Candidate for Orange County District Attorney Peter Hardin has the backing of several progressive political action committees (PACs) affiliated with George Soros and other wealthy activists, according to recently released audio.
Soros was a heavy backer of Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón, who has implemented numerous soft-on-crime policies in his county, including eliminating cash bail and preventing juveniles from facing adult prosecution. These policies have been blamed for skyrocketing crime rates under Gascón’s tenure.
Peter Hardin has promised that, if elected in Orange County, he would follow Gascón’s lead on cash bail and juvenile prosecution.
In addition, the PACs cited by Hardin in the leaked audio have ties to other prominent progressive donors, including Patricia Quillin and Kaitlyn Krieger, both of whom serve on the board of Smart Justice.
This is not Hardin’s first controversy in the Orange County District Attorney’s race. Earlier this year, an internal memo revealed that, when Hardin worked as an Orange County prosecutor, he engaged in repeated sexual improprieties.
Incumbent OC District Attorney Todd Spitzer has heavily criticized his opponent’s lax policies and his ties to the criminal justice reform movement, calling Hardin a “Gascón clone” and campaigning with the hashtag #NoLAinOC.
In a campaign commercial made by DA Spitzer, Hardin can be heard saying that he has met with several “groups across the country interested in criminal justice reform.”
Hardin cited three specific groups: Real Justice PAC, Smart Justice California, and Courage California. “I’ve met with all of them, I’ve developed relationships with all of them,” said Hardin. “They’re extremely interested in this campaign.”
According to The Los Angeles Times, Real Justice PAC is “largely funded by billionaire George Soros,” and has “spent millions in recent years” funding progressive DAs across California. Courage California boasts Anat Shenker-Osorio on its Board of Directors; Shenker-Osorio is affiliated with George Soros’ Open Society Foundation.
George Soros, a Hungarian-American billionaire investor famous for his funding of political causes, is responsible for what Politico termed a “quiet overhaul of the U.S. justice system.” In recent years, he has funneled millions of dollars into district attorney’s races in order to promote his vision of progressive criminal justice reform.