George Soros’ Open Society Foundations and left-wing Swiss Billionaire Hansjörg Wyss- quietly donated millions of dollars to a non-profit that acquired nearly two dozen local papers in Maine in July, according to Semafor.
The National Trust for Local News acknowledges that it received funding from Soros’ organization, but denies that the Open Society Foundations provided funding specifically for the purchase of the local papers.
A source with direct knowledge of the acquisition, however, told Semafor that Soros and Wyss did donate funds so the National Trust could acquire the papers; the donations had not been previously reported.
Wyss is also a supporter of States Newsroom, a left-wing network of local news outlets that began as a project of the left-wing Hopewell Fund. States Newsroom is currently expanding operations in Maine.
Maine Public reported that the Soros-backed National Trust now controls the largest network of newspapers in Maine. In total, the National Trust acquired five daily papers and a further 17 weekly publications.
Wyss is a major funder of American progressive organizations, funneling nearly $500 million into left-wing advocacy groups.
Americans for Public Trust, a watchdog group, alleges that the Swiss billionaire uses a foreign influence loophole to perform his philanthropy.
Soros has long funded media organizations. A Media Research Center report found that Soros has donated $52 million to media organizations since 2003.
According to the MRC, some of these donations breach the Society of Professional Journalists’ ethical code regarding conflicts of interest.
Maine has a tendency to elect both Democrats and Republicans. It is currently represented in the Senate by Susan Collins, a Republican, and Angus King, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats.
Jared Golden, a Democrat who represents Maine’s 2nd congressional district, is a target for national Republicans. Donald Trump won his district in 2016 and 2020. Trump nearly carried Maine in 2016, losing by less than three points.