The next George Soros rears his head for the midterms

A 43-year-old Texas billionaire who got his start as Enron's star employee is paying a group of hardened Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton operatives to launch a scorched-earth campaign against pharmaceutical drug companies – in the hopes of securing government price controls.

The campaign is, by far, the most partisan endeavor that John D. Arnold, a wunderkind commodities trader who retired at 38 with a net worth north of $3 billion, has directed his considerable fortune to, worrying GOP operatives that the young benefactor may be a George Soros in the making.

The Arnold price controls push is notable in its use of hyper-partisan Democratic operatives rather than policy experts or good government advocates, stripping the veneer of bipartisanship the former hedge fund head has assiduously cultivated in public.

Leading the charge is David Mitchell, a co-founder and partner at GMMB, the P.R. firm that cut Obama's and Clinton's TV spots in 2008, 2012, and 2016.  Democratic politicians have paid hundreds of millions of dollars to GMMB in the past few decades, and after the firm helped elect Obama, the federal government began procuring over $60 million's worth of its services as well. 

Mitchell says he "retired" in 2016 to fight for price controls because he was upset at how much his medications cost.  However, the lobbying group he founded, Patients for Affordable Drugs, was initially registered in tax forms at a $3-million Potomac, Maryland mansion with stunning riverfront views and eight bathrooms, perhaps mitigating any sting from the cost of life-saving medicines. 

Arnold has also purchased the services of Ben Wakana, whose career path included stops working for Eliot Spitzer and Obama's 2012 campaign and helping to implement Obamacare for the president at HHS for several years.  Janice Rottenberg, one of Hillary's top hands on the ground in Iowa (during the primaries) and Ohio (during the general), is the group's "campaigns director."

Like Mitchell, Arnold was able to retire early in comfort, except with billions to Mitchell's millions.  He was paid an $8-million bonus by Enron, the company's highest in its short existence, days before it imploded in the largest corporate fraud scandal in 50 years. 

Arnold claimed innocence in the Enron debacle and used the multi-million bonus to launch a hedge fund.  Soon, his returns were too good for investors to care about his scandalous past.  Arnold traded commodities futures, especially in the incredibly volatile natural gas market.  Between 2001 and 2009, Arnold netted amazing, almost suspiciously good returns, often realizing triple-digit year-over-year gains.

In 2010, however, Arnold seemed to lose his edge, returning an annual loss for the first time.  The problem may have been that he was just too rich to care; he soon closed the fund, returning money to investors and launching a new life in philanthropy with his wife, Laura. 

Until the price controls push, the couple have cut an idiosyncratic profile with their plentiful (over $1 billion) giving.  Most of Arnold's recipients are standard liberal causes, but occasionally he diverts money to libertarian groups.

The worry created by his purchase of Team Obama for a price controls push is that his early efforts may have been just a warm-up for a much more partisan and ideological future.  The new group recently announced that it is planning to spend millions helping Democratic candidates in the upcoming election, presumably in the quest to turn the House and Senate over. 

Arnold may be the next Soros.  In the meantime, it's beyond time that the Washington press corps learned his name and began applying some of the same scrutiny it puts on Soros, Robert Mercer, and the Kochs.  In particular, Arnold is behind several highly targeted cash deluges into sleepy primary campaigns, raising the question of what is motivating his intense interest on those races, whether it be business interests, personal vendettas, or something else.  

"We consider the issues the foundation takes to be relatively apolitical," Arnold says in a tightly scripted promotional video on the Laura and John Arnold Foundation's website. 

So why is he employing a handful of the most ruthlessly partisan Democratic operatives on the market in an effort to win the House for Nancy Pelosi?  Perhaps we'll get an answer beyond a video press release when Washington notices that the balance of power on finances has shifted underneath its feet.

Megan Barth is the founder and proprietor of and a nationally recognized political commentator.  She is a weekly cohost for WAR-The Wayne Allyn Root Show out of Las Vegas, Nev. and has appeared on Headline News CNN, NewsMax TV, and One America News Network.