George Soros' Pet Projects Include Overthrowing a Government
physician-assisted suicide." In 2000 the Soros foundation also funded the Death with Dignity National Center, to the tune of $100,000, and the Oregon Death with Dignity Legal Defense and Education Center, which received $75,000.
This activism continued unabated in 2002, according to the foundation's annual report posted on its Web site. Overall, the Soros foundations network's expenditures totaled $474 million last year. Some of these funds were contributed by George Soros out of current income while other funds were derived from charitable entities established by the Soros family. Of this total, just over $90 million went to programs within the United States.
In terms of its political activities overseas, the Open Society Institute in its annual report said it "engages in limited discreet activities in several of the most closed countries on earth." Information on what this may entail is not forthcoming. "We do not provide information about these activities because to do so would jeopardize the safety of individuals with whom we work," stated the report. Regarding the foundation's activity in Georgia in 2002, the report stated that its funding amounted to $5.3 million.
Spending on reproductive health programs, in many cases involving the promotion of contraception and abortion, in the United States for 2002 amounted to $5.5 million. Activity in this area is also a priority in overseas countries, noted the report. The document lamented pro-life successes in countries such as Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovakia. In reaction to this the report noted that "in 2002, funding was provided to strengthen local and regional advocacy capacity, especially in countries in the region where abortion rights are being undermined."
A sea change
The foundation's recent political activism is part of a major strategy change in the funding priorities of the Open Society Institute. An article in The Chronicle of Philanthropy, published June 27, 2002, reported on a letter from Soros to charity leaders that outlined his plans to shift his giving toward advocacy and global issues.
Excerpts from the letter published in the Chronicle of Philanthropy detailed the foundation's role in past years in helping with the transition period in the former Soviet Union. Now, said Soros, "our new goal is to foster a global open society."
This means a change in how the foundation is organized. According to Soros: "It has to be global in scope and it has to be able to make an impact on how governments and international institutions conduct themselves."
According to the Chronicle, Soros has given away more than $3.8 billion since 1982. He now plans to reduce current annual spending, from around $430 million to about $300 million, in order to prolong the foundation's life span. The change also reflects a decline in the foundation's funds due to the downturn in financial markets.
Within the United States, foundation spending will be concentrated on one topic: justice. Programs in other areas funded up until now -- drug policy, death and dying, abortion and contraception -- will be gradually phased out. With its past record, observers will no doubt want to keep a keen eye on where Soros is sending his millions.
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Soros, Power, Money, Pro-life
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