Alex Constantine - October 27, 2007
" ... For his part, Soros sold off his interests in 2006, before WellCare’s alleged improprieties. ... "
Malkin & Co. Target Soros, Hit Bush Pioneers
October 27th, 2007
The St. Petersburg Times reported this week that WellCare Health Plans, a Florida-based company that provides managed-care plans for millions of Medicare and Medicaid participants, has come under federal investigation. Indeed, the FBI raided WellCare’s headquarters Wednesday morning, along with the U.S. Attorney’s office, HHS investigators, and the Florida Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.
The Times article included a little tidbit towards the end of the piece.
"WellCare was a slow-growing Florida company until 1992 when its owner, Dr. Kiran Patel, sold it to a New York investment group led by financier George Soros. The bankers hired Todd Farha, an aggressive Harvard MBA, to transform the company. Under his leadership, WellCare’s earnings have increased eight-fold and the company’s investors and executives like Farha have profited handsomely from appreciation in its stock."
Right wing blogs saw the reference to Soros and pounced. Conservatives hit the St. Petersburg Times comments section, with insights such as, “I hope they prosecute that worm GEORGE SORROS [sicadded, “Welcome to George Soros’s America?”
As it turns out, there are two big problems with the story. First, Soros sold off his interests in the company quite a while ago. Second, WellCare is actually run by Bush Pioneers and generous Republican donors.
WellCare CEO is Todd Farha and Finance Director David Hart both raised over $100,000 in donations for Bush’s presidential campaign, and were the two biggest fundraisers for Bush in Tampa.
The company’s partisan loyalties are pretty transparent.
WellCare and its affiliates have given the Republican Party of Florida some $105,000 in contributions this year, according to state election records. They’ve also given the Florida Democratic Party $5,000 this year. In 2006, WellCare’s PAC gave $66,000 to federal candidates, all Republicans.
For his part, Soros sold off his interests in 2006, before WellCare’s alleged improprieties.
As Skimble concluded, “All of which just goes to show once again that the mere mention of the name ‘Soros’ — relevant or not — wakes the right-wing zombies.”
It’s really a shame to see Soros Derangement Syndrome in action, but it’s ironic when the right goes after him and ends up highlighting alleged fraud committed by major Bush backers.