Is Maya Wiley backed by George Soros? Anti-billionaire NYC mayoral candidate labelled hypocrite

George Soros recently donated $500,000 into an independent expenditure group backing Maya Wiley’s City Hall campaign

                            Is Maya Wiley backed by George Soros? Anti-billionaire NYC mayoral candidate labelled hypocrite
New York City Mayoral candidate Maya Wiley has received funding from George Soros (Photos by Spencer Platt, Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the US Representative for New York's 14th congressional district that includes the eastern part of the Bronx, portions of north-central Queens, and Rikers Island, last week endorsed American lawyer, professor and civil rights activist Maya Wiley as a candidate for New York City mayor.

“If we don’t come together as a movement, we will get a New York City built by and for billionaires, and we need a city for and by working people,” Ocasio-Cortez said outside City Hall in Manhattan on June 5. “So we will vote for Maya No. 1.” Ocasio-Cortez called Wiley “a candidate who can center people, racial justice, and economic justice.” However, looks like Maya Wiley has links to some billionaires as well.


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In this screenshot from the DNCC’s Livestream of the 2020 Democratic National Convention, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) addresses the virtual convention on August 18, 2020 (Photo by Handout/DNCC via Getty Images)

Ocasio-Cortez, a Democratic Socialist, has consistently spoken out against billionaires and their control of policy. Her endorsement of Wiley, especially that as one of a candidate who would make sure New York is not “for billionaires” carries weight. And she is not alone. Jamaal Bowman, another Democratic Socialist and the US representative for New York's 16th congressional district too backed her. But as per news reports, Wiley has for decades been bankrolled by hedge-fund billionaire George Soros.

Soros, as per a New York Post report, has ties to Wiley dating back to the 1990s. The report added that Soros recently donated $500,000 into an independent expenditure group backing Wiley’s City Hall campaign. A spokesman for Soros confirmed to The Post that he had made the above-mentioned contribution of $500,000 to the independent expenditure group 1199 for Maya, a joint venture with 1199SEIU, a healthcare workers union that has endorsed Wiley. 

The union recently announced a $1.2 million ad-buy backing Wiley, paid for by 1199 for Maya. “Maya has always been our number one choice in this race, and we are thrilled to see that her support is growing. Her plans to move our city forward through job creation, investment in community care, and affordable housing will make the difference for families who are working hard to live with dignity in a city that is increasingly pricing them out," said George Gresham, President of 1199SEIU.

Investor George Soros speaks during a program hosted by the New America Foundation September 13, 2006 in Washington, DC (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Per the NY Post, Wiley’s ties to Soros date back to the late 1990s, when she worked for nearly two years for the Open Society Foundations. In 2002, Wiley founded the Center for Social Inclusion, an organization dedicated to “ending racial inequities through structural reform”. She also worked for the Tides Foundation, a bicoastal progressive activist organization. Both have received Open Society Foundations grants.

Harlan Mandel, Wiley’s longtime partner, serves as CEO of the Media Development Investment Fund, an organization that has gotten funding from Open Society. Asked by the New York Post about the funding by Soros and its contradiction to her message, Wiley said that she can’t control who chooses to back her. “I can’t comment on independent expenditures because I’ve been very clear that I have no control over them,” she said.

Wiley has received some backlash online over this. "Maya Wiley is the worst type of liberal hypocrite. She wants to tax the rich, yet her former boss George Soros, who we just learned pays virtually no income taxes, is funding her campaign. She also wants to defund the police, yet has a private security company protecting her," said a critic. Another said, "Not only did Wiley’s husband work for George Soros for years, Soros has created a PAC that’s supporting Maya Wiley’s campaign for Mayor. But yeah, AOC is 'fighting against dark money in politics' lol".



Disclaimer : This is based on sources and we have been unable to verify this information independently.