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Foreign Left-Wing Billionaire Is Influencing American Politics Through ‘Loophole,’ Watchdog Says

  • Swiss billionaire Hansjörg Wyss has donated nearly $500 million to “left-wing advocacy groups” despite a prohibition on foreign nationals influencing American politics, according to a new report by Americans for Public Trust.
  • Wyss has exploited a “loophole” that allows foreign nationals to donate to 501(c)(3) and (c)(4) organizations, which may then donate to political causes, the report alleges.
  • The groups “do not support or oppose political candidates or parties, or otherwise engage in political campaigns,” a spokesperson for both the Wyss Foundation and Berger Action Fund told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

A Swiss-born left-wing billionaire is using a “loophole” in federal law to exert influence on American politics by funding two 501(c) non-profit groups, according to a new Americans for Public Trust (APT) report.

Hansjörg Wyss, a citizen of Switzerland and biotechnology magnate with an estimated net worth of $4.9 billion per Forbes, has sent over $475 million of his money to two non-profits, which then transmit funds to “left-wing advocacy groups” in the United States, according to the APT report released on Saturday. The two organizations, the Wyss Foundation and Berger Action Fund, are incorporated under 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code, respectively, which allow them to both accept foreign donations and donate to political causes.

Most of the money has been directed to the Arabella Advisors Network, a for-profit consultancy that manages “dark money” donations from left-wing donors, the report reads. Wyss’ nonprofits have funded prominent left-wing non-profit groups, such as Planned Parenthood, the National Redistricting Action Fund — a group led by former Attorney General Eric Holder that supports lawsuits to redraw congressional districts drawn by Republicans — and the Sixteen Thirty Fund, a venture capitalist-style fund that incubates social justice organizations, per the report.

“These groups utilize their significant resources to advance a progressive agenda, mold policy debates and decisions, and ultimately, influence American elections,” read the report.

Currently, only U.S. citizens, non-citizen U.S. nationals and foreign nationals with lawful permanent residency in the United States may donate to political candidates, parties and PACs — with foreign nationals being criminally barred from such donations, according to the Federal Election Commission.

Billionaires George Soros and Pierre Omidyar, who have supported left-wing causes, have also used Arabella Advisors to manage their philanthropy, per Fox News — though they are both U.S. citizens. Wyss is a long-time resident of Wyoming, though his immigration status in the U.S. is unclear, per the New York Times.

Apart from donations, Wyss is also on the board of directors of the Center for American Progress, a left-wing non-profit that has been described as the “most influential think tank of the Biden era,” by Politico. Wyss’ co-founder, John Podesta, is currently a senior advisor to Biden on climate issues and the group’s immediate past president, Neera Tanden, heads the White House Domestic Policy Council.

In 2021, donations from the Wyss nonprofits directed $62.7 million to groups seeking to advance the Biden administration’s political agenda, according to the report.

Some of Wyss’ U.S. donations have amounted to “seemingly illegal political activity,” with him donating $120,000 to Democratic candidates between 1990 and 2006, though he was never prosecuted due to the statute of limitations, the report alleges.

Wyss’ left-wing views are openly touted in his biography, which was written by his sister, Heidi. “Wyss aims to reinterpret the U.S. Constitution in light of progressive politics,” she wrote, which was quoted by APT.

A spokesperson for both the Wyss Foundation and Berger Action Fund told the Daily Caller News Foundation that the groups “do not support or oppose political candidates or parties, or otherwise engage in political campaigns.”

Arabella Advisors did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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