The story of Hansjörg Wyss‘ political participation is in some ways much stranger than that of George Soros.
1. Wyss does not appear to be a U.S. citizen. The past stories I’ve seen have stated that he was not a citizen of this country.
2. Wyss came much closer than Soros to being taken down for truly nightmarish abuses.
And he continues to pump insane amounts of cash into the leftist money machine.
The nonprofit organization founded by billionaire megadonor Hansjörg Wyss gave grants totaling $56 million to other groups on the left in its 2020 fiscal year, including eight figures in contributions to one of liberals’ biggest hubs of “dark money.”
Berger Action Fund, the nonprofit group, sent $31 million to the Sixteen Thirty Fund between April 2020 and March 2021, according to a new tax filing obtained by POLITICO. The Sixteen Thirty Fund has become a massive force on the left in recent years, growing from an operation that moved a few million dollars per year early in the last decade to a $400 million behemoth in the final year of Donald Trump’s presidency.
Sixteen Thirty Fund spent widely on a range of liberal causes, from swing-state TV ads and left-leaning ballot measures, to campaigns opposing Trump’s judicial picks and his health care and tax policies. It played a major role in the 2018 midterms as well, when Democrats flipped control of the House of Representatives.
As Sixteen Thirty Fund grew, the Wyss-founded Berger Action Fund has been among its biggest known benefactors in recent years. Both groups are nonprofits, and they are not required to disclose the source of their donations.
There are however rules for foreigners contributing to American political causes. The Wyss cash is supposedly being used for non-partisan spending, but that kind of insulation seems highly dubious.
Other major known donors to the Sixteen Thirty Fund in 2020 include tech billionaire Pierre Omidyar, who said he and his wife gave $45 million to one of the group’s projects.
Pierre Omidyar is a Franco-Persian billionaire, one of the three big foreign billionaires, including George, who dominate leftist funding, but both Soros and Omidyar have U.S. citizenship (though Soros arguably immigrated to this country under false pretenses.)
It’s unclear if Wyss is an American citizen, according to the Times’ reporting on the Swiss-born billionaire… Non-citizens without permanent residency status in the United States cannot contribute to political campaigns. While Sixteen Thirty Fund spends heavily on U.S. politics, Berger Action Fund in a written statement said it “expressly prohibits any of its funding from being used by grant recipients to support or oppose political candidates or parties or to engage in partisan voter registration and GOTV” (get-out-the-vote activities).
That however leaves plenty of room for all sorts of political activity.
Other major outlays by Berger Action Fund in the 2020 fiscal year included $10.5 million to the Fund for a Better Future, another liberal grant-making organization. Fund for a Better Future distributed tens of millions of dollars to several nonprofits associated with Democratic super PACs in 2020, according to its most recent tax filing.
Berger Action Fund also gave $4.5 million to League of Conservation Voters, the large environmental group; $2 million to Color of Change Education Fund, a racial justice group; and $1.75 million to Center for American Progress Action Fund, the advocacy arm of the liberal think tank where Wyss sits on the board of directors.
Again, highly political organizations that engage in political advocacy.
The Berger Action Fund was able to issue a statement on spending, but not on the legal status of its funder. That’s surreal.
Another four groups got $1 million apiece, including National Redistricting Action Fund, a sister group of Democrats’ national redistricting hub, which has funded lawsuits against GOP-drawn state political maps.
We’re going to pretend that the National Redistricting Action Fund is not engaged in partisan political activity meant to favor one party?
There’s no excuse for the failure of the GOP to move on this.