The Washington Post

Billionaire George Soros backs pro-Hillary Clinton super PAC


Investor George Soros has signed on as co-chairman of the finance council for a super PAC backing former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. (LEN ANDERSSON/EPA)

Billionaire investor George Soros has signed on to be a co-chairman of the national finance council for Ready for Hillary, a super PAC mobilizing support for a possible White House bid by Hillary Rodham Clinton.

“George Soros is delighted to join more than one million Americans in supporting Ready for Hillary,” Michael Vachon, Soros’s political director, said in a statement Thursday. “His support for Ready for Hillary is an extension of his long-held belief in the power of grass-roots organizing.”

The commitment represents an early engagement in the 2016 presidential race by Soros, a longtime backer of liberal causes. In 2012, he waited until a month ahead of Election Day before giving $1 million to Priorities USA Action, a super PAC backing President Obama’s reelection bid.

For Ready for Hillary, which Clinton supporters started earlier this year, scoring the support of such a heavyweight donor helps bolster its establishment credentials. Other members of its national finance council — who must contribute or raise $25,000 — include Esprit co-founder Susie Tompkins Buell, entrepreneur Jo Ousterhout and lawyers Steve and Amber Mostyn.

Officials with the super PAC said they are developing a national grass-roots network that will prepare volunteers and organizers to help Clinton if she runs. Clinton has not commented on the group, which is prohibited from directly coordinating with candidates or parties.

“It’s not about pressuring her,” Executive Director Adam Parkhomenko said. “It’s giving her the time to make the decision, knowing that there’s an operation out there of grass-roots supporters who are organizing.”

The super PAC says it has more than 1 million supporters, including 30,000 new online sign-ups last weekend when Clinton campaigned for Democratic Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe, a longtime friend. The group plans to back other candidates Clinton may endorse in the coming year.

“Our strategy is to amplify what Hillary is doing and promote the candidates she is out there advocating for,” spokesman Seth Bringman said.

Matea Gold is a national political reporter for The Washington Post, covering money and influence.

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