Photo Credit: Courtesy Aaron Klein
Aaron Klein

A Liberal In Alabama

Doug Jones, the Democratic candidate for December’s Senate special election in Alabama, is pushing a living wage scheme for the state and country that has a history of hurting small businesses, negatively impacting local economies, and decreasing employment opportunities for low-income workers.


Jones is closely linked to a George Soros-financed legal activist organization behind the early crafting of local living wage legislation. The living wage was a project of the controversial former group known as ACORN, or the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, which played a central role in enacting the scheme in several cities.

Jones is running against Republican challenger Roy Moore, whose victory in the GOP primary against establishment-backed candidate Luther Strange has been seen nationwide as a stunning electoral victory for Trumpian nationalist policies that promote the working class. Jones was previously appointed by President Bill Clinton to serve as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama.

On his campaign website, Jones touts a campaign platform that reads like a bullet point list of the so-called progressive agenda, including a declaration that “health care is a right, not a privilege” and that he opposes efforts to repeal Obamacare.

The brief economic policy listing on Jones’s campaign website calls for the enactment of a “living wage,” which would hike the minimum wage above the federal minimum.

The “living wage” got its start in the mid-1990s in Baltimore, when a coalition of left-leaning church leaders, unionists, and other groups were able to persuade the City Council to raise the base salary from the federal minimum of $4.25 an hour to $6.10 for city employees and local companies contracted by the city.

Paying careful attention was Jen Kern, an ACORN organizer, who then attempted to bring the so-called living wage to several other states after studying regulations and court decisions to find locales where ACORN could work to raise the minimum wage beyond the federal minimum.

Contributing to the living wage campaign was the George Soros-funded Brennan Center for Justice at New York University’s law school. The Center’s lawyer, Paul Sonn, took a leading role in helping to craft wage ordinances and ballot measures for numerous cities and states, the Times reported.

Jones himself has close ties to the Brennan Center. In 2014, Jones served as co-chair of a panel of then current and former federal prosecutors that produced a white paper for the Center on criminal justice reform.

ACORN also worked in the 1990s with a coalition of other left-wing groups pushing the living wage agenda, including the Industrial Areas Foundation. The Foundation was the main organizing outfit of radical community organizer Saul Alinsky.

The living wage was also heavily pushed by the Soros-financed Tides Foundation, which is one of the biggest backers of far-left causes in the U.S. Organizer Wade Rathke, who founded ACORN in 1970, was a founding board member of the Tides Foundation and continues to serve as an adviser.

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Separately, Jones spearheaded an effort on behalf the Soros-funded Brennan Center that sought to fundamentally transform the role of U.S. Attorneys from one of prosecuting criminals to activists that enact a so-called progressive criminal justice agenda.

Among other things, Jones’s project called on federal prosecutors to reduce or avoid sentences for drug offenders, make decisions about seeking jail time on individual cases based upon federal incarceration levels, and use their pulpits to “spread change” and work with outside “community organizations” to root out the “causes of violence.”

In 2014, the Soros-funded Brennan Center released a 69-page document titled, “Federal Prosecution for the 21st Century,” which was the culmination of a Brennan Center project led by Jones.

One section of the report seeks to put U.S. Attorneys in the role of social justice warriors who go to schools to preach against “bullying,” coach Little League teams, and mentor at risk youths. All this while working to “develop solutions to problems that do not involve prosecutions, such as mediating disputes and participating in school intervention programs.”

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In yet a third association to radical groups, this reporter found that Jones took a leading role in an effort by the Brennan Center to immediately grant full voting rights nationwide to felons, including those convicted of murder, rape, and other violent crimes.

Besides his direct role advocating for the votes-for-criminals scheme, Jones is also listed by the Soros-funded organization as a “supporter” of the voting drive for felons alongside a grouping of radical Soros-financed organizations. Jones is himself tied to some of those other Soros-funded groups.

Currently, voting laws for convicted felons differ state by state. Nineteen states restore voting rights only upon completion of the sentence, meaning prison, parole, and probation. Seven states permanently bar voting for people with criminal convictions unless the federal government approves restoration, while three states permanently ban convicted felons unless the government approves individual restoration.

For decades, Jones has been a champion of voting right for all criminals, including the most violent offenders, putting him at the radical end of the spectrum on this issue.

Back in 2005, he wrote an amici curiae (“friend of the court”) brief on the matter with Eric Holder, who would go on to become Attorney General under the Obama administration. Jones’s 2005 brief is featured on Brennan’s website.

In 2011, Jones signed a Brennan Center letter to Congress calling for a blanket restoration of voting privileges to all criminals upon release from prison and return to their communities.