Hansjorg Wyss, a billionaire Swiss citizen and multi-million dollar Clinton Foundation donor, gave 30 contributions to American political campaigns over a nine-year period, according to an investigation by The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Federal law has imposed a strict, across-the-board ban since 1966 on foreign nationals giving to U.S. political campaigns. The ban was later included in the 1974 Federal Election Campaign Act. The only exception is for foreign nationals who possess a green card. The ban applies to all levels of political campaigns.
Wyss donated $41,000 to seven congressional candidates and to four national political action committees from 1998 to 2003, according to Federal Election Commission records under the name of Hansjorg Wyss.
Colorado campaign finance records also report that Wyss gave $50,000 to Coloradans for Responsible Growth in March 2000, a statewide environmental political action committee that closed its doors only two years later, in part because it reportedly never filed the required financial statements.
In April 2006, Wyss gave $10,000 to Jim Baca, a Democrat running for New Mexico’s Commissioner of Public Lands, according to the State of New Mexico Ethics Administration.
Wyss has a long-term relationship with Bill and Hillary Clinton, as well as with John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s present national campaign director and former White House Chief of Staff for President Clinton. Wyss committed $5 million to the Clinton Foundation’s “No Ceilings” program to empower women and girls in December 2013.
Wyss paid Podesta $87,000 for “consultant” services when the latter served as a top aide to President Barack Obama. Wyss is a major contributor to the Center for American Progress and a member of its board of directors. The center was founded by Podesta and has received $5.1 million from Wyss since 2011, according to Internal Revenue Service filings.
Lawrence M. Noble, general counsel for the Campaign Legal Center, told TheDCNF contributions by a foreign citizen are a “serious violation.” Noble was general counsel at the Federal Election Commission for 13 years.
“If he doesn’t have a green card and he’s not a U.S. citizen, then he can’t give to U.S. elections,” Noble said.
Former FEC Commissioner Bradley Smith told TheDCNF that if Wyss gave the donations knowingly and willingly, “the FEC is pretty aggressive in referring this kind of violation to the Department of Justice as a criminal matter.”
Although Wyss has maintained multiple residences in the United States since the 1960’s, he’s never sought U.S. citizenship. He said in a 2014 speech in Bern, Switzerland reported by the Swiss news organization Blick, “I only have a Swiss passport as a proof of identity. No Green Card. No American passport. So here I stand, as a true Swiss, in my homeland,” according to the Swiss media outlet Bite.
Documents obtained by TheDCNF show that Wyss is an E-2 visa holder, and does not have a green card. A Feb. 8, 2010, letter prepared by Wyss lawyer Joseph M. Sedlack said “HJW is lawfully in the U.S. pursuant to a ‘E-2VISA’” and “is not a permanent resident of the US under a ‘green card.’” Sedlack is with the Reed Smith LLP law firm.
TheDCNF also asked Carolyn Short, another Reed Smith attorney who represents Wyss, if Wyss was a U.S. citizen. She did not reply.
Noble said some foreign nationals might plead ignorance but “given his sophistication, he should he have known” that he was not permitted to give to political campaigns. Smith, the former FEC Commissioner, agreed, saying “the guy’s got access to some of the top lawyers in the country.”
In a related development, the Justice Department earlier this month refused to turn over documents sought by Citizens United under the Freedom of Information Act in seeking to understand why Wyss’ top four executives went to jail but he didn’t in a medical scandal in which five patients died as a result of an illegal drug testing program run by his former company.
Wyss was named in 2009 by a federal grand jury as the “Person No. 7” who directed the four jailed executives to ignore federal safety rules requiring the FDA’s prior approval of drug tests on humans. Wyss was CEO of the company, Syntheses, which paid a $22 million fine under the 2011 settlement that sent the four executives to prison.
Justice Department officials claimed release of documents, “would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.” They also declined to “acknowledge the existence of such records pertaining to this individual.”
Citizens United president David Bossie denounced the rejection, telling TheDCNF “the American people deserve to know what’s going on inside their government, particularly the activities of political appointees at the Justice Department.”
Wyss also now faces racketeering charges in a Washington State civil suit that claims he profiteered in the drug testing scheme that caused the death of 67-year old Reba Golden and four other people.
