The “Hidden Soros Slush Fund”

There does indeed seem to be a “hidden Soros Slush Fund” in the Democratic Party’s official platform, as commentator Michelle Malkin recently pointed out.

At page 56 (PDF) of the platform document “Renewing America’s Promise,” the party proposes the creation of a “Social Investment Fund Network”:

Partnership with Civic Institutions

Social entrepreneurs and leading nonprofit organizations are assisting schools, lifting families out of poverty, filling health care gaps, and inspiring others to lead change in their own communities. To support these results-oriented innovators, we will create a Social Investment Fund Network that invests in ideas that work, tests their impact, and expands the most successful programs.

We will create an office to coordinate government and nonprofit efforts.

Barack Obama proposed creating a Social Investment Fund Network last year. According to his position paper (PDF):

This will be a government-supported nonprofit corporation, similar to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, that will use federal seed money to leverage private sector funding to improve local innovation, test the impact of new ideas and expand successful programs to scale. The fund will operate through a network of funds that will be rooted in the private sector at the community level, with local decision-making informed by a shared network of best practices. For example, a successful nonprofit organization could apply for funding to study ways to improve or expand the organization to other locations. Or an angel investor could work with the fund to identify high quality nonprofits that should be expanded to other locations and invest in that expansion. The network of funds would bring experts skilled at analyzing data, picking winners, measuring results, and building capacity to work, and would be driven by the following key principles:

  • Results-Focused-Funds would provide financial capital to nonprofit organizations based on rigorous criteria and analysis to ensure the highest likelihood of results, particularly projects that would yield a return on investment, such as savings on future public services.
  • Community-Directed-Funded efforts would respond to specific community-identified priorities. For example, one community might focus on crime prevention while another might choose education.
  • Cross-sector-Strategies that engage volunteers and businesses would receive special emphasis; a private sector board of local leaders, including business, government, community organizations, and the target beneficiaries would make funding decisions with assistance from analytical experts.
  • Long-term-Investments would occur over a period of years to increase the likelihood of success and sustainability.

The Social Investment Fund Network would be overseen by a Social Entrepreneurship Agency to be created within the Corporation for National and Community Service, according to the paper.

Malkin notes, correctly, that:

In practice, this Barack Obama brainchild would serve as a permanent, taxpayer-backed pipeline to Democrat partisan outfits masquerading as public-interest do-gooders. This George Soros Slush Fund would be political payback in spades. Obama owes much of his Chicago political success to financial support from radical, left-wing billionaire and leading “social entrepreneur” Soros.

As America’s preeminent funder of liberal activism, Open Society Institute founder George Soros is always on the lookout for new ways to undermine traditional American values. Who knows how many of Soros’s wealthy left-wing friends in the Democracy Alliance, which aims to create a kind of “vast left-wing conspiracy” to compete with the conservative movement, would love to siphon taxpayer dollars to support their utopian schemes?

Malkin suggests that Obama’s rival for the White House, John McCain, hasn’t criticized the slush fund proposal because his Reform Institute received $150,000 from the Open Society Institute in 2003. The Reform Institute is a tax-exempt nonprofit that focuses on good government-related issues and so-called campaign finance reform.

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