by Parker Thayer, March 30, 2023
The Kyle Rittenhouse trial, the Jussie Smollet hoax, the attack on the Waukesha Christmas parade, the organized mob lootings in San Francisco, and now the potential indictment of President Donald Trump have each attracted national attention and spotlighted an issue that many in law enforcement and politics have been warning of for years: the threat of activist district attorneys (DAs).
Specifically, the public imagination has been captured by the stories of activist DAs backed by the shadowy figure of George Soros.
Many have heard of him, and most understand that he spends millions on U.S. politics, but very few know the specifics. As a result, Soros has become something of a folklore monster whose reputation often exceeds reality.
But when it comes to Soros’s involvement in backing left-wing district attorneys, Soros really is the archvillain that rumor makes him out to be.
In fact, Soros’s influence on left-wing DA candidates is often wildly underestimated. Since 2016, when Soros first began to back the campaigns of district attorneys (presumably as part of the “Resistance” to the Trump administration), CRC researchers have tracked roughly $35 million in funding from Soros through his personal network of political action committees (PACs) formed specifically to back left-wing DA candidates. In total, Soros cash has generously supported dozens of left-wing candidates, and at least 30 won their elections and remain in office today.
The Soros District Attorneys
In most states, the chief prosecutor in a state jurisdiction is called a district attorney, but some states use other titles. For example, in Virginia, the position is called commonwealth attorney. In St. Louis, the term is circuit attorney. In general, we will refer to all of them as district attorneys.
Below is a list by state and jurisdiction of every DA that CRC has discovered receiving Soros funding, and some notable details about each.
Pamela Price—Alameda County, California. One of the most recently elected Soros DAs, Pamela Price has actually been a devout progressive acolyte for many years. Price first ran for Alameda County DA back in 2018 and lost despite nearly $700,000 in support from Soros’s California Justice and Public Safety PAC. During that time, Price’s own PAC raised just $326,000. Price tried again and won in 2022, though it is unclear whether Soros directly aided her the second time around. Price has boasted about an endorsement by radical communist activist Angela Davis and told a crowd, “We have to defund police, defund prosecutors, and divest from prisons.”
In her first month in office, Price re-opened eight murder cases against Alameda county police officers, while offering a man charged with murdering three people in a shopping mall (by definition a mass shooting) an unusually soft plea deal, reducing the charges to one count of voluntary homicide and personal use of a gun. Price reportedly defended the decision by saying the killer “was just 18 then and is very sorry for his behavior.”
Diana Becton—Contra Costa County, California. Backed by $275,000 from Soros in 2018, Becton became the first woman and first African American elected to serve as DA for Contra Costa County. She is also one of the first in the position to have zero prior experience as a prosecutor. During Becton’s first years in office four Contra Costa cities made the list of the top 100 most dangerous cities in California in 2018, and both violent crime and property crime increased by several percent during 2019.
George Gascon—Los Angeles County, California. Soros has spent a combined $6 million on California DA races, much of it wasted on failed candidates, but almost half was spent on the successful campaign of George Gascon for Los Angles DA. Soros was the largest spender in the race, and Gascon won easily.
Since the election, Gascon’s implementation of left-wing policies led to a crime wave that has become the stuff of legend. Homicide rates soared, organized shoplifting sprees ravaged the city, trains were stopped and ransacked by mobs of looters. In one case, Gascon’s office gave 25-year-old “Hannah” Tubs, an adult male child molester, a light sentence in a juvenile women’s prison because Tubbs identified as a woman after his arrest and was just two weeks from turning 18 when he raped a 10-year-old girl in the bathroom of a Denny’s. After his short stint in juvey, Tubbs was again arrested for robbery and murder in which he allegedly beat one of his friends to death with a rock.
Monique Worrell—Ninth Judicial Circuit (Orange and Osceola Counties), Florida. Monique Worrell is the second Soros candidate to become state attorney for Orange and Osceola Counties. Her predecessor, Aramis Ayala, was a “long-shot candidate” elected in 2016 with the help of more than $1.3 million in spending by the Florida Safety and Justice PAC. Ayala immediately earned a reputation for her activist approach, which led to her removal from multiple high-profile murder cases by two different Republican governors. During Ayala’s tenure, violent crime increased dramatically, with murders increasing by 26 percent during 2020.
