Swiss-born billionaire Hansjörg Wyss has been utilizing a legal “loophole” to exert his influence on American politics through the funding of two 501(c) non-profit organizations, as revealed by a recent Americans for Public Trust (APT) report.
A Swiss billionaire has been exploiting a foreign influence loophole, allowing him to avoid federal bans on foreign influence in American elections. Hansjörg Wyss – who founded Synthes USA before selling it to Johnson & Johnson for $20 billion – has donated upwards of $475… pic.twitter.com/PCNhAokYG6
— Tony Seruga (@TonySeruga) July 11, 2023
According to the APT report released on Saturday, Wyss, a citizen of Switzerland and a biotechnology tycoon with a net worth estimated at $4.9 billion by Forbes, has allocated more than $475 million towards two non-profits.
These organizations, namely the Wyss Foundation and Berger Action Fund, operate under the 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) designations of the Internal Revenue Code. These designations permit them to accept foreign contributions and make donations to political causes.
The APT report highlights how these funds have been channeled to “left-wing advocacy groups” in the United States — with the majority of the money being directed to Arabella Advisors Network, a for-profit consultancy firm specializing in managing “dark money” donations from its left-leaning patrons.
Wyss’ non-profit entities have financially supported prominent leftist organizations such as Planned Parenthood, the National Redistricting Action Fund, dedicated to supporting lawsuits aimed at redrawing Republican-drawn congressional districts, as well as the Sixteen Thirty Fund, a venture capitalist-style fund that nurtures social justice organizations.
By allocating significant resources, these groups actively promote a progressive agenda, shape policy debates and decisions, and ultimately wield influence over American elections.
The Federal Election Commission stipulates that only U.S. citizens, non-citizen U.S. nationals, and foreign nationals with lawful permanent residency in the United States are eligible to donate to political candidates, parties, and PACs. Foreign nationals are explicitly prohibited from these types of contributions.
While billionaires George Soros and Pierre Omidyar, who support liberal causes, have used Arabella Advisors to manage their philanthropic efforts, they are both U.S. citizens. Wyss, a long-time resident of Wyoming, has an unclear immigration status.
John Podesta, Wyss’ co-founder, is currently a senior advisor to President Biden on climate matters, and the organization’s former president, Neera Tanden, heads the White House Domestic Policy Council. The report reveals that in 2021, donations from Wyss’ non-profit entities directed $62.7 million to groups aligned with advancing the political agenda of the Biden administration.
When approached for comment, a spokesperson for both the Wyss Foundation and Berger Action Fund lied to the Daily Caller News Foundation, claiming they did not support or oppose political candidates, parties, or engage in political campaigns.