Thursday, May 6, 2021

The Swiss Billionaire Funding Democratic Think Tanks

Numerous billionaires, both Democrats and Republicans, fund numerous think tanks, a trend that has only been increasing over the years.

Here is the latest example from the New York Times:

He is not as well known as wealthy liberal patrons like George Soros or Tom Steyer. His political activism is channeled through a daisy chain of opaque organizations that mask the ultimate recipients of his money. But the Swiss billionaire Hansjörg Wyss has quietly become one of the most important donors to left-leaning advocacy groups and an increasingly influential force among Democrats.

Newly obtained tax filings show that Mr. Wyss’s foundations donated $208 million from 2016 through early last year to three nonprofit funds that doled out money to a wide array of groups that backed progressive causes and helped Democrats in their efforts to win the White House and control of Congress last year.

Beneficiaries of his direct giving included prominent groups such as the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank where Mr. Wyss sits on the board.


The Times has previously reported that the Center for American Progress (CAP) and its sister organization have received more than $6.1 million from foundations linked to Wyss.

NYT also noted that John Podesta, the founder of CAP, has advised the Wyss Foundation, including on the hiring of The Hub Project's executive director, Arkadi Gerney, a former official at CAP.

Update: Here is a 2022 Real Clear Politics piece on on Wyss's "mega influence" on US politics, including his think tank involvement.