Swiss Billