Swiss Oligarch Caught Funding Dark Money Lobbying Group Pushing Biden's Agenda
Billionaire Hansjorg Wyss bankrolling group pushing Joe Biden's 'Build Back Better' plan
The dark money group lobbying for Democrat Joe Biden's radical "Build Back Better" agenda is being bankrolled by a foreign oligarch, according to a bombshell new report
One of the main groups pushing for Biden's climate agenda and green energy jobs initiatives is an organization called Climate Power.
The lobbying group bills itself as a traditional advocacy organization, with John Podesta, Stacey Abrams, and former senator Harry Reid featuring on the advisory board.
However, the group doesn't actually exist independently, as it would appear.
The organization is owned and operates as a front group under the Democratic dark money group Fund for a Better Future.
Since 2016, Fund for a Better Future receives the majority of its funding from billionaire Swiss oligarch Hansjorg Wyss's foundation, according to corporation records.
Wyss has poured hundreds of millions of dollars into the Fund for a Better Future, according to smoking-gun corporation and lobbying records obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.
He has also pumped vast amounts of cash into other progressive dark money groups and has been the subject of controversy since his opaque web of donations was detailed by the New York Times last spring.
The connection between the Wyss-funded Fund for a Better Future and Climate Power has not been reported until now.
The link raises questions about foreign influence on the climate debate and the prominence of dark money groups in the Biden administration's public advocacy campaign for the Build Back Better legislation.
While foreign nationals are prohibited from contributing to federal campaigns, lawmakers and watchdogs have raised concerns about foreign donations to nonprofit political advocacy organizations—so-called dark money groups—which could be used as a legal loophole to influence elections.
Americans for Public Trust, a conservative watchdog group, filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission in May, calling for an investigation into whether some of Wyss's donations amount to "campaign contributions from a foreign national, running afoul of federal law."
The group told the Free Beacon that Wyss's contributions to groups leading the climate legislation lobbying add to concerns about his political funding.
"Hansjörg Wyss has been indirectly funding American politics for years, so the news that his foreign money is tied up in this latest dark money campaign to pass President Biden's legislative agenda comes as no surprise," Americans for Public Trust executive director Caitlin Sutherland told the Free Beacon.
"Americans for Public Trust has previously filed an FEC complaint against Mr. Wyss calling for an investigation into his political spending, and we look forward to the commission taking action."
Wyss, a Swiss citizen born in Bern who has declined to clarify his citizenship status in the United States, has become one of the most prolific donors to progressive advocacy groups in recent years.
His foundations, the Berger Action Fund and the Wyss Foundation, have poured over $200 million into organizations supporting Democratic policies since 2016, the New York Times reported in May.
Since last summer, Climate Power has emerged as one of the most active lobbying arms of the Democratic Party's climate agenda.
The group rolled out a $10 million ad blitz in June, aimed at pushing lawmakers to support the Biden administration's American Jobs Plan and Build Back Better legislation.
Climate Power also hired a lobbying firm, Pioneer Public Affairs, last February to press lawmakers in the House and Senate on "climate provisions of the American Rescue Plan (H.R.1319) and the American Jobs Plan," according to lobbying disclosure records.
Climate Power is not an independent entity, according to records reviewed by the Free Beacon.
The group operates under the ownership of the Fund for a Better Future, according to business records filed in Sacramento, where the fund is based.
The Fund for a Better Future received $44,468,000 from Wyss's foundations between 2017 and 2020, according to the latest available financial disclosure records.
Wyss's contributions to the Fund for a Better Future make up "the majority of its funding" during this time, the Times reported in May.
Between 2017 and 2018, Wyss's financial support accounted for 80 percent of the Fund for a Better Future's total receipts, according to financial disclosure records.
According to Climate Power's website, the group was founded "by the Center for American Progress Action Fund, League of Conservation Voters, and Sierra Club" and "integrates hard-hitting research, polling, state, and national earned media, digital and paid media to influence the national conversation, embolden leaders to take immediate, bold climate action, and expose climate deniers and their oil and gas lobby allies."
Climate Power launched another front group in August called the "Great American Build" to promote the Biden administration's Build Back Better agenda.
The Great American Build's website describes it as a "public awareness campaign launched by Climate Power, League of Conservation Voters and their allies to build the momentum necessary to create millions of good clean energy jobs and give our economy the boost it needs."