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American influence in Hungary (5)

2022.10.31. 08:21 2022.10.31. 08:56
American influence in Hungary (5)

In our series of articles detailing the layers of American influence observable in Hungary since the regime change, we have shown that the greenbacks started backing left-liberal parties in the 1990s already – starting with the now defunct SZDSZ, Alliance of Free Democrats political party. We proved with examples that in exchange for money, certain foreign entities received both business advantages as well as sway in domestic policies. We described how the network of non-governmental organization was established throughout Hungary and funded by the United States as NGOs pursued political efforts under the guise of civilian activities. We also listed the more significant occasions when the US embassy in Hungary interfered in domestic political conflicts. In the upcoming article, we will examine the unprecedented American intervention in the 2022 campaign.

Money, horses, weapons – the Hungarian left was equipped with all of this in the 2022 national elections thanks to overseas support. According to information available thus far, the 2022 elections suffered an unprecedented attempt at foreign intervention in Hungarian domestic politics. Péter Márki-Zay, former left-wing coalition candidate for prime minister revealed near the end of the summer that his movement, the Everybody's Hungary Movement (Mindenki Magyarországa Mozgalom, MMM) received nearly two billion forints (almost five million euro) from the American organization, Action for Democracy (AD). This was used to fund the entire rainbow coalition’s campaign.  

However, this could be about much more than just illegal campaign funding. Action for Democracy is deeply embedded in the American Democratic Party which, and it was established to “protect democracy” in Hungary, Brazil, and Italy by promoting a change of government. Several circumstances suggest that among these three countries, the organization, connected to George Soros, was especially focused on Hungary.  

US money in Gyurcsány’s coalition campaign 

The beginning of the year essentially started with AD contacting Márki-Zay and offering to finance his campaign. Dávid Korányi, well-versed and connected in the world of the international left-wing, is the founding president of this organization. He was also the undersecretary of state, chief foreign policy and national security advisor to former Socialist Hungarian PM Gordon Bajnai; currently, until the end of the year he is an advisor to Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony. After Márki-Zay revealed in a podcast over the summer that AD donated 1.8 billion forints (~ 4.3 million euros) to his movement, AD admitted to donating to MMM but did not specify an exact amount. 

 

The amount mentioned by the left’s former PM candidate is exceptionally large for Hungary: the HUF 1.8 billion in question is roughly 1.5 times more than the sum of what the six parties of the Gyurcsány coalition spent in total on their campaigns. 

 

Moreover, it seems that the US did not only send funds to supplement the 2022 campaigns, but also in 2019 for the municipal elections – more specifically, in support of Gergely Karácsony. This assumption is based on the fact that Karácsony’s campaign slogan “99 Movement Association” was listed as a supported organization on AD’s webpage. Later on, this was deleted from the website and Karácsony claims that during his primary bid for PM, he collected his HUF 260 million (~ 6.3 thousand euro) from donation boxes at fundraising events. 

Going back to AD’s donation to MMM: both the left-wing as well as the organization had opposing statements on the aim of the donation. Although Korányi previously described the organization as specifically focused on the March elections, he later on adjusted this to say that his aim is to strengthen “Hungarian society’s immunity” and “civilians”. Márki-Zay also provided similarly confusing statements when saying he intended to dispel suspicions of illegal campaign financing with his “campaign for changing Hungarian culture”. However, he admitted that MMM paid for many components of the left’s joint campaign from billboards to Facebook ads to the campaign offices. 

 

It is also unclear where AD gathered the money that was sent to MMM. 

 

Though the organization claims they gathered donations from Hungarian people for the most part, there is no information to confirm this nor anything on the method of collection. It is also unknown what AD could have requested in exchange for the massive sums of support. 

National security threat 

 “There is no such thing as free lunch,” József Horváth, security expert, told Magyar Nemzet in reaction to the flood of money sponsoring the left’s campaign. He believes there is no doubt that those who invested money in the campaign would eventually make demands from the opposition parties if they were in government. “There are several possibilities for this: acquisitions, purchasing state-owned, highly profitable businesses, and more,” he explained. The former head of the secret service stated that unverified transfers from organizations without clear ownership is a national security threat if it impacts domestic policies. He believes all organizations, foundations, and companies that finance campaigns should be adequately verified. 

