If you live in the Fox News bubble, billionaire George Soros is the devil incarnate.
More than a dozen fables about him have been debunked by the fact checkers at Snopes over the past two years, including allegations he bribed Democrats to trigger the most recent government shutdown, is grooming a Muslim Brotherhood candidate for governor, rigged voting machines in the 2016 elections, paid anti-Trump protestors, and funded Black Lives Matter.
Appointed District Attorney Summer Stephan is exploiting this particular paranoia in her re-election campaign. The first news article posted on her campaign website was an article about Soros from the far right Free Beacon website. She incorrectly suggested Soros is supporting her progressive opponent, public defender Genevieve Jones-Wright, in a recent candidate forum. And Summer’s fanboy twitter account brings up Soros paranoia like clockwork.
I’m told Stephan’s going to be disappointed when she reads Jones-Wright’s fourth-quarter campaign contributions filing and doesn’t see support from the liberal billionaire. That same source also says Jones-Wright would be happy to accept Soros’ support. It just hasn’t happened.
Here’s the Wikipedia entry on Soro’s philanthropic endeavors:
He is a well-known supporter of American progressive and American liberal political causes and dispenses his donations through his foundation, the Open Society Foundations. Between 1979 and 2011, Soros donated more than $11 billion to various philanthropic causes; by 2017, his donations “on civil initiatives to reduce poverty and increase transparency, and on scholarships and universities around the world” totaled $12 billion. He influenced the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and provided one of Europe’s largest higher education endowments to the Central European University in his Hungarian hometown. His extensive political philanthropy has made him a “bugaboo of European nationalists.”
So what’s the big deal over Soros, besides his name being invoked by reactionaries afraid of reform/progressive policies and fellow travelers of Sebastian Gorka? Maybe it’s because Jones-Wright its the profile of DA candidates Soros could support.
Here’s the UT’s Michael Smolens:
The prospect of billionaire financier George Soros injecting his money into San Diego’s campaign for district attorney has some people worried — namely, incumbent Summer Stephan and her campaign folks.
Soros has made it his mission to elect people he considers progressive and reform-minded — some of whom have never been prosecutors before, such as San Diego Deputy Public Defender Genevieve Jones-Wright — over establishment backed-candidates who take a more traditional law-and-order approach. And he’s been having considerable success.
Last year he put some $11 million behind 12 candidates across the country; 10 won.
In Stephan’s case, it’s likely her support from the bail bond industry and the same forces opposing virtually all criminal justice reform in California. In other words, the ‘lock ‘em up and throw away the key’ types.
The appointed DA’s backers would like to make wedge issues like the death penalty the focus of any debate, rather than the reality of California’s 58 County District Attorneys being the least scrutinized players in the criminal justice system.
So what we’re seeing is a candidate who hopes voters will worry about the right’s “boogie man” more than considering the possibility of criminal justice programs including the concept of “justice for all.”
And since Genevieve Jones-Wright is already being accused of taking Soros’ money, let’s hope she gets some.
Don’t forget, your only chance to vote in the contests for District Attorney, County Sheriff, and Assessor/Recorder will be in the June 5th primary elections.
Sign the petition. As of this writing, over 1860 people already have. The currently appointed District Attorney and her crony, Sheriff Bill Gore, need some persuading to do the right thing when it comes to parting the Blue Curtain to go after sexual assault. You’d think 13 victims might be enough to spur some action
By Suzanne Morse at Change.org:
Dear Sheriff Gore and Interim District Attorney Stephan;
We are writing to request that you put the safety of San Diego County’s women above the public relations interests of your departments, hold Deputy Sheriff Richard Fischer accountable for the reported sexual harassment and assault of at least 13 women, and place him on unpaid administrative leave during this investigation.
Sexual assault is a highly under-reported crime. In recent weeks, more women have come forward to report additional incidents of harassment and assault by Fischer, and it is likely there are additional women who have not yet reported their assaults to your offices.
Fischer’s actions and your delayed investigations have undermined public confidence in the Sheriff’s Department. Sheriff Gore was made aware of the first allegations against Deputy Fischer in May of 2016. Although he claims to have no record of this complaint, the victim maintained copies of her communication. This casts doubt on his response to the allegations and raises questions about how his office manages these complaints.
Moreover, there can be no ignoring that the complaints that began in October are absolutely reason enough to fire Richard Fischer immediately. It is an insult to the women and everyone who cares about them to see that Fischer is still receiving his taxpayer-funded salary and benefits. You have more than enough evidence to arrest him and to charge him with sexual battery as defined by the California penal code.
