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Monday, May 31, 2004


And for His Next Feat, a Billionaire Sets Sights on Bush
George Soros, the financier and philanthropist, has given $15.8 million to anti-Bush groups and has said he will give more if necessary.

Mr. Soros has turned his considerable energy and fortune to ousting an American president.

"I have come to the conclusion," said Mr. Soros, in a recent interview from his Manhattan office with its expansive view of Central Park, "that the greatest contribution I can make to the values that I hold would be to contribute to the defeat of George W. Bush in 2004."

From playing no prior role in partisan politics, Mr. Soros has given $15.8 million to anti-Bush groups and has said he will give more if necessary. He has expressed his views in speeches, full-page advertisements, op-ed articles and a new book, "The Bubble of American Supremacy."

All that, of course, has made him a target for Republicans and campaign finance reformers who consider him as a shadowy figure trying to have an outsize influence. "George Soros has purchased the Democratic Party," said Christine Iverson, a spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee.

Mr. Soros says his motive is not power or position, but the decades and $4 billion he has spent to promote civil liberties in former authoritarian regimes. As a child, he survived the Holocaust in his native Hungary by adopting an assumed identify and, later, he slipped away from the Communists. Those experiences shaped his world view, both as a financier betting on uncertainty and as a philanthropist.


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