If you took all the money Democratic Monroe County executive candidate Adam Bello has spent on his campaign, and added all the money Republican incumbent Cheryl DiNolfo has spent, and added in Bello’s money again, you’d have just about as much money as George Soros has spent trying to get Shani Curry Mitchell elected district attorney.
By the time the final filing is in, it is likely that one donor supporting one candidate in the district attorney’s race will have ponied up as much money as was contributed by a myriad of donors to both candidates in the race at the top of the ticket.
And notice that this is all going to benefit Democrats, whose party self-righteously condemns big-money donors, and calls for taxpayer funding of campaigns.
Here’s the story.
George Soros wants to decriminalize crime. And to achieve that end, he is lavishing money all over the Democratic Party. Usually it’s through front groups – political action committees with pretty names. He’s made good progress in Albany, in the Democrat-controlled state capital, where the bad guys had their best legislative year ever.
And now he wants to bring his campaign home.
Specifically, to your home.
In an effort to nullify criminal prosecution, Soros is putting money into district attorney races where he believes one candidate will be easier on crime than the other. Under the mantra “criminal justice reform,” Soros and the progressives want to prosecute and imprison as few criminals as possible.
And so it is that Democratic district attorney candidate Shani Curry Mitchell ends up on the receiving end of arguably the biggest single pile of money ever involved in Monroe County politics. And not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, she isn’t complaining. She says she knows nothing about the money, has no connection to the PAC that’s paying it, but agrees with the ads that her opponent is bad and needs to go.
Thus far, the Soros ads have been light and pretty and positive in regard to Mitchell, and caustic and dark in regard to incumbent Sandra Doorley, who is all but accused of racist prosecution and of lying and cheating to lock up defendants who are black men.
It’s a race card, and it’s being played.
The question is: Will it work?
To which the answer is: Only time will tell.
Doorley has been extremely popular at the polls, recording what many believe to be the largest vote total ever for a countywide candidate.
But neither she nor anybody else local has ever faced an out-of-state onslaught like this. There is no doubt that a million dollars can buy ads – but can it buy an election?
If it does, it will be a benefit not just to Shani Curry Mitchell, but also to her fellow Democrats.
If the Soros money does drive voters to Mitchell, it will also drive them to her line – Row A – where Democrats up and down the ticket will be boosted. People being people, and people tending to cluster their votes on one row, George Soros might have sent a big gift to all of Monroe County’s Democrats.
And that could impact the county executive race, the Pittsford supervisor and town board races, and the contests for county legislature.
In a year where it’s hard to know whether outside factors – like the Soros money, Donald Trump, the city’s Police Accountability Board referendum – will drive voters one way or another, the future is hard to predict.
But here is one thing that is certain: The re-election of Sandra Doorley is crucial.
With the flood of pro-criminal reforms coming out of Albany on January 1st, the last backstop for Monroe or any county will be its locally elected district attorney. When the law is changed to create a distinct disadvantage for criminal prosecution, you have to have a top prosecutor who will make sure that the justice that can be done will be done. It will take intense focus and management capability to avoid the blanket dismissal of criminal charges some of the reforms are apparently designed to trigger.
The irony is that Sandra Doorley, who was targeted for being tough on crime, isn’t that tough on crime. She was first elected as a Democrat, and it shows. Hers is a good county for a plea deal, and not all of the must-win cases get won. Yes, she believes in justice and she stands firm with victims, and does her best to back law enforcement. But she’s not a hard ass. She would say she does justice, not vengeance.
In any other environment, Doorley would be re-elected in a landslide, if she was even opposed.
But this is a new world, where money made in the markets of Europe washes down as part of a progressive tidal wave hoping to reshape the American landscape.
And we’ll find out on Election Day what it all means.
And if you can buy a district attorney seat for a million out-of-town dollars.