“It can easily happen after all, that parties accepting funds have no idea who is really behind the “charitable donations”. In extreme cases, these could be counter-interested secret services or even organized crime,” 

– emphasized the expert. 

Of course, it is no coincidence that recently Parliament’s National Security Committee ordered an investigation into the enormous amount of dollars flowing in.  

International mercenaries 

In addition to financial support from abroad, the measures of the globalist network backing the Hungarian left can also be seen as a powerful attempt to interfere in the outcome of the parliamentary election. One of the domestic liaisons for this network is the aforementioned Dávid Korányi, founder and board member of AD, who does most of his work as the Budapest Mayor’s advisor from New York. AD is strongly connected to George Soros. Though the organization’s leaders classify themselves as active civilians, this is nowhere near the truth. Just to begin with, many of the advisory board members of AD – including Korányi – belong to the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) which was established by the American speculator. The Hungarian branch of ECFR includes George Soros’ son, Alexander Soros, Ferenc Gyurcsány’s wife, Klára Dorev and has Gordon Bajnai is its leader. 

 

The rest of the AD’s advisory board are all professional politicians and even soldiers.  

 

Among them are General Wesley K. Clark, former Supreme Allied Commander Europe of NATO; Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights; Evelyn Farkas, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia to President Barack Obama.  

Kati Marton is another advisory council member with close ties to Soros and the American Democratic party. In fact, according to the well-connected 444.hu liberal news portal, Jami Miscik, former Central Intelligence Agency's Deputy Director for Intelligence is also sits on the council – however this was denied by Korányi. In any event, it can easily be asserted that AD – which supported the Hungarian left’s campaign with almost two billion forints – includes many high-ranking American government officials with ties to the Democratic Party and Soros. 

American-style campaign management 

Overseas support for Márki-Zay and the left’s success did not only come in the form of money. Magyar Nemzet already reported that they set up a complete, thoroughly planned “American-style” campaign which included everything from data collection companies to political analysts and NGOs to activist mobilization. Multiple foreign experts supported the opposition campaign. The most well-known being Ari Rabin-Havt, deputy campaign manager for Senator Bernie Sanders. According to 24.hu, it was his idea to have a rhombus-shaped stage for the March protests. 

 

In May, Péter Márki-Zay stated that they received professional campaign assistance from a few volunteer American consultants. 

 

“Some of them worked for Bernie Sanders, others for Obama, and others for Bloomberg,” said the Hungarian politician. 

America pressures topic of war 

From the campaign perspective, and for the outcome of the elections, the topic of war was a decisive factor. The left continually emphasized the importance of supporting the war as well as transporting weapons to Ukraine and sending Hungarian soldiers to battle through NATO. This narrative however went against the majority of the Hungarian voters who did not want to be involved in the war at all. After the elections it became clear that the topic of war was pushed by the American advisors. This was revealed by MSZP (Hungarian Socialist Party) co-president Ágnes Kunhalmi and confirmed by PM candidate Péter Márki-Zay. The latter recalled that the Americans recommended criticizing the allegedly close relationship between Viktor Orbán and Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

IT background: Obama cadres in the DatAdat company group 

Towards the end of the campaign, a data collection company offered up its services to Márki-Zay and his colleagues. His group, MMM, accepted this help and by March 18th they had already agreed on a contract with the Vienna-based DatAdat GmbH which handles campaign communications, event management, communication consulting, database construction, and social-media based campaigns. Based on information leaked from Márki-Zay’s team, DatAdat operated as an agency for them, entrusted with several other tasks than just the aforementioned. The group also received plenty of money from the almost HUF 2 billion in campaign support that came from the US-based AD.  

But who are the owners of the DatAdat company group and how did the wide-ranging company network come about? 

 

Aside from the Austrian company, the DatAdat group is also supplemented by Estonian and Hungarian companies. 

