* Move could trigger more big checks from Democrats
* Soros once held record for campaign-year donations
By Alina Selyukh
WASHINGTON, Sept 27 Billionaire financier George
Soros has committed $1.5 million to "Super PACs" backing
President Barack Obama and Democrats running for Congress in the
Nov. 6 election, officials with those groups said on Thursday.
Soros - a prominent donor to liberal political causes - has
pledged $1 million to Priorities USA Action, which is running
ads to help the Democratic president's re-election bid, and
$500,000 to Majority PAC and House Majority PAC, which help
Democratic congressional candidates, the officials said.
The move by Soros, who had remained largely on the sidelines
of this year's Super PAC fundraising barrage, could trigger more
big checks from wealthy Democrats who previously avoided giving
to the groups, citing dismay over the growing role of money in
Super PACs are outside groups formally unaffiliated with
campaigns. They have been raking in unlimited amounts from
individuals, corporations and unions to support candidates or
Until this year, Soros, whose net worth is estimated by
Forbes at $19 billion, held the record as the biggest
contributor in an election cycle for the $27.5 million he
estimated he spent in 2004 to try to defeat Republican President
George W. Bush.
His record was eclipsed this year by Las Vegas casino owner
Sheldon Adelson, who says he has given $70 million to help
Republicans in the 2012 election.
Soros' adviser said previously that the financier was more
focused in this campaign on grass-roots political organizing.
Soros last year made six-figure donations to the Majority
and House Majority PACs and pledged $2 million earlier this year
to American Bridge 21st Century, a research-focused Super PAC
that does no ads, and America Votes, a group that helps
coordinate campaign work for liberal groups nationwide
Soros' new pledges to the trio of Democratic Super PACs was
revealed on Thursday at a gathering of big liberal donors known
as Democracy Alliance, according to The New York Times, which
first reported the commitment.
In August, Priorities USA for the first time raised more
than its Republican counterpart that backs Mitt Romney in his
bid for the presidency - $1 0.1 million to $7 million
At the end of last month, Priorities USA had $4.8 million
left in cash on hand, compared with $6.3 million left in the
coffers of the pro-Romney Restore Our Future.
The Majority and House Majority PACs also saw fundraising
increase in August. Democratic fundraisers said donors felt
increased urgency in the last weeks before Election Day and in
the face of powerful Super PACs backing Republican candidates.