Commentary by WABC-Radio News Team originally published at RealClearPolitics.com
On Nov. 21, six lives were senselessly taken as a deranged SUV driver intentionally mowed down scores of people attending a Christmas parade in the quiet Wisconsin town of Waukesha. The alleged assailant, Darrell Brooks, 39, was a registered sex offender who had been arrested 21 days prior for allegedly running over the mother of his child and then released on a shockingly low $1,000 bail.
Why was Brooks on the loose? Longtime Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm holds what many in the law enforcement community consider a radical belief in setting low bail amounts for even highly violent arrestees. As he told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel when taking office in 2007: “Is there going to be an individual I divert, or I put into treatment program, who’s going to go out and kill somebody? You bet. Guaranteed. It’s guaranteed to happen. It does not invalidate the overall approach.”
Chisholm’s sympathy for the criminal class and apparent indifference to those who obey the rules of civilized society reflect the philosophy of the billionaire investor who helped finance his election and those of many other progressive district attorneys across America: George Soros.
It’s no secret that Soros, with an estimated net worth of $8.6 billion, has been financing a multitude of progressive-left politicians and causes for years. It’s also no secret that electing radical, criminal-friendly district attorneys is at the top of his list of priorities. Soros-backed DAs in major U.S. cities have instituted brazenly lax enforcement policies that have helped unleash an unprecedented wave of crime across urban America.
Waukesha is the latest and most harrowing example of how the not-so-invisible hand of George Soros is fundamentally redefining law enforcement across America, to the detriment of everyone, except criminals.
Last week it was reported that 12 major U.S. cities have already posted record-setting murder rates in 2021. WABC-Radio has identified three additional metropolises — Chicago, Milwaukee, and Jackson, Miss. — that have also set murder records this year, all with Soros-backed DAs.
This follows an analysis by WABC-Radio of 13 U.S. cities with Soros-backed district attorneys. The investigation focused on homicide statistics, since, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, “As a readily measurable indicator, homicide is both a reasonable proxy for violent crime and a robust indicator of levels of violence within States.”
It’s important to understand, first, why Soros chose the office of district attorney as his vehicle for social change. The traditional means of effectuating such change within the American system is through the legislative process. But Soros, the man who brought the Bank of England to its knees in 1992 when he famously shorted the British pound – and made $1 billion in the process – knows how to identify and exploit his prey’s point of greatest vulnerability. In this case, his prey is America’s criminal-justice system. The legislative process is messy, expensive, and uncertain, so Soros reasoned that he could use his overwhelming financial resources more effectively to elect hand-picked district attorneys who share his extreme views. Once in office, these officials could apply the power of selective enforcement to the law, deciding who gets charged and what constitutes criminal behavior.
This critical insight has made Soros a powerful force in cities across the nation, according to former New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly: “George Soros is a major cause for the systematic decline of American law enforcement. The mindset of his DAs — that criminals are victims — has done immeasurable harm, especially to poor minorities in our inner cities. Meanwhile, the complex network of nonprofits Soros uses to disperse his funds makes it nearly impossible to track what he’s doing to undermine our justice system. It’s ironic that his foundation is called The Open Society Institute, yet his anti-law-enforcement programs are deliberately designed to avoid public scrutiny.”
Working from publicly available records, WABC-Radio analyzed the impact of Soros-backed DAs on urban murder rates — what we call “The Soros Effect.” And while other factors may be at play in these times of COVID-19 and social unrest, the appalling numbers that define Soros cities speak for themselves.
From 2019 to 2020, America experienced a record 30% increase in homicides. Using that as a general point of reference, we analyzed 13 cities with Soros-backed DAs – or, in the case of Phoenix, a Soros-backed sheriff. The Soros Effect is the projected difference – the delta – between the 30% rise in murders that occurred in the U.S. overall, and the additional rise in murders experienced by the Soros cities. It’s worth noting that most of these cities were already among the nation’s most violent before their Soros-backed DAs took office. These cities had already reached a theoretical saturation point in terms of their crime rates. However, with criminal-friendly, anti-bail Soros DAs in place, they achieved even higher rates of murder and violence.