For misdemeanor sexual battery, prosecutors need only make the case that the accused touched the victim’s intimate parts against the will of the victim and that the unwanted touching was for the purpose of sexual gratification, arousal, or abuse.
We know Richard Fischer touched many women against their will.
Given the statements of the victims, that Fischer made comments such as, “I hope your husband doesn’t mind,” and asking that the victim not share their encounter with others, we also know that he did it for the purpose of sexual gratification and he knew it was wrong.
To raise the charges to felony level, the victim must have been restrained or the accused gained access to the victim through fraud.
Given that a few of the victims were in his police cruiser at the time of the abuse, (restrained), and that he gained access to others by pretending to be on official police duty, (fraud), it is completely feasible the accusations against him reach the felony level.
Therefore, it is disingenuous that Sheriff Gore, on his media tour late last year to try to convince the public he is capable of doing his job, repeatedly stated that the alleged crimes were only a misdemeanor. It was very disturbing that on an interview with KUSI, he suggested the victims are lying by stating: “people have come forward in the last two months with allegations when they have read other women’s’ allegations,” as if the victims are playing a game of sexual assault copycat. We ask that this disrespectful and dishonest set of talking points halt immediately.
Since both Sheriff Bill Gore and District Attorney Stephan seem to be having so many issues seeking justice — particularly vexing given Ms. Stephan’s history of leading the Sex Crimes and Human Trafficking Division and her constant assurances to the public that she is victim-centered and takes public integrity seriously. We remind you that it is your sworn duty to protect the people of San Diego County.
The women of San Diego County are not safe as long as Richard Fischer walks free. Our request is that the women in San Diego County receive the respect and accountability we deserve from your respective departments.
Please do your jobs and protect women from sexual predators, especially those who wear a badge. Hold Deputy Sheriff Richard Fischer accountable for his sexual harassment and abuse.
Summer Stephan’s predecessor, Bonnie Dumanis, has also been in the news lately. And not in a good way.
Dumanis is the Republican candidate for the District 4 Supervisor’s seat, vying to replace termed-out Ron Roberts.
Her campaign strategy is centered around hiding her party affiliation and accentuating the storyline of her being “the first openly gay prosecutor in the country, and the first female DA in San Diego history.”
As Voice of San Diego pointed out last week, her Facebook campaign targeting Democrats hasn’t been particularly well-received. (The comments are brutal)
The taint that just won’t go away for the former District Attorney concerns illegal campaign donations by Mexican billionaire Jose Susumo Azano Matsura to her failed 2012 campaign for mayor of San Diego. Dumanis had maintained she was unaware of the contributions.
Then in October, more questions arose as Azano was sentenced to 36 months on charges related to illegally funneling $600,000 into local political campaigns.
From the Union-Tribune:
But the former district attorney’s name appeared in an incendiary court document that claimed she knew Jose Susumo Azano Matsura was a foreign citizen and could not legally contribute to her 2012 mayoral bid, yet she solicited his financial backing anyway.
Dumanis dismissed the accusations in a 25-page memo by Azano’s lawyer, Knut Johnson, calling it a typical last-minute “Hail Mary” that convicted felons throw up in hopes of a more lenient sentence…
…In response to the Johnson memo, Dumanis said she was “never made aware” that Azano was a foreign national and reiterated he didn’t contribute directly to her campaign or to political committees she controlled.
“Never made aware” isn’t the same as not knowing.
Dumanis promised to donate $10,000 in Azano-linked cash to charity. KPBS recently discovered the amount of financial support in question was really more like $17,500.
KPBS reached out to Dumanis to ask her what plans, if any, she had for the Azano-related money. Her political consultant Jason Cabel Roe responded asking for extra time to reply. But one day later, Roe sent an email to KPBS stating, “Ya, let’s just ignore her. This is BS and really dumb.”
This week the Union-Tribune revealed Dumanis hired a legal team to find a way for her to continue receiving her $268,000 annual pension if elected to the Board of Supervisors.
Once again, consultant Jason Cabel Roe:
Dumanis does not — and never did — intend to accept a county supervisor salary if she wins, her political consultant said. He said her main motivation in hiring attorneys was to ensure she would not be required to accept a salary on top of her $268,800 annual pension.
Records obtained by The San Diego Union-Tribune, documenting back-and-forth with retirement officials going back a year, show no reference to Dumanis refusing to accept a supervisorial salary.
Roe, by the way, is also Summer Stephan’s campaign consultant.
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