may have been murdered, got $675,000.

At Scaife's newspaper his reporter Christopher Ruddy doggedly pursues the Foster case. And when Ruddy's book, "The Strange Death of Vincent Foster," got a bad write-up in the American Spectator, saying Ruddy sounded like a "right-wing nut," Scaife cut off the magazine's money.

American Spectator Editor-In-Chief R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. said, "Dick was angered by the review. And called me and said he didn't care to support the American Spectator any further." The Spectator used most of Scaife's money for what was called "the Arkansas project." Through an Arkansas bait shop, Spectator operatives kept in touch with Clinton accuser David Hale, even supplying Hale with $200 to make phone calls from prison.

Now Independent Counsel Ken Starr is investigating possible illegal witness-tampering, because a woman and her son say Hale got even more of Scaife's money, something the Spectator denies. Tyrrell said, "No, we have no evidence that money went to Hale. In fact, if money went to Hale from my people they'd be in big trouble."

Some Clinton allies say Starr himself may have a conflict because of Scaife money. Scaife has given nearly $13 million over the last 36 years to Pepperdine University, which offered Starr a job.

But Pepperdine, Scaife and Starr all deny any connection. "I have never met him. I have never talked to him. I have had no arrangement -- implicit, explicit, direct or indirect -- with him," Starr said this month when announcing he would not take the Pepperdine position.

To his detractors, Scaife is spoiled, vindictive, narrow-minded. A former Scaife employee, Pat Minarcin, said, "He has the emotional maturity of a very angry 12-year-old, and he has all this money and he can do whatever he wants with it."

In Pittsburgh, Minarcin edited a magazine for Scaife, but resigned. "He [Scaife] presented a list of people who he wanted the magazine to attack, a kind of enemies list," Minarcin said Scaife's defenders say he's a gentleman, exercising his First Amendment right to speak out. William Bennett, who sits on the board of one Scaife foundation, said, "It's a free country; the conservatives can give to conservative causes, liberals to liberal causes."

And supporters point to his philanthropy. He's given millions to support an art gallery named for his mother and millions for historic preservation projects like Pittsburgh's Station Square.

Scaife heightens suspicions by operating in extreme privacy, from the 39th floor of his Pittsburgh office tower, with no interviews and no cameras. Former White House counsel Davis said, "I think it's the mystery, the man behind the scenes pulling the strings and that's the scene we all remember at the end of the Wizard of Oz."

Is Richard Scaife great and powerful or just the man behind the curtain? That's a matter of opinion. But it is a fact this billionaire has spent millions in tax-free money attacking the current occupants of the White House. "

12 posted on 06/10/2004 10:02:39 AM PDT by YaYa123 (@God Blessed America With Ronald
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To: Cagey

Must be hoping what he did to the Malaysian currency will happen with our election.

13 posted on 06/10/2004 10:03:26 AM PDT by Liberatio (Please forgive my misspelling. Veritas Vos Liberabit.)
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To: Bikers4Bush
This man is insane and should be investigated for trying to corrupt a legitimate election.

He damaged the British Conservative Party in the past -

Black Wednesday

In British politics and economics, Black Wednesday refers to September 16 1992 when the government was forced to withdraw the pound from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) by currency speculators. The event is estimated to have cost the people of Britain £4 billion in reserves, spent trying to prop up the pound.

When the ERM had been set up in 1979 Britain declined to join. This was controversial, with the Chancellor of the Exchequer Geoffrey Howe who despite his economically 'dry' credentials was a convinced pro-European. Another chancellor, Nigel Lawson, was also a believer in a fixed exchange rate, although he was a mild Eurosceptic he admired the low inflationary record of Germany attributing it to the strength of the Deutsche Mark and the management of the Bundesbank. The Treasury followed a semi-official policy of Shadowing the Deutsche Mark. As the exchange rate was largely kept in place by the use of interest rates, then interest rates were set without the domestic economy in mind. This led to a couple of years of lower interest rates than would have otherwise been in place and so rising inflation.

The pressure came to a head in a clash between Margaret Thatcher's economic advisor, Alan Walters and Lawson - when Walter's claimed that the Exchange Rate Mechanism was "half baked". This led to Lawson resigning as chancellor to be replaced by his old protégé John Major.