Consider Philadelphia, whose Soros-backed DA, Larry Krasner, ran as an anti-establishment candidate with a history of suing the city’s police department — 75 times — and defending progressive causes such as Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter. In Krasner’s first year in office, 2018, Philadelphia – already one of the nation’s deadliest cities – posted a 11.3% increase in murders. From 2019 to 2020, Philadelphia sustained a 41.4% rise in murders (11.4% greater than the rest of the nation), resulting in 40 more deaths than the city would have suffered had Philly merely kept pace with the rest of the nation in that record-setting year. The punishing impact of the Soros Effect continues in 2021, with Philadelphia on pace to reach 549 murders by year’s end – a 10% increase over 2020, representing a historic high for the so-called City of Brotherly Love.
The storyline is much the same in Chicago, where Soros helped fund the election of super-progressive Cook County DA Kimberly Foxx. In 2019-2020, Chicago homicides rose an astonishing 52.7%, from 505 to 771, representing 115 more murders than if the Windy City had maintained the nation’s already-blistering pace. Under Foxx’s supervision, Chicago will likely end 2021 with 848 murders – on a proportional basis, a record for Chicago, which has lost 600,000 residents since 1974, when the last record was set.
The deadly drumbeat of the Soros Effect goes on elsewhere:
*Under its Soros DA, Jackson, Miss., saw a 53.7% spike in murders from 2019 to 2020, when it notched a record 128 homicides. In 2021, the city’s murder record has already been broken, with Jackson on course to log 141 murders by year’s end.
*Milwaukee, the metro area which includes Waukesha, saw a jaw-dropping 94% rise in murders from 2019 to 2020, when it posted a record 190. The bad news continues in 2021, which has already set another new record with 200 murders, and that’s before the final December report.
*Metro Orlando got hammered with a 39% increase from 2019 to 2020.
Phoenix saw a 44% rise from 2019 to 2020.
*St. Louis, already burdened with the nation’s highest murder rate, suffered an additional 35% rise from 2019 to 2020.
*Hyper-violent Shreveport, La., witnessed a 78.4% increase for the 2019-2020 period.
*Los Angeles, with its super-woke DA, George Gascón, is on track to see murders rise 51.2% from 2019 through 2021.
*Liberal-hip Austin, having elected Soros-backed DA Jose Garza only a year ago, is now on pace to close 2021 with a record 89 homicides – a staggering 85.4% increase over 2020.
*Albuquerque, N.M.’s murder rate is on course, through the close of 2021, to register an 89% increase since 2018, when its Soros DA, Raul Torrez, took office.
*Baltimore, America’s second-most deadly city, experienced a horrific 63% increase in murders in 2016, the year after Soros-supported DA Marilyn Mosby took command. It has stayed at that deadly level ever since and will likely close out 2021 with 346 murders.
*Under super-progressive, Soros-backed DA Chesa Boudin, San Francisco is projected to end 2021 with 57 murders – a 39% increase since 2019. In addition, a wave of smash-and-grab mass robberies has shaken the city to its liberal core and unraveled any conventional notion of civil order. One could argue that Boudin’s brief tenure has done more to undermine San Francisco’s once-thriving brick-and-mortar retail sector than Amazon and the Internet itself.
It’s hard to fathom the thought process behind Soros’s devastating assault on America’s inner cities, where the vast majority of murder victims are poor, struggling minorities – the very people whom the billionaire investor and his progressive DAs claim to support. In addition, because of the legal and financial sophistication with which Soros distributes his largess, it is infuriatingly hard to identify all the district attorneys and Defund the Police groups that have been nurtured with Soros dollars.
Many theories can be offered to explain his motivations. For now, though, the pressing question is how to prevent Soros and others like him from manipulating the American justice system at the expense of law-abiding citizens.
It’s no easy task. Any national effort to limit how district attorney candidates are funded seems unlikely to succeed. Ultimately, it will be up to voters. They must be far more mindful of the massive power wielded by their local district attorneys and make choices that reflect an understanding of the district attorney’s role – to enforce the law, not undermine it. San Francisco, where voters have put a recall of Boudin on the ballot next year, may offer a ray of hope. If the urban capital of woke liberalism can grow so repulsed by rampant crime that it seeks to remove a calamitous DA, perhaps voters elsewhere will also see the light. It would not be a moment too soon.
Commentary by WABC-Radio News Team