Aaron Klein, Published: 01/15/2015 at 8:55 PM
NYC mayor has history with radicals backed by billionaire
An investigative report by the Washington Times Thursday documenting George Soros’ central role in financing the protest movement in Ferguson, Missouri, raises new questions about the billionaire’s largely unreported relationship with New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio.
WND was first to report the larger Soros-de Blasio connection last week. De Blasio has made numerous comments implying the New York Police Department has racist tendencies. His controversial remarks have fueled racial tension between police and protesters.
Thursday, the Washington Times reported Soros’ Open Society Institute has provided a staggering $33 million or more in just one year to support organizations that have emboldened and aided the activists and protesters in Ferguson.
“The financial tether from Mr. Soros to the activist groups gave rise to a combustible protest movement that transformed a one-day criminal event in Missouri into a 24-hour-a-day national cause celebre,” the Washington Times stated.
The Times documented Soros-funded groups have mobilized protesters and were leading the nationwide social media and public relations campaign focusing on Ferguson, where a white officer fatally shot black teen Michael Brown.
Such Soros-financed groups as the Samuel Dewitt Proctor Conference in Chicago; the Drug Policy Alliance, Make the Road New York and Equal Justice USA from New York; Sojourners, the Advancement Project and Center for Community Change in Washington; and networks from the Gamaliel Foundation all “descended on Ferguson starting in August and later organized protests and gatherings in the city until late last month,” the Times reported.
“Other Soros-funded groups made it their job to remotely monitor and exploit anything related to the incident that they could portray as a conservative misstep, and to develop academic research and editorials to disseminate to the news media to keep the story alive.”
The new report prompts questions about de Blasio’s own ties to Soros and his role in helping to fuel the anti-police protests in the wake of the decision by a grand jury not to indict a police officer for the death of Eric Garner.
New York mayor’s secret past comes to light
Largely unreported in the news coverage of the recent race-related demonstrations is that de Blasio has a history of working with extremist activist groups to stir protests.
Further, de Blasio has a largely unreported history with the controversial Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN.
ACORN’s renamed group, the New York Communities for Change, is one of the organizations helping to lead the protests over the death of Eric Garner, who was killed by police in July.
De Blasio has been accused by critics, including New York police officers, of helping to fuel racial tension between police and protesters.
One of the major anti-police protests in New York that received media attention was an attempt to shut down Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue shopping district before Christmas.
The protest was led by the group Act Now To End War & Stop Racism Coalition, or ANSWER, together with Occupy Wall Street and at least 10 other so-called economic justice and pro-Palestinian groups.
ANSWER has worked with ACORN and has led protests in the past with MoveOn.org, a group with which de Blasio previously worked.
De Blasio, Soros, MoveOn.org and protests
During the mayoral race last year, New York City media reported billionaire George Soros had endorsed de Blasio. But the reports failed to disclose the billionaire’s major financial donation to de Blasio’s nonprofit as well as the candidate’s cozy working relationship with Soros-funded activist groups. De Blasio worked with some of those groups to stir protests.
In 2011, using his position of public advocate, de Blasio launched a nonprofit called the Coalition for Accountability in Political Spending, or CAPS. The group received its primary launch donation of $400,000 from Soros’ Open Society Institute.
De Blasio used his group and his public office to organize with other Soros-funded groups.
In 2011, Chris Bragg at CityAndStateNY.com reported de Blasio pursued a case against the Minnesota-based Target Corporation after it contributed $150,000 to an organization that promoted a local politician, Tom Emmer, for governor. Emmer had drawn controversy for reportedly opposing a law that sought to combat the bullying of homosexual youth.
De Blasio’s office responded by organizing a protest with MoveOn.org, which is funded directly by Soros as well as by the Soros-funded Tides Foundation.
De Blasio also worked with other Soros-funded groups, noted Bragg, including Common Cause, the advocacy group Public Citizen and the D.C.-based Center for Political Accountability.
According to Braggs, de Blasio first became more familiar with Soros after the politician was invited to speak in 2011 at an intimate panel discussion at the billionaire’s Fifth Avenue apartment.
“I really didn’t know Soros before this,” de Blasio later stated. “At the end of it, I talked to him a bit, and he expressed some appreciation for the notion of finding a constructive way to address this. He said, ‘Stay in touch,’ and we did.”
He added, “Then we went to his staff and said, ‘Look, we’re trying to build this out nationally, and here’s an idea how to do it.’”
De Blasio the ACORN mayor?
In September 2013, WND was first to report de Blasio has a long history with the controversial ACORN, once even steering public funds to an ACORN front group.
De Blasio previously served several terms on the city council and as New York City public advocate from 2010 to the present.
He was endorsed by ACORN for his 2010 public advocate race.
De Blasio spent $43,000 to hire N.Y. Citizens Services Inc., an affiliate of ACORN, to run canvassing, consulting and field work for his public advocate campaign.
As a councilman, de Blasio steered $115,000 in taxpayer dollars directly to ACORN as well as to the organization’s affiliate, the New York Agency for Community Affairs.
De Blasio’s 2010 public advocate campaign was also endorsed by the ACORN-founded Working Families Party, with which the politician demonstrates a larger working relationship.
As a councilman, de Blasio was hired as a consulate by a group called the Progressive America Foundation, which reportedly paid him $33,000 to lobby for election regulations that would ease restrictions on third parties such as the Working Families Party, or WFP. The foundation is closely tied to WFP.
De Blasio turned around and spent $67,740 to hire WFP’s for-profit branch, Data and Field Services, for canvassing and election consulting. The organization was run from the same office as New York ACORN.
WFP was founded by progressive activist Dan Cantor, who also was a founder of the socialist-oriented New Party.
De Blasio reportedly served as executive director of the New York branch of the New Party.
WND previously exposed that President Obama himself was listed in New Party literature as a member.
De Blasio is clearly still supported by the ACORN nexus.
Bertha Lewis, the former executive director of ACORN, spoke for de Blasio at numerous events during the mayoral election.
“I’ve known Bill for decades, and we’ve fought on the front lines together. We’ve organized together,” Lewis said, according to EAG News.
“[He’s] proud to say he’s liberal. [He’s] proud to say he is severely progressive and was proud to stand with me, to back me, to back ACORN, and said, ‘We will march down the street together and I dare you, I dare you, to say something against my friend!’” Lewis continued.
With additional research by Brenda J. Elliott.