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Soros-backed PAC spends $1 million on local DA campaign

Additional contributions come after $400K earlier in May

Editor's note: The amount of the contribution from the California Justice & Public Safety PAC was incorrect when first published and corrected on Tuesday, May 31. We regret the error.

A political action committee with a majority of its funding from billionaire investor George Soros has contributed more than $1 million to Diana Becton's campaign for Contra Costa County District Attorney.

Earlier this month, county election filings showed an independent expenditure of just over $400,000 from the California Justice & Public Safety PAC. On May 28, the PAC spent an additional $540,000-plus.

Soros contributed $652,000 of the $1,002,000.

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Longtime prosecutor and former senior deputy district attorney Mary Knox is challenging Diana Becton, who has held the office since being appointed in 2017.

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"An out-of-state billionaire along with special interest groups have now dropped an unprecedented $1M to defeat my campaign and influence voters for District Attorney in this local election,” Knox said of the May 28 independent expenditure. “Contra Costa voters will determine the outcome of this election and the future of public safety in Contra Costa County.

“This billionaire‘s money will not drown out the voices of the hundreds of volunteers and thousands of local donors who have worked tirelessly side-by-side with me over the past 11 months to spread our campaign's message.”

As of 1 p.m. Sunday, Becton's campaign had not yet responded to a request for a statement.

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Becton is a progressive prosecutor who was elected in 2018 on a platform of criminal justice system reform. A member of the “Prosecutor’s Alliance,” Becton has aligned herself with other progressive California DAs Chesa Boudin of San Francisco, George Gascon of Los Angeles, and Tori Verber Salazar of San Joaquin. All four members of the alliance were backed by the Soros-funded PAC in 2018.

Citing rising crime rates in the county and, according to Knox, Becton’s soft-on-crime policies, Knox promises to “stand up for victims and work hand-in-hand with local police departments to reduce crime.”

Knox has been a prosecutor for 37 years. She is the “former” senior deputy DA because she was demoted by Becton. Knox filed a political retaliation complaint against Becton alleging the demotion came after Knox revealed she was supporting Becton's opponent in the 2018 election.

Knox is also one of four women in the DA’s office who sued Becton in 2020 alleging she denied more experienced women promotions while promoting inexperienced men.

Knox has raised more than $520,000 in contributions. Contra Costans for Progress and Justice, a coalition of business, labor and people that care about public safety in support of Mary Knox for District Attorney 2022 gave more than $250,000 through May 21, and included $190,000 from Contra Costa County Deputy Sheriff's Association Independent Expenditure PAC.

"I have served our community for 37 years as a prosecutor," Knox said. "The bottom line is this. People in our community want to feel safe in their neighborhoods. Every day I talk to voters who are frustrated with D.A. Becton and want to see their District Attorney focused on public safety and crime reduction. As Contra Costa’s District Attorney, I will restore public safety, enforce our laws and work to prevent crime.”

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Gina Channell Wilcox
Gina Channell Wilcox is the president and publisher of Embarcadero Media's East Bay division. She previously worked as the executive editor/associate publisher at a division of the Chicago Sun-Times and has earned several state and national journalism awards, including for investigative journalism and in-depth reporting. Read more >>

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Soros-backed PAC spends $1 million on local DA campaign

Additional contributions come after $400K earlier in May

by / Danville San Ramon

Uploaded: Sun, May 29, 2022, 1:32 pm

Editor's note: The amount of the contribution from the California Justice & Public Safety PAC was incorrect when first published and corrected on Tuesday, May 31. We regret the error.

A political action committee with a majority of its funding from billionaire investor George Soros has contributed more than $1 million to Diana Becton's campaign for Contra Costa County District Attorney.

Earlier this month, county election filings showed an independent expenditure of just over $400,000 from the California Justice & Public Safety PAC. On May 28, the PAC spent an additional $540,000-plus.

Soros contributed $652,000 of the $1,002,000.

Longtime prosecutor and former senior deputy district attorney Mary Knox is challenging Diana Becton, who has held the office since being appointed in 2017.

"An out-of-state billionaire along with special interest groups have now dropped an unprecedented $1M to defeat my campaign and influence voters for District Attorney in this local election,” Knox said of the May 28 independent expenditure. “Contra Costa voters will determine the outcome of this election and the future of public safety in Contra Costa County.

