- The Washington Times - Friday, October 15, 2021

A recently launched super PAC working to lay the groundwork for a primary challenge against moderate Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona in 2024 has strong financial ties to left-wing Hungarian billionaire George Soros.

Primary Sinema PAC, which launched late last month to much fanfare, is the project of two groups bankrolled by Mr. Soros. The organizations — Living United for Change in Arizona (LUCHA) and Way to Win — have received more than $2 million from Mr. Soros in recent years.

Ms. Sinema became a target for a primary challenge from the left after she refused to go along with President Biden’s $3.5 trillion social welfare and climate change bill, objecting to the high price tag.

According to records from Mr. Soros‘ philanthropic arm, the Open Society Foundation, Way to Win has received $600,000 since 2018. Last year alone, the group was given $350,000 to support “various social welfare activities” in the lead-up to the 2020 presidential election.

Way to Win, an umbrella group of far-left donors and activists, was launched in 2017 in resistance to then-President Donald Trump. In 2020, the group spent $110 million to help President Biden flip several states in the South and Southwest, primarily Arizona and Georgia, into the Democratic column.

Now the organization is turning its attention to ousting Democratic opponents of Mr. Biden’s $3.5 trillion expansion of the federal safety net, like Ms. Sinema.

“The people of Arizona voted for Joe Biden and the Biden agenda,” Leah Hunt-Hendrix, a co-founder and current vice president of Way to Win, said at the time of the super PAC’s launch. “Sen. Sinema is opposing Biden’s popular policies, which are supported by broad, bipartisan majorities of Arizonans. If she continues to stand in the way, then we’re going to hold her accountable.”

Similarly, LUCHA has been the recipient of Mr. Soros‘ largess. In 2019, according to the Open Society Foundation’s records, the group received a $1.5 million grant for “policy advocacy.”

LUCHA, which labels itself as a grassroots movement “fighting for social, racial and economic transformation,” has recently come under fire for its harassment of Ms. Sinema.

Earlier this month, members of the group confronted Ms. Sinema while she was teaching a class at Arizona State University.

The incident quickly turned sinister when members of LUCHA filmed themselves following Ms. Sinema and her students into a women’s restroom on campus. Video of the incident, which was posted online, shows members of LUCHA berating the lawmaker inside the bathroom over her opposition to the $3.5 trillion spending plan.

Members of LUCHA also filmed themselves confronting Ms. Sinema on a plane headed from Arizona to Washington only days after the incident. The group has publicly defended its conduct, alleging Ms. Sinema “ignored, dismissed and antagonized” its members when they tried to “engage with her” in the past.

LUCHA‘s two co-executive directors, Alex Gomez and Tomas Robles, made a similar argument last month when launching the Primary Sinema PAC.

“We fought tirelessly to elect Kyrsten Sinema in 2018, to defeat Donald Trump in 2020, and to elect leaders in our state who are committed to defending democracy, acting urgently on climate change and immigration reform, and standing up for our most vulnerable communities,” the duo said in a statement at the time. “Sinema has proven time and time again that she doesn’t share these values, so it’s time to organize and replace her with someone who does.”

A spokesperson for Primary Sinema PAC told The Washington Times that Mr. Soros is not a donor at the moment.

The PAC’s formation is a response to Ms. Sinema and Sen. Joe Manchin III, a moderate Democrat from West Virginia, helping to stall the massive spending bill.

Dubbed “human infrastructure,” the massive bill includes a trove of long-sought liberal priorities, including free community college, expanded Medicare and ambitious regulations to arrest climate change

Since the spending will get no Republican votes, Democrats plan to use a special procedure to force it through the Senate. The process, known as budget reconciliation, allows some spending and tax measures to avoid the 60-vote filibuster threshold and pass with a simple majority of 51 votes.

Given that the Senate is evenly split between the two parties, Democrats cannot afford to lose either Mr. Manchin or Ms. Sinema.

To get the lawmakers to fall into the line, organizations linked to Mr. Soros have stepped into the fray.

Primary Sinema PAC has already spent $25,000 attacking Ms. Sinema in Arizona, despite the lawmaker not being up for reelection until 2024. Other groups tied to Mr. Soros, including LUCHA, have taken to staging protests against Ms. Sinema and Mr. Manchin.

One Soros-linked group, the Green New Deal Network, sent a contingent of activists to protest Ms. Sinema when she ran in the Boston Marathon earlier this week.

• Haris Alic can be reached at halic@washingtontimes.com.

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