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Check Those Facts


Justin Ruhge’s letter, “Foreign Influence in the 24th,” casts aspersions on our congressional representative, Salud Carbajal, for receiving foreign financial support from George Soros and his son Jonathan Soros. As a matter of public record, George Soros became a naturalized American citizen on December 18, 1961. Jonathan Soros was born in the U.S. on September 10, 1970. Both gentlemen are clearly American citizens, and any political contributions that they make are clearly not “foreign.”

One may disagree with the two men’s politics and whom they support, but criticism based upon false allegations is clearly misleading.

As his letter indicates, Ruhge thinks of Hollywood and Soros father-and-son as foreign, but that does not make it so. Moreover, his allusion to George Soros’s “foreign money” supporting Carbajal is little more that a dog-whistle to the broad smear of Soros by right-wing alt-media types such as Dinesh D’Souza, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Alex Jones, Ann Coulter, etc. All of them have portrayed George Soros as a member of Hitler’s Nazi troops, allegations that have been proven patently false.

To follow Ruhge’s logic, most of Justin Fareed’s 2016 support came from “foreign” sources, that is to say Los Angeles, the Bay Area, Kentucky, Florida, etc. The Los Angeles Times reported on June 2, 2016: “Most of it — 80 percent — came from people living outside his Santa Barbara district.” That same article noted that “about 77 percent” of Carbajal’s fundraising came “comes from inside the Central Coast district.”

All that said, my objection is to Justin Ruhge labeling George Soros as a foreigner. To be sure he is an immigrant, and foreign born. But as a naturalized citizen, Soros is as American as I am sure Ruhge is. Soros has every right to support whatever candidates he so chooses. While one would hope that congressional representatives would be largely supported by donors in their own district, their duties and responsibilities are also to the nation as a whole, and, therefore, contributions from outside the district are entirely appropriate.

Finally, publishing a letter such as this is entirely up to the Independent editorial staff, but the elimination of comments precludes your readers from posting corrections of fact in a timely way. Eliminating comments was misguided and not in the best interests of your readership.

That aside, I continue to be a loyal reader.

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