George Soros, the liberal New York billionaire and prolific pollical donor who has long sought to transform the criminal justice system, made significant investments into progressive political organizations in Texas last year.
According to campaign finance reports filed with the Texas Ethics Commission, Soros donated over $2.5 million to a handful of Democratic party organizations and leftist political action committees across Texas during 2023. The Texas Voice previously reported on some of these donations, including $100,000 to the Cameron County Democratic Party and $250,000 to the Texas Organizing Project PAC.
In addition to the donations to those two organizations, Soros’ Texas donations during 2023 included:
- $200,000 to the Dallas County Democratic Party
- $50,000 to Planned Parenthood Texas Votes
- $62,000 to the Texas Justice & Public Safety PAC
- $1,400,000 to Texas Majority PAC
- $300,000 to CTX Votes
- $100,000 to First Tuesday
- $100,000 to the Hidalgo County Democratic Party
The Texas Tribune reported earlier this month that the Texas Majority PAC was recently formed by former staff members of Beto O’Rourke and the Texas Organizing Project in an effort to flip Texas to the Democratic Party. Texas Majority PAC reported spending over $900,000 during the second half of 2023, largely on hiring staff and building organizational infrastructure ahead of the 2024 election.
CTX votes appears to be focused on the Austin area. Adam Loewy, an Austin attorney active in Democratic politics, tweeted that CTX votes is being chaired by former Austin mayor Steve Adler and is run by Jim Wick– who Loewy described as Adler’s “consigliere.” Adler’s tenure as Mayor of Austin was marred by increased crime and vagrancy throughout the city.
First Tuesday is a longtime presence in Harris County Democratic politics. Traditionally primarily funded by personal injury trial lawyers, First Tuesday had played a vital role in financing Democratic political campaign infrastructure in Harris County.
The Texas Justice & Public Safety PAC appears to be a vehicle that Soros will use to support candidates for District Attorney who share his vision of criminal justice “reform” that opponents have criticized for leading to increased crime in areas where Soros-backed District Attorneys have been elected.
Sean Teare, who is running in the Democratic Primary against incumbent Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg, reported receiving $60,665.04 in in-kind contributions from Soros’ Texas Justice & Public Safety PAC. Teare is a former prosecutor who is currently employed as a criminal defense attorney at the Cogdell Law Firm.
One of the in-kind contributions from the Texas Justice & Public Safety PAC reflected on Teare’s campaign finance report appears to have been made jointly to the Texas Organizing Project PAC, which also received significant financial support from Soros. One of the Texas Organizing Project’s non-profit entities provides funds to bail accused criminals out of jail. In 2021, the Texas Organizing Project touted spending over $1 million in bail funds.
Texas Organizing Project’s bail program recently received public scrutiny in the wake of a crime spree that left six people dead at the hands of a criminal who had been previously bailed out of jail by the Texas Organizing Project.
Teare’s employment with the Cogdell Law Firm has come under attack by Ogg, who believes it poses a conflict of interest. The Cogdell Law Firm currently represents Alex Triantaphylis, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo’s former chief of staff. He is presently under indictment for his alleged role in a bid-rigging scheme to benefit a Democratic political operative.
In an interview with Houston television station KRIV last week, Ogg claimed that Teare’s representation of Triantaphylis posed a conflict of interest since Teare was a senior member of Ogg’s staff at the Harris County District Attorney’s office when the office was building a case against Triantaphylis. Hidalgo has endorsed Teare, which led Ogg to raise the prospect of a potential deal between Teare and Hidalgo. “It’s obvious to me he’s not ethical, and that there very well could be a deal,” Ogg told KRIV.
The Cogdell Law Firm also represents Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in the pending felony securities fraud case against Paxton, which is set for trial in April. The Cogdell Law Firm was also involved in Paxton’s defense during his impeachment trial last year. Campaign finance reports reflect that Paxton paid the Cogdell Law Firm $250,000 on July 13, 2023.
While Soros is spending millions of dollars to aid Democratic efforts in Texas, fundraising by the Republican Party of Texas is lagging compared to the last Presidential election cycle. The Republican Party of Texas reported $330,282.95 on hand in the Party’s state account as of the end of 2023. At the same time during the 2020 election cycle, the Party reported $921,618.92 on hand in the state account. The Party’s federal-level fundraising is also struggling compared to the 2020 cycle. The Texas GOP reported $790,799.38 on hand in its federal account as of November 30, 2023, compared to reporting $1,993,040.30 in that same account four years prior.
Accounting for the Republican Party of Texas’ state and federal accounts combined, the Party’s cash on hand is down more than 61% compared to the same time during the 2020 election cycle.
The Texas Voice has previously reported that Trey Trainor, a Trump appointee to the Federal Election Commission who formerly worked as an election lawyer in Texas, has been highly critical of Republican Party of Texas Chairman Matt Rinaldi for failing to have an election integrity plan in place for the 2024 elections.