John Major and Douglas Hurd, the then Foreign Secretary, pressured Margaret Thatcher to sign Britain up to the ERM in October 1990, effectively guaranteeing that the British Government would follow a economic and monetary policy that would prevent the exchange rate between the pound and other member currenices from fluctuating by more than 6%. The pound entered the mechanism at 2.95 Deutschmarks to the pound, thus if the exchange rate ever neared the bottom of its permitted range, 2.778 marks, the government would be obliged to intervene.

From the beginning of the 1990s, high German interest rates, set by the Bundesbank to avoid inflationary effects related to German re-unification, caused significant stress across the whole of the ERM. Issues of national prestige and the commitment to a doctrine that the fixing of exchange rates within the ERM was a pathway to a single European currency, inhibited the adjustmentment of exchange rates. In the wake of the rejection of the Maastricht Treaty by the Danish electorate in a referendum in the spring of 1992, those ERM currencies that were trading close to the bottom of their ERM bands can under speculative attack in the foreign exchange markets by currency speculators such as George Soros.

When the French referendum on the Mastricht treaty yielded a yes vote, the attack, which had gathered force over the first fortnight of September, concentrated on the Italian lira and the pound. On the sixteenth the British government announced a rise in the base rate from 10% to 12% in order to tempt speculators to buy pounds. Despite this and a promise later the same day to raise rates again to 15%, dealers kept selling pounds. By 7pm that evening, Norman Lamont, then Chancellor, announced Britain would leave the ERM and rates would revert to 10%. Other ERM countries such as Italy whose currencies had breached their bands during the day remaining in the system with broadened bands or with adjusted central parities. Even in this relaxed form, the ERM proved vulnerable and ten months later the rules were relaxed further to the point of imposing very little constraint on the domestic monetary policies of member states.

The effect of the high German interest rates, and so the high British interest rates, had been arguably to put Britain into recession as large numbers of businesses failed and the housing market crashed.

In the months and years following Black Wednesday, the pound traded substantially below its ERM lower band. It dipped below 2.20 Deutschmarks in spring 1995. From this point however, it began a sustained recovery and has since touched a value 3.20 DM. Some commentators believe that 'Black' Wednesday has proved to be good for the British economy in the long-term - as interest rates were allowed to find their natural level. However the reputation of the Conservatives for competent handling of the economy was shattered. Many commentators believe that that event is a key reason for the party's continued relative unpopularity.

Technically any country wishing to join the single european currency would have to join an ERM-like system tagging their current currency to the euro. However given the notoriety of the system within the British public at large, many believe this will not be a prerequisite should Britain ever wish to join.

I haven't forgotten what Mr. Soros did to my country - as you can see, he was the "ringleader" of the speculative attack. He is trying to hurt America just as much.

Regards, Ivan

14 posted on 06/10/2004 10:05:29 AM PDT by MadIvan (Ronald Reagan - proof positive that one man can indeed change the world.)
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To: Cagey
"He is helping to finance the fullest grass-roots campaign the Democrats have ever had in a presidential election

A billionare providing millions isn't "grass-roots"

15 posted on 06/10/2004 10:07:46 AM PDT by VRWC_minion
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To: Cagey
Separated at birth? You be the judge:

16 posted on 06/10/2004 10:10:58 AM PDT by PJ-Comix (Saddam Hussein was only 537 Florida votes away from still being in power)
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To: Cagey

This terrorist needs to be freeped and freeped hard!

17 posted on 06/10/2004 10:13:19 AM PDT by God luvs America (Support Our Troops....Don't vote for Kerry!)
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To: Cagey
I hope that AP labeled this an editorial because it has no relationship to a news story.
18 posted on 06/10/2004 10:14:51 AM PDT by Libertarianize the GOP (Ideas have consequences)
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To: Cagey

The standing pubby motto should be "Bankrupt the Billionaire". Notice that at least 3 billionaires--Gates, Buffet and Soros--are big time demoncRATS. And, what's even more galling, is the demoncRATS keep telling the average citizen that the demoncRAT party is for the little people and the Pubs are for the rich. What a lie and a farce perpetrated on every average Jane and John Doe of the country.

19 posted on 06/10/2004 10:16:12 AM PDT by lilylangtree (Veni, Vidi, Vici)
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To: Cagey

"I'm merely putting my money where my mouth is," Soros told The Associated Press.

I really don't believe he's sure which end it is. :)

20 posted on 06/10/2004 10:17:41 AM PDT by saveliberty (Liberal= in need of therapy, but would rather ruin lives of those less fortunate to feel good)
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