After Ayala left office to run for Congress, Worrell filled her shoes, with $1 million from Soros’s Democracy PAC surging into the race at the last minute to help her claim victory against her moderate opponent in 2020.
Shalena Cook Jones—Chatham County, Georgia. Elected in 2020 with the help of over $100,000 in Soros cash funneled through Justice and Public Safety PAC Florida, Shalena Cook Jones is the somewhat controversial DA of Savannah. After Cook took office, the total DA staff decreased by 35 percent while the number of felony prosecutors was cut in half, mostly because of resignations in response to Cook’s left-wing policies. Crime rates in Savannah have broadly increased since Cook took office, escalating to a point where Savanah’s mayor weighed implementing a downtown curfew in response to a wave of shootings in the summer of 2022.
Darius Pattillo—Henry County, Georgia. Receiving just under $150,000 from Soros through the Georgia Safety and Justice PAC, Patello was elected in 2016 and has remained the most unremarkable Soros-backed DA elected to date. In fact, Soros’s funding of Patello nearly went unreported, possibly because Patello does not seem to share the radical views of his fellow Soros DAs.
Kim Foxx—Cook County (Chicago), Illinois. Probably the most famous Soros-backed DA, Foxx was boosted into office with the help of $2 million in Soros cash. Foxx has most recently been in the news for potential ethics violations in her 2019 decision to drop charges against Jussie Smollet for his infamous hate crime hoax. (Smollett was recently convicted on the same charges.) Foxx has also made headlines for presiding over Chicago’s largest spike in homicides in more than 30 years while her office dropped charges against 30 percent of felony defendants during 2020.
Kimberley Graham—Polk County, Iowa. Elected in November 2022, Des Moines’s new DA is one of the newest to the party. Graham won the Democratic primary and general election with the help over $300,000 in funding from Soros’s Justice and Public Safety PAC. It’s too early to tell exactly what Des Moines will look like during her tenure, but the early indications are not good. According to reports, Graham claims she was inspired to run for prosecutor by the words of Rachel Rollins, the progressive DA in Boston who famously, and disastrously, publicly released a list of 15 crimes that her office would not seek any charges for.
James Stewart—Caddo Parish, Louisiana. Probably the least well-known and least radical Soros-funded DA, James Stewart was elected as the DA of Caddo Parish, Louisiana, in 2015 with the help of more than $930,000 in funding from Soros. Stewart has enacted few radical reforms since his election, potentially a disappointing result for Soros. His opponents at the time worried that his progressive views on criminal justice would be “detrimental to the safety of Caddo Parish.”
Jason Williams—Orleans Parish, Louisiana. Likewise little known for his Soros connections, Williams became the second Soros-funded DA in Louisiana when Soros’s Louisiana Justice and Public Safety PAC spent $220,000 opposing incumbent Orleans Parish DA Keva Landrum in 2020. Since 2020, New Orleans has been one of the biggest crime hotspots in the country. In 2022, a report found that New Orleans had the highest per-capita murder rate in the nation (74.3 per 100,000). Meanwhile, Williams’ office is having numerous cases reviewed by watchdog groups after one of his assistant DAs inexplicably dropped charges against over a dozen people who were illegally carrying firearms during Mardi Gras.
Jackie Sartoris—Cumberland County, Maine. Another of the newest Soros DAs, Sartoris won office in 2022 after an injection of $300,000 from the Maine Justice and Public Safety PAC helped her defeat a longtime incumbent. Sartoris has promised to reform the way Cumberland County prosecutes drug crimes and other common offenses but has done little else besides adopt the basics of progressive prosecuting. Only time will tell what her office has in store for Maine.
Scott Colom—Circuit Court District Sixteen, Mississippi. Another of the lesser-known Soros-funded DAs, Colom quietly received over $926,000 in funding from Soros to help unseat a long-time incumbent in 2015. Colom oversees District 16 in Mississippi, which includes Lowndes, Oktibbeha, Clay, and Noxubee Counties. Colom was recently recommended by Rep. Bernie Thompson (D-MS) for a position as a judge for the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Mississippi. Meanwhile, violent crime, specifically gun violence, remains a serious and growing problem for cities and counties in the 16th Circuit, a problem that Colom has been accused of doing little to combat.
