Swiss Billionaire’s Nonprofit Sent $35 Million To Dark Money Group Propping Up Dems

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The Berger Action Fund, one arm of liberal Swiss billionaire Hansjörg Wyss’ philanthropic empire, gave tens of millions to one of America’s most prolific Democrat-aligned dark money groups.

The Berger Action Fund, a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization, gave $35 million to the liberal dark money group Sixteen Thirty Fund in 2022, tax documents show. Sixteen Thirty Fund in 2022 poured tens of millions into Democrat-aligned PACs, groups supporting left-wing ballot measures and voter mobilization operations designed to increase turnout among Democrat-friendly demographics, according to tax forms.

Wyss, a Swiss billionaire who made his fortune selling medical devices, had not disclosed publicly whether he is a United States citizen as of 2021, The New York Times reported. A book written by Wyss’ sister titled “My Brother” and published in 2014 says that Wyss has “never applied for citizenship,” according to RealClearPolitics. (RELATED: Foreign Left-Wing Billionaire Is Influencing American Politics Through ‘Loophole,’ Watchdog Says)

Despite this, Wyss’ nonprofit has been heavily involved in supporting left-leaning organizations in the United States.

Berger Action Fund’s claim that it doesn’t engage in electoral activities “doesn’t pass the laugh test, especially given that they’re also sending tens of millions to other Democratic heavy-hitters like Arabella’s massive Sixteen Thirty Fund,” Capital Research Center president Scott Walter told the DCNF.

Berger Action Fund was one of Sixteen Thirty Fund’s biggest donors in 2022; Sixteen Thirty Fund is often described as a dark money group because it engages in political activity without publishing the identities of its donors.

“It’s outrageous that the same people who decry dark money and foreign election interference don’t seem to have a problem benefitting from continued cash infusions from a foreign national,” Americans for Public Trust (APT) Executive Director Caitlin Sutherland told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 01: Former Mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg (L) and philanthropist Hansjorg Wyss attend Oceana's 2015 New York City benefit at Four Seasons Restaurant on April 1, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Oceana)

Former Mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg (L) and philanthropist Hansjorg Wyss (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Oceana)

Sixteen Thirty Fund tossed considerable weight behind voter mobilization efforts targeting traditionally Democrat-leaning demographics during the 2022 midterm election season, the same year the organization was bankrolled by Wyss’ charity.

For example, Sixteen Thirty Fund gave America Votes $20.6 million in 2022, one of its largest single expenditures that year.

America Votes is a liberal voting group that targets left-leaning demographics, collaborates with Democrats and boosts other left-of-center political operations. The group “coordinates more than 400 state and national partner organizations to create a fairer, more representative democracy by increasing voter participation across the country,” according to its website.

Though America Votes calls itself “non-partisan,” it has collaborated a considerable amount with the Democratic Party. The group engaged in campaign activities for a Democratic Senate campaign as well as Obama’s 2012 presidential campaign and donated millions to liberal PACs.

America Votes says it “engaged 21 million voters—including voters of color and younger voters—with mail, text messages, and calls with tips to enroll and reminders for completing mail-in ballots,” during the 2020 elections. Minority and youth voters both tend to favor the Democratic Party.

Sixteen Thirty Fund also gave $250,000 to The Voter Project, a group that registered over 3.2 million Pennsylvanians to vote by mail before the 2020 election, according to a consulting firm that worked with the organization. Mail-in votes overwhelmingly favor Democrats in Pennsylvania.

Black Voters Matter and the Black Male Voter Project, organizations focused on mobilizing historically Democratic black voters in Georgia, also received hundreds of thousands of dollars from Sixteen Thirty Fund in 2022. Georgia was a critical state in the 2022 midterm elections, holding a competitive Senate race.

Sixteen Thirty Fund also gave more than $8.7 million directly to various political committees, tax forms show. Among the PACs supported by Sixteen Thirty were the Big Sky Voters PAC, a committee dedicated to opposing Republican Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke; Family Friendly Action PAC, a committee that spent more than $7.3 million supporting Democrats in 2022; and Michigan Planned Parenthood Votes Super PAC, a pro-abortion committee, among others.

Sixteen Thirty Fund was also involved in promoting pro-abortion ballot measures in key states while taking in millions from the Berger Action Fund. The organization poured millions into supporting the groups behind efforts to expand abortion in Michigan and Ohio in 2022.

Sixteen Thirty Fund also gave $125,000 to Courier Newsroom in 2022, tax forms show. Courier Newsroom is a network of ostensibly local news websites that have been accused of primarily working to help Democrats get elected.

A spokesperson for Berger Action Fund would not comment on whether or not Wyss’ money, donated through the Berger Action Fund, bankrolled political activities pursued by the Sixteen Thirty Fund when reached by the DCNF.

The spokesperson did, however, say that the Berger Action Fund “complies with laws and rules governing its activities and prohibits its grants from being used to support or oppose political candidates or parties, or otherwise engage in electoral activities.”

APT filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) in 2022 alleging that Wyss’ nonprofit network illegally funneled foreign money into Sixteen Thirty Fund’s political operation.

“Federal law prohibits contributions, donations, expenditures (including independent expenditures) and disbursements solicited, directed, received or made directly or indirectly by or from foreign nationals in connection with any federal, state or local election,” according to the FEC.

“Nearly all of the donations we receive are intended for specific projects or purposes and may be restricted by donors from being used for certain activities,” a spokesperson for the Sixteen Thirty Fund told the DCNF.

“Many grants, like those from Berger Action Fund, cannot be used for electoral activities, and every contribution is used in strict compliance with all guidelines, regulations, and laws,” they continued.

Berger Action Fund is affiliated with the Wyss Foundation, the Swiss billionaire’s 501(c)(3) charity, according to its website. The nonprofits collectively controlled over $2 billion in assets as of 2022, tax forms show.

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