On Sean Hannity's radio show, David Horowitz attacked nonprofit organization Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and George Soros, baselessly claiming that Soros has "put $75 million into these congressional elections, and he's doing it behind the façade of -- public interest, tax-exempt, charitable organizations."
On the October 10 edition of ABC Radio Networks' The Sean Hannity Show, right-wing activist David Horowitz baselessly claimed that billionaire philanthropist George Soros has "put $75 million into these congressional elections, and he's doing it behind the façade of ... public interest, tax-exempt, charitable organizations." Horowitz made this claim in the context of criticizing nonprofit organization Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) for its role in the scandal surrounding former Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL), but offered no evidence to back it up.
Before his discussion of the Foley scandal with Horowitz and Democratic operative Bob Beckel, host Sean Hannity noted that the "Soros-funded CREW" had, "earlier this summer," possessed the emails allegedly sent by Foley to an underage former congressional page. He then asked Horowitz to "sort through a little of this," noting an October 9 press release by Horowitz's FrontPageMag.com, in which, according to Hannity, he "had some very strong words to say about George Soros's involvement in this potential Foley issue." In his subsequent comments, Horowitz repeated his baseless claim -- noted by Media Matters for America -- that CREW received the Foley emails "probably in April, certainly in July." Moreover, Horowitz alleged that a "massive political operation run at taxpayer expense that George Soros created" had orchestrated the scandal. As evidence, he cited the fact that CREW received $100,000 from Soros's Open Society Institute (OSI) and went on to note: "[B]ut the organization that really started it up is called the Democracy Alliance," which he described as a "$50-million Soros operation" that acts as a "hit squad on Republicans." Horowitz further claimed that "hundreds of millions of dollars ... were put into the 2004 election by Soros and his cronies." Later in the show, he cited Soros's "$50-million operation," before claiming that Soros has "put $75 million into these congressional elections, and he's doing it behind the façade of ... public interest, tax-exempt, charitable organizations."
Horowitz offered no evidence to support his claim that Soros has devoted $50 million -- or $75 million -- of his own money during the midterm election cycle. It is true that OSI contributed $100,000 to CREW in January 2006 and that Soros is a member of the Democracy Alliance, a recently formed organization of donors that has provided financial support to CREW. But the Democracy Alliance is made up of nearly one hundred donors, and the $50 million it has reportedly distributed since its inception last year has been spread among more than 25 progressive organizations (including Media Matters). In late September 2005, Soros held a fundraiser at his home that raised $250,000 for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. But his spokesman, Michael Vachon, told The Hill newspaper that Soros has yet to contribute directly to any political organizations or candidates.
Further, Horowitz did not specify who Soros's "cronies" were when claiming that they poured "hundreds of millions of dollars" into the 2004 presidential election. Soros himself put $25 million of his own money toward progressive and Democratic organizations in 2004.
Additionally, in criticizing CREW as a group "existing ... to attack Republicans," Horowitz falsely claimed that the organization has targeted 14 Republicans and only one Democrat, citing a March 14 Hill article. In fact, in its 2006 report on the most corrupt members of Congress, CREW included three Democratic lawmakers: Reps. William Jefferson (LA), Alan Mollohan (WV), and Maxine Waters (CA).
From the October 10 edition of ABC Radio Networks' The Sean Hannity Show:
HANNITY: Well, on the website, on its own website, the Soros-funded CREW website, they were boasting about taking the lead and breaking the Foley scandal, quote, "when CREW received copies of the Foley emails earlier this summer." They wrote that in their own words here. The Associated Press covered the story. Naomi Seligman, a spokeswoman for CREW said the group also sent a letter to the FBI after it received Foley emails -- CREW did not post the copies of the emails until ABC reported them but they had had them.
Anyway, here to sort through a little of this, we have two of the smartest, brightest people in the world: author of The Shadow Party, David Horowitz, How George Soros, Hillary Clinton and the '60s Radicals Seized Clinton - Seized Control of the Democratic Party, and although -- also with us, Democratic strategist Bob Beckel. Now, David, let's start with you, because you sent out a press release yesterday, and you had some very strong words to say about George Soros's involvement in this potential Foley issue.
HOROWITZ: Yeah, Sean, I'm looking forward to seeing you at the Restoration Weekend in Florida.
HANNITY: Yes, sir, I really am. It's an honor to be there.
HOROWITZ: Look, this is a massive political operation run at taxpayer expense that George Soros created. The CREW, it's got 100,000 from Soros, but the organization that really started it up is called the Democracy Alliance, which is a 50-million-dollar Soros operation, which is geared to -- as a hit squad on Republicans. This group, CREW, is singularly responsible for taking down [former Rep.] Tom DeLay [R-TX]; it's run by Democratic operatives, it was founded by people like Mark Penn, who's a key Democratic pollster and part of the Soros operation. It has targeted 14, according to The Hill reporter, 14 congressmen, people in Congress, 14 Republicans and one Democrat, and of course, the Democrat, [Sen.] Blanche Lincoln [D-AR], is a kind of centrist Democrat.
HANNITY: But, let me ask you --
HOROWITZ: What you have here is a political hit squad -- withheld information from the FBI. They had the Foley emails probably in April, certainly in July. They released laundered versions to the FBI, probably to get the FBI to see if they would, you know, find out more but withheld the damaging ones because they wanted to time it for the election.
HANNITY: All right. Let me -- let me go to the heart and soul of this. What you're saying, David, is is that they've been holding this incriminating -- these incriminating emails, revealing Foley's sexual misconduct, since at least July of 2006, and the FBI has countered that CREW provided only edited versions of the emails and they're refusing to surrender over the unedited originals, here.
HOROWITZ: That's right. This is a group posing as a public interest group, which is an entirely political operation, tax exempt, running off taxpayers' dollars, supposed to be in the public interest, but its only reason for existing is to attack Republicans, and it is beyond me why the Republican Congress is not investigating CREW and Soros. We're talking about hundreds of millions of dollars that were put into the 2004 election by Soros and his cronies.
HANNITY: The -- the issue here, though, David, is they're showing such moral outrage over the Foley matter. If they knew about them, they had awareness of them, and they timed the outcome of this, that would be a sign of hypocrisy, wouldn't it?
HOROWITZ: Well, of course, they're hypocrites. But this -- there's something much more sinister going on. Yeah, dirty tricks. If the Democratic Party is doing dirty tricks, OK, the Republican Party probably does dirty tricks, too. But this is a -- this a tax-exempt, public interest organization that's being financed by a $50 million operation that George Soros that -- George Soros has put $75 million into these congressional elections, and he's doing it behind the façade of a public interest, tax-exempt, charitable organizations.
I see that Bob Beckel, whom I respect when he's not in his attack mode, has read Media Matters, you know. Soros has this smear site, Media Matters, and it just happens that the woman Sloan, who is the executive director of CREW, was previously the -- or she's the spokesperson for CREW -- was previously the spokesperson for Media Matters. Excuse me, it's Naomi Seligman. These are all Democratic Party operatives; they're all acting under the protection of a nonpartisan, public interest, tax-exempt operation. This needs to be investigated and stopped.
BECKEL: David, David. Can I just get a word in here for a second?
HOROWITZ: I don't -- I, you know -- I don't do this. I'm a 501(c)(3), but I obey the law.