Jody Owens—Hinds County, Mississippi. Aided by a $500,000 contribution from Soros’s Mississippi Justice and Public Safety PAC, Owens was elected in 2019 after running on a platform that promised reform and “alternatives to incarceration.”
Owens brought controversy with him to the DAs office. In 2019, Owens was accused of sexually harassing his female colleagues while working at the Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization with a well-documented proclivity for enabling and ignoring sexual harassment in the workplace.
Owens has also recently brought highly questionable murder charges against two police officers. The charges were dismissed with prejudice for lack of evidence that officers “caused any injury” to the alleged victim. Under Owens, Jackson has become one of the deadliest cities in the nation, and in 2021 the city saw over 150 homicides (98 murders per 100,000 residents), an all-time high.
Kim Gardner—St. Louis, Missouri. One of the most famous and polarizing Soros-backed DAs, Kim Gardner has served as the circuit attorney of crime-ridden St. Louis since 2017 and has repeatedly used her office to prosecute conservatives while allowing criminals to walk free. In 2018, Gardner launched a bogus criminal investigation against Missouri’s Republican governor, which led to a special investigation into her office that found probable cause that Gardner engaged in professional misconduct by hiring a private investigator who has since been charged with perjury and evidence tampering. Gardner was also the lead attorney in the absurd prosecution of Mark McCloskey, but was removed from the case by a judge who wrote “the Circuit Attorney’s conduct raises the appearance that she initiated a criminal prosecution for political purposes.”
Gardner was also caught lying about police officers who pulled her over for driving without headlights at night, has admitted to campaign finance violations, and has badly mishandled murder cases. The year after Gardner’s election, St. Louis became the murder capital of the nation, but this did not stop Soros from contributing $116,000 to aid her reelection in 2020. In early 2021, St. Louis became one of the deadliest cities in the world. The Missouri Attorney General has begun proceedings to remove Gardner from office.
Raul Torrez—Attorney General, New Mexico. Although his ties to Soros are less well known and his ideas are slightly less radical, Albuquerque’s former DA also got his start from $107,000 in Soros cash that boosted his unopposed campaign in 2016.
As of mid-November, Albuquerque had experienced 102 homicides in 2021, the highest number ever recorded, compared to the 67 reported at the same time last year. Meanwhile, Torrez was busy campaigning for New Mexico Attorney General, a position that he won in 2023.
Alvin Bragg—Manhattan, New York. One of Soros’s newest DAs, Bragg was elected in 2021 as the DA of Manhattan, largely thanks to approximately $1.1 million given by Soros that year to groups supporting Bragg.
Even though Bragg has barely been in office, his tenure is already shaping up as a disaster. After Bragg released a memo stating that his office would not be seeking prison sentences for crimes such as armed robbery, drug dealing, and burglary, more than nine prosecutors in Manhattan quit. Interestingly, one area where Bragg was not expected to be overly lenient is an investigation into President Donald Trump’s business practices, which Bragg conveniently took over after assuming office. Recently, rumors have been circulating that Bragg plans to indict and arrest Trump on campaign finance charges.
David Clegg—Ulster County, New York. Soros cash to the tune of at least $184,000 was used to push Ulster County DA David Clegg across the finish line in his 2019 election, but it was also the source of a major controversy at the time. In an embarrassing guffaw, the New York Justice and Public Safety PAC paid for mailers that featured Clegg shaking hands with a prominent criminal and left-wing activist. Under Clegg, gun crimes and shootings have surged dramatically, and high profile cases have been badly mishandled, including a murder case in which the suspect was released because Clegg’s office failed to file an indictment on time.
Larry Krasner—Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Among the most famous Soros-backed DAs, Krasner has been supported by more than $2 million from Soros funneled through the Pennsylvania Justice and Public Safety PAC and the Philadelphia Justice and Public Safety PAC. Krasner was reelected in 2021 with the help of a $259,000 contribution from Soros.
Under Krasner’s watch, crime rates have soared, and in 2021, Philadelphia became the murder capital of the United States with the highest per capita homicide rate of the country’s 10 largest cities. In November 2022, a bipartisan majority in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives voted to impeach Krasner, though the vote did not pass the Senate.
