Americans for Public Trust filed a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission (“FEC”) against Hansjorg Wyss to investigate violations of federal campaign law, reported today by the New York Post. Hansjörg Wyss is a Swiss-born billionaire residing in the U.S. who contributes much of his wealth to various causes. Foreign nationals are prohibited from directly and indirectly making contributions to influence U.S. elections. However, Mr. Wyss, through a complicated scheme of non-profit foundations, has been able to make sizable contributions to establish and fund the Hub Project. The group then oversees spending in federal elections; yet, the group is not registered with the FEC. The complaint requests that the FEC look into whether these contributions made by Mr. Wyss are indirect campaign contributions from a foreign national, running afoul of federal law. Given the significant campaign spending, the American public is entitled to a thorough investigation of this issue.
About Americans For Public Trust
Without vigilant oversight, the power we entrust to our elected officials leads to corruption. Over time, this corruption erodes public trust in our government. Founded by a small team of lawyers and researchers, Americans for Public Trust is a nonpartisan, independent organization dedicated to ensuring that no politician or political group is above the law.
Americans for Public Trust works to restore trust in government by exposing corruption and holding the powerful accountable.
Uncovering unethical behavior begins with original research. Our in-depth, fearless investigations are the first step in shedding light on wrongdoing. Second, we take bold legal action to ensure that those who disregard the rule of law are held responsible. We ensure high impact through lawsuits and administrative complaints. Lastly, we raise awareness of our work to rebuild public trust.
Watchdog calls for probe into Swiss billionaire’s US political spending
A watchdog group is calling for an investigation into Swiss billionaire Hansjörg Wyss’ influence on US elections, according to a complaint filed with the Federal Elections Commission.
The complaint by Americans for Public Trust says there is reason to believe “Mr. Wyss indirectly funded federal electoral advocacy through his nonprofit organizations, the Wyss Foundation and the Berger Action Fund. The intended recipient of these funds was ultimately a variety of organizations whose primary purpose is to engage in electoral advocacy.”
It notes that “the law prohibits foreign nationals from making contributions to political committees whether directly or indirectly,” according to a copy of the complaint, which was filed Friday.
The reclusive Wyss, who made his fortune from a medical device company which was sold to Johnson & Johnson for $20 billion, lives in Wyoming and is apparently neither a US citizen nor a green card holder, which means he cannot legally donate to political campaigns.