Billionaire financier George Soros has committed $1 million to the “Super PAC” group that is helping fund President Barack Obama’s re-election bid, a person familiar with the pledge said on Thursday.
The move by Soros could trigger more big checks from liberal donors who have previously avoided giving to Super PACs due to their concern over the unlimited spending power of such groups.
Until this year, Soros held the record as the biggest contributor in an election cycle for his 2004 political giving. His record has been eclipsed by Las Vegas casino owner Sheldon Adelson, who has said he has given $70 million to help Republicans in the 2012 election.
Soros’s $1 million pledge to Priorities USA Action was first reported by The New York Times as revealed at a big-donor meeting in New York on Thursday.
In August, Priorities USA for the first time raised more than its Republican counterpart that backs Mitt Romney in his bid for the presidency. At the end of last month, Priorities USA had $4.8 million left in cash on hand, compared with the $6.3 million left in the coffers of the pro-Romney Restore Our Future.
Soros had remained largely on the sidelines of this year’s Super PAC donations like many other Democratic donors who are uncomfortable with the notion of an unlimited-funding group that focuses predominantly on ads.
Soros has estimated that in 2004 he spent $27.5 million, giving to outside groups in a failed effort to defeat Republican President George W. Bush.