 

DatAdat Professional Kft. represents the Hungarian end and is run by Ádám Ficsor, former Minister of Civilian Intelligence Services to Gordon Bajnai. Alongside him, Viktor Szigetvári, former head of Ferenc Gyurcsány’s cabinet, is involved in the company as well as former socialist PM Gordon Bajnai himself who is a partial owner. Tibor Dessewfy, considered one of the think-tanks of the Gyurcsány-Bajnai era also appeared in the DatAdat ownership circle. He is also a representative of the company Amplify APP which operates the Erősítő formation. This is notable because Erősítő used a sum of 271 million forints (~ 6.6 euros) from obscure origins to advertise left-wing propaganda articles in the election campaign.  

Gordon Bajnai the foreign contact 

 The most important player is Gordon Bajnai whose international network of contacts and former business partner and friend Gyula Gansperger said in connection with the proposed sale of City Hall: “In Hungary, I think basically the whole force behind the entire opposition is made of foreign powers and financiers. … Who are these powers? Well, some of them are from the Soros-empire, let's say. Others are the big capital players like Germany and the United States mainly who want to have more influence. I believe that Gordon is their guy. Not in a negative context of the word. No, he is the Prime Minister, former Prime Minister, who maintains contact with these people. Of course, not… as a 007 agent, but with all those presidents and whatevers that are a part of the system… Everything for this camp [the opposition], no matter what Gyurcsány says, comes from abroad. So, this wouldn’t have come together just like that.” 

 

In light of this, it is no surprise that there are strong interests connected to the US Democrats in the DatAdat  group. 

 

For example, one of the Higher Ground Labs contacts – an offshore company with a significant stake in the company – is Shomik Dutta, who worked in close proximity to the former Obama administration. A great deal of pre-2010 leftist Hungarian representatives are among the owners as well. 

At the same time, DatAdat OÜ, or rather Datapraxis OÜ, plays a key role in the DatAdat group. Of course, it is no mistake that the founders chose this Baltic state. In addition to Estonia’s optimal taxation opportunities, they do not fully enforce otherwise uniform and strict EU data protection laws. 

 

In addition to the aforementioned Ádám Ficsor and Viktor Szigetvári, some other foreign big guns were included in the Estonian enterprise. 

 

At the turn of the millennium, the British managing director of Datapraxis, Paul Hilder, co-founded the online portal opendemocracy.net, established with Soros money. After that, he was a campaign director at Avaaz.org, a platform also connected to the billionaire and which intervened in the Hungarian election in 2018 with mass advertisements. Between 2016 and 2018, Hilder was the international CEO of Crowd Pac, a London-based company. While there, he joined Bernie Sanders’ campaign for president. 

Two more particularly interesting names pop up among the Datapraxis leaders: Laura Quinn and Mark Steitz. The two experts founded a joint company in 2006 called Catalist Llc which focuses on obtaining voter data for progressive election campaigns. When it was launched, Catalist received no less than one million dollars from George Soros as the Soros-founded Tides foundation was a big supporter of Catalist. It directly funded several projects that are currently involved in educational programs in Hungary. For the record, Catalist has been supporting one of their biggest clients, the US Democratic party, for years. 

One million Hungarian voters’ data used in the campaign  

In the spring, Péter Márki-Zay said that they released the oppositions’ one-million strong database to DatAdat. According to him, the micro-donations collecting website – which brought in 400 million forints domestically – was also thanks to DatAdat. He added that “Like the other six parties, MMM released their 50-200 thousand database to DatAdat. The parties have a database of nearly one million and the six parties agreed to use this for their campaigns.” 

 

DatAdat already supported Gergely Karácsony’s mayoral campaign in 2019 as well as Ferenc Gyurcsány with his chatbot. 

 

Companies like DatAdat use various data from social media users for profiling and databases. In general, users are not even aware that they are handing over confidential information about themselves when, for instance, they take a Facebook quiz. DatAdat’s transparency is also hindered by the fact that, as the company is registered in Estonia, not all GDPR regulations are strictly enforced. 

It is important to note that currently the National Tax and Customs Office (NAV) is investigating the group for budget fraud; they have executed several house searches in connection with the criminal proceedings. Yet NAV is not the only one investigating the actions of DatAdat – the National Authority for Data Protection and Freedom of Information is also involved alongside the police. 

 

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