“This billionaire‘s money will not drown out the voices of the hundreds of volunteers and thousands of local donors who have worked tirelessly side-by-side with me over the past 11 months to spread our campaign's message.”

As of 1 p.m. Sunday, Becton's campaign had not yet responded to a request for a statement.

Becton is a progressive prosecutor who was elected in 2018 on a platform of criminal justice system reform. A member of the “Prosecutor’s Alliance,” Becton has aligned herself with other progressive California DAs Chesa Boudin of San Francisco, George Gascon of Los Angeles, and Tori Verber Salazar of San Joaquin. All four members of the alliance were backed by the Soros-funded PAC in 2018.

Citing rising crime rates in the county and, according to Knox, Becton’s soft-on-crime policies, Knox promises to “stand up for victims and work hand-in-hand with local police departments to reduce crime.”

Knox has been a prosecutor for 37 years. She is the “former” senior deputy DA because she was demoted by Becton. Knox filed a political retaliation complaint against Becton alleging the demotion came after Knox revealed she was supporting Becton's opponent in the 2018 election.

Knox is also one of four women in the DA’s office who sued Becton in 2020 alleging she denied more experienced women promotions while promoting inexperienced men.

Knox has raised more than $520,000 in contributions. Contra Costans for Progress and Justice, a coalition of business, labor and people that care about public safety in support of Mary Knox for District Attorney 2022 gave more than $250,000 through May 21, and included $190,000 from Contra Costa County Deputy Sheriff's Association Independent Expenditure PAC.

"I have served our community for 37 years as a prosecutor," Knox said. "The bottom line is this. People in our community want to feel safe in their neighborhoods. Every day I talk to voters who are frustrated with D.A. Becton and want to see their District Attorney focused on public safety and crime reduction. As Contra Costa’s District Attorney, I will restore public safety, enforce our laws and work to prevent crime.”

Comments

Swagu
Registered user
Bridle Creek
on May 29, 2022 at 3:30 pm
Swagu, Bridle Creek
Registered user
on May 29, 2022 at 3:30 pm

Nothing says democracy like international billionaires buying elections with 7 figures worth of cash!


Jake Waters
Registered user
Birdland
on May 30, 2022 at 7:41 am
Jake Waters, Birdland
Registered user
on May 30, 2022 at 7:41 am

Now they know who not to vote for. Unfortunately, most voters don’t understand what this means or who Soros is.


MichaelB
Registered user
Pleasanton Meadows
on May 30, 2022 at 7:54 am
MichaelB, Pleasanton Meadows
Registered user
on May 30, 2022 at 7:54 am

"Becton is a progressive prosecutor who was elected in 2018 on a platform of criminal justice system reform. A member of the “Prosecutor’s Alliance,” Becton has aligned herself with other progressive California DAs Chesa Boudin of San Francisco, George Gascon of Los Angeles, and Tori Verber Salazar of San Joaquin."

Both Boudin and Gascon are currently subject to recall elections by the voters for their failure to prosecute criminal activity and increasing rates of crime in their jurisdictions. Contra Costa County voters can "save a step" and some grief by voting Becton out. Otherwise, expect more lawless behavior to follow with excuses/rationalizations that there is "too much racism" and/or "not enough equity" in current criminal justice procedures to resolve it.


José Jiménez
Registered user
Ruby Hill
on May 30, 2022 at 1:23 pm
José Jiménez, Ruby Hill
Registered user
on May 30, 2022 at 1:23 pm

We will soon know if the Contra Costa voters are savvy enough to vote against Diana Becton and defeat George Soros in the process. This isn't democracy when a billionaire tries to take charge of a local election ! It makes me sick and disgusted. Let Diana Becton move to the county where Soros lives and be the DA in his county !!


Kevin
Registered user
Castlewood
on May 30, 2022 at 2:14 pm
Kevin, Castlewood
Registered user
on May 30, 2022 at 2:14 pm

George Soros is not a popular guy in the Conservative Right circles. He donates a lot of money to causes that are important to him just like Conservative Right billionaires Sheldon Adelson, his wife Miriam and Ken Griffin donate to Conservative causes that are important to them. You can agree or disagree depending on your point of view. In addition to reporting that Benton’s campaign received money from a Soros PAC, Gina can also write a paragraph about Soros’s philosophy for criminal justice. There are Soros sponsored DAs who have not done a good job like the guy in SF. we can say the same thing about many Conservative Right DAs.


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