Additionally, he was at the center of a nasty sexual scandal that allegedly resulted in a private $1.5 million settlement with a former employee. The settlement came to light after Wyss made a $5 million commitment to the Clinton Foundation’s “No Ceilings” project designed to protect women and girls.
Dave Skinner, a researcher with the Hydra Project, noted that Wyss preferred giving funds through his private foundation rather than highly visible political donations. “He’s always been low profile. He’s always operated under the radar,” Skinner said.
Wyss has a penchant for secrecy, claiming in a May, 2011 Swiss newspaper interview that “nobody knows me, and I hope that it stays like this.”
During an appearance at a Jon Huntsman “No Labels” event, a female audience member named Lauren Batchelder played the role of a female antagonist toward candidate Donald Trump.
However, Ms. Batchelder is not just an average audience member. She’s a paid political operative of the GOP and a paid staff member of Team Jeb Bush:
Within minutes of her scripted performance at the event, the producers of CNN were quickly editing soundbites and framing a narrative. That story was pushed into the media stream within hours. CNN’s Jeanne Moos was the delivery vehicle for the a hit piece.
Here’s the CNN narrative as presented yesterday:
However, as previously noted, it didn’t take long to discover that Lauren Batchelder was not just an ordinary audience member, she is actually a current staffer for Senator Kelly Ayotte and also working in New Hampshire on behalf of the Jeb Bush 2016 campaign.
Batchelder’s LinkedIn profile shows she is a Jeb Bush For President 2016 staffer.
Given Senator Ayotte’s position being pro-life, and contrasted against the framework of Ms. Batchelder’s line of questioning being completely opposite of the boss(es) she is working for, it doesn’t take long to figure out this was a planted Establishment GOPe hit job targeting Donald Trump:
Of course, Ms Batchelder quickly began scrubbing her social media history trying to hide who she works for. Almost all of her Twitter history is now deleted, but not before much of it was able to be captured. Several other profiles remain available:
From her Facebook Profile it appears Ms. Batchelder has quite a history as a Thespian Actress.
[You can read more of the texts within her deleted tweets HERE Not surprisingly most of them are disparaging toward Donald Trump and Ben Carson]
It is amazingly pathetic how the RINO Caucus has to operate in order to try and eliminate their political opposition.
Facebook Status: “With Jeb!”
12:43 AM – 13 Oct 2015
This is an embarrassing fail on behalf of the establishment GOP and in particular Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio.
This current fail also exemplifies how the broadcast media, specifically CNN, is willing to assist the republican cause when there is a mutual benefit to the elimination of an enemy.
However, it is also further evidence of the entire construct of the Jeb Bush alliance. There are eight candidates remaining in the race specifically to assist Jeb Bush and help him win the nomination. They are:
Marco Rubio (FL)
Carly Fiorina (VA)
Chris Christie (NJ)
John Kasich (OH)
Lindsey Graham (SC)
Mike Huckabee (AR)
George Pataki (NY)
Jim Gilmore (VA)
A vote for any of these fraud candidates will only result in a later endorsement of Jeb Bush and the transference of delegates to assist his nomination efforts. This was/is the original design of the road map created to help Jeb win in 2016. [Much More Here]
The 2016 plan is similar in many ways to how Mitt Romney was able to win the nomination in 2012. If you remove Donald Trump – Ben Carson becomes Herman Cain, Ted Cruz becomes Newt Gingrich and Jeb Bush replaces Mitt Romney.
It is all by design, all of it; and the only thing standing between TEAM JEB and achieving this outcome is:
Hence the GOPe apparatus is going to use every trick they have deployed in the past to stop Donald Trump from winning the nomination.
Also, don’t be surprised to see them use the same tactics previously deployed against Senate Candidate Chris McDaniel in Mississippi 2014. Between now and removing their fingers from the grip of power, there’s going to be a SERIOUS Political WAR !
The official at the center of the Internal Revenue Service tea party scandal once dismissed complaints that labor unions were not reporting millions of dollars in political activities on their tax forms, according to an email obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation.
In 2007, Lerner responded directly to a complaint that some major labor unions reported completely different amounts of political expenditures when filing with the IRS and the Department of Labor.
At the time of the email, Lerner was the Director of Exempt Organizations at the IRS.
Lerner wrote, “We looked at the information you provided regarding organizations that report substantial amounts of political activity and lobbying expenditures on the DOL Form LM-2, but report little to no political expenditures on the Form 990 filed with the IRS.”