Jack Stollsteimer—Delaware County, Pennsylvania. Lesser known but well financed by Soros, Stollsteimer was the first Democratic DA ever elected in Delaware County, boosted by roughly $100,000 in ads paid for by Soros during 2019. While still undoubtedly a progressive, Stollsteimer is much less radical than Krasner and has not been openly hostile to police. He did, however, recently feud with police over the graphic details of a report on a rape in broad daylight on a train with many witnesses, none of whom tried to intervene. During Stollsteimer’s first year in office, homicides in Delaware County increased 127 percent, though many attributed this to the county’s proximity to Philadelphia.
Joe Gonzalez—Bexar County (San Antonio), Texas. George Soros has even dared to mess with Texas. Joe Gonzalez is one of Soros’s favorite DAs, receiving nearly $1 million in backing from the billionaire during his 2018 campaign, upsetting incumbent Democrat Nico LaHood in the primary. Just as in Dallas, violent crime reportedly increased by 15 percent in San Antonio under Gonzalez, while convictions dropped by 17 percent. Gonzalez won reelection in 2022 with the help of Soros funding, despite San Antonio experiencing its highest number of homicides in three decades that year.
John Creuzot—Dallas County, Texas. Backed by an estimated $236,000 from Soros, Creuzot became the DA of Dallas County in 2018 and immediately moved forward with a plethora of radical reform policies, including decriminalizing theft under $750, criminal trespass, and drug possession.
During his first year in office crime reportedly increased by 15 percent while total convictions dropped by 30 percent. In 2021, Creuzot failed to get a conviction in straightforward case against Billy Chemirmir, a Kenyan immigrant charged with murdering and robbing 18 elderly women in assisted living facilities. He was found with his alleged victims’ personal papers and jewelry in his possession at the time of his arrest. Chemirmir was eventually convicted in 2022, just in time for Creuzot to win a highly contested reelection battle, again with Soros support.
Brian Middleton—Fort Bend County, Texas. Although it went unnoticed and unreported by the media, Soros played a major role in the 2019 campaign of Fort Bend County DA Brian Middleton, spending nearly $200,000 on advertising in support of his campaign. Middleton has been extremely moderate as far as Soros-backed candidates go. Fort Bend County has not seen a dramatic spike in crime. In 2022, Middleton was even named the prosecutor of the year by the State Bar of Texas.
Kim Ogg—Harris County (Houston), Texas. In 2016, Kim Ogg became the state’s first Soros-backed DA after Soros spent more than $600,000 on the race. As one of the first reform DAs backed by Soros, Ogg is also one of the most moderate. She has stopped prosecuting marijuana offenses, but often seeks high cash bail, causing her to be ostracized by many progressives and apparently Soros.
José Garza—Travis County (Austin), Texas. In 2020, Garza was elected as Austin’s DA with the aid of more than $400,000 in ads paid for by the Texas Justice and Public Safety PAC, one of Soros’s private PACs that has received roughly $3.6 million from the billionaire since its creation in 2018.
Since assuming office, Garza has developed a reputation for letting violent offenders go free on little to no bail. In 2020, Garza released hundreds of inmates from jail over COVID-19 protocols, even though only six people in Austin at the time were known to have COVID-19. In 2021, Garza released a man with eight prior felony convictions after he was caught toting a gun in a meth-fueled car chase with police. After his release with an ankle monitor, the man allegedly went on a crime spree committing 10 armed robberies. Since Garza was elected, police budgets have been slashed, and Austin has experienced skyrocketing crime rates and a record number of homicides.
Parisa Dehghani-Tafti—Arlington County and City of Falls Church, Virginia. Backed by over $600,000 from the Justice and Public Safety PAC, one of George Soros’s many personal PACs, Dehghani-Tafti won her 2019 election by toppling a moderate Democratic incumbent and has been a center of controversy ever since.
Dehghani-Tafti, along with several other Soros-backed DAs in Virginia, is facing a recall petition after crimes like felony aggravated assault rose 40 percent during her first year in office.
Steve Descano—Fairfax County, Virginia. Steve Descano, who is also facing a recall petition, was elected in 2019 and has endorsed a progressive platform typical of the left-wing DA faction. Descano has made it his office’s official policy not to prosecute more than 20 different crimes including shoplifting for goods under $1,000, prostitution and indecent exposure. Descano’s initial campaign benefitted from approximately $600,000 from Soros.
In October 2021, Descano’s office secured the early release of Chante Antonio Jones, a career-criminal with more than 12 prior convictions, giving him just a $212 fine and probation. While out on early probation (for assault and battery), Jones was arrested for beating a 63-year-old homeless woman to death. In December 2020, Descano’s office charged Gerald Brevard III with three felonies in the attempted kidnapping and rape of a hotel maid that carried a minimum sentence of 26 years in prison. Descano plead Brevard’s case down to two misdemeanors and just sixth months in jail. Less than a year later, Brevard shot and killed two homeless men.
Buta Biberaj—Loudoun County, Virginia. As Loudoun County District Attorney, Buta Biberaj has championed an anti-incarceration approach to the job, but made headlines for personally seeking jail time for Scott Smith, a father who was arrested for misdemeanor disorderly conduct at a Loudoun County School Board meeting while protesting the School Board’s cover-up of his 14-year-old daughter’s rape by a transgender boy in a school bathroom. Smith’s defense attorneys reported that it was “completely unheard of” for a DA to personally handle a misdemeanor, much less to pursue jail time, court-ordered anger management, and a hefty fine.
Biberaj’s campaign in 2019 was boosted by over $650,000 in Soros cash, and she has since been thrown off a robbery case by the judge for “deliberately misleading the court” and has been caught using government resources to investigate her political opponents and journalists that were critical of her office.
Ramin Fatehi—Norfolk County, Virginia. One of the latest additions to Soros’s collection of rogue prosecutors, Ramin Fatehi was one of very few Democrats to win a Virginia election in 2021, largely thanks to about $220,000 in funding from Soros. Under his watch, Norfolk has abolished cash bail, meanwhile, Norfolk County experienced a 30-year-high in homicides in 2022.
Stephanie Morales—Portsmouth County, Virginia. Receiving over $100,000 in support from Soros’s Justice and Public Safety PAC in 2017, Stephanie Morales has been the DA for the city of Portsmouth since 2015. According to FBI crime statistics, there were nine total homicides reported by the Portsmouth City Police in 2014. In 2015 there were 27, and in 2021, there were a record 36. All other types of violent crime in Portsmouth have risen dramatically under Morales as well. In July 2022, after a spree of 12 shootings in just one week, the Portsmouth Police chief criticized Morales because all of the suspected shooters had been previously arrested and released. Morales, meanwhile, said she wanted to refrain from finger pointing.
John Chisholm—Milwaukee County, Wisconsin. Famous most recently for awarding absurdly low cash-bail to mass-murderer Darrell Brooks just days before he carried out the 2021 Waukesha Christmas Parade attack, John Chisholm has been a thoroughbred Soros DA for many years.
Like other Soros DAs Chisolm has used his office as a weapon against political opponents. In 2010, Chisolm launched a sinister “John Doe” investigation into Republican governor Scott Walker’s office, supposedly for campaign finance violations. After years of shadow prosecution, the case was thrown out by the Wisconsin Supreme Court, and the Wisconsin Department of Justice reprimanded Chisholm for the absurd and overreaching scope of his investigation that seized troves of internal documents from Republicans that were totally unrelated to Chisholm’s investigation. In 2016, facing a Democratic challenger in the primary, Chisolm received $21,000 in support from Soros’s Safety and Justice PAC.
A Trail of Destruction
The patterns within the list are clear: skyrocketing violent crime, countless murders, little to no accountability, limited prosecutorial experience, a proclivity for scandal, and a tendency to unfairly prosecute political adversaries. George Soros certainly has a type.
Now more than ever, it is vital that communities maintain or regain control of their own criminal justice systems and reject the false promises of the progressive district attorney movement. These “woke” criminal justice policies have universally led to disaster, and our poorest communities, not Soros, are left holding the body bags.
Note: The updated version of this guide draws heavily on the research of the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund’s report: “Justice for Sale,” which also reported on the Soros network’s funding of DA candidates.)