“We believe this difference in reporting does not necessarily indicate that the organization has incorrectly reported to either the DOL or the IRS,” Lerner concluded.
Don Todd, the deputy assistant secretary of the Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS) at the time the email was sent, confirmed seeing Lerner’s email and remembering similar complaints at the time. OLMS oversees labor union financial disclosures within the Department of Labor.
“The laws never been enforced,” Todd told TheDCNF. “The IRS was telling us it would cost more to enforce the law then they would collect.”
In 2006, the year leading up to Lerner’s email, the national headquarters for the AFL-CIO reported no direct or indirect political expenditures with the IRS on their 990 form, leaving the line 81a blank. That same year, the AFL-CIO reported $29,585,661 in political activities with the Department of Labor.
Also in 2006 the Teamsters Union reported no political expenditures with the IRS while at the same time reporting $7,081,965 with the Labor Department.
Again in 2006, Unite-Here reported no political activity with the IRS and $1,451,002 with the Labor Department.
In 2005, the National Education Association also reported no political expenditures with the IRS while at the same time reporting $24,985,250 with the Labor Department.
Labor union political spending overwhelmingly benefits Democrats. Todd told TheDNCF Lerner may have been playing favorites. Lerner has been accused of singling out tea party groups applying for tax-exempt status.
Lerner acknowledged in the 2007 email, “The definition of political campaign activity required to be reported on Form LM2 coincides with the definition of political campaign activity expenditures required to be reported on Form 990.”
But she did offer some possible reasons for the discrepancies. “The Form LM-2 does not separate this reporting from the reporting of lobbying expenditures,” she wrote. “Furthermore, even if section 501(c)(5) labor organizations were required to report their lobbying expenditures, the amount required to be reported on Form LM-2 includes activity, such as attempting to influence regulations, that is not required to be reported as lobbying, as the IRS limitations apply to legislative lobbying.”
Lerner conceded, “Having said that, we did see some instances that raised concerns and we referred that information to our Dallas office to determine whether examination is warranted.” It does not appear any further investigation was conducted.
The Bush administration mandated more detailed disclosure requirements for labor unions, but they were relaxed by the Obama administration’s Labor Department.
An IRS spokesman told TheDCNF the agency had no “immediate comment” on the matter.
It’s not just the Tea Party that the IRS is giving extra scrutiny to, it’s also checking into church sermons. According to Investor’s Business Daily, the IRS agreed to an atheist group’s demands “to monitor sermons and homilies for proscribed speech that the foundation believes includes things like condemnation of gay marriage and criticism of ObamaCare for its contraceptive mandate.”
The division in charge of enforcing this review of religious speech, the Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division, was once headed by IRS scandal figure Lois Lerner. So far the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks have yet to run with this stunning story on any of their evening or morning news programs.
On July 31, Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) opened their editorial headlined “IRS Strikes Deal With Atheists To Monitor Churches,” this way:
First Amendment: Government’s assault on religious liberty has hit a new low as the IRS settles with atheists by promising to monitor sermons for mentions of the right to life and traditional marriage.
A lawsuit filed by the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) asserted that the Internal Revenue Service ignored complaints about churches’ violating their tax-exempt status by routinely promoting political issues, legislation and candidates from the pulpit.
The FFRF has temporarily withdrawn its suit in return for the IRS’s agreement to monitor sermons and homilies for proscribed speech that the foundation believes includes things like condemnation of gay marriage and criticism of ObamaCare for its contraceptive mandate.
The irony of this agreement is that it’s being enforced by the same Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division of the IRS that was once headed by Lois “Fifth Amendment” Lerner and that openly targeted Tea Party and other conservative groups.
Among the questions that the IRS asked of those targeted groups was the content of their prayers.
Those who objected to the monitoring of what is said and done in mosques for signs of terrorist activity have no problem with this one, though monitoring what’s said in houses of worship is a clear violation of the First Amendment. Can you say “chilling effect”?
Congress can make no laws prohibiting the free exercise of religion. So it’s not clear where the IRS gets off doing just that by spying on religious leaders lest they comment on issues and activities by government that are contrary to or impose on their religious consciences. Our country was founded by people fleeing this kind of government-monitored and mandated theology last practiced in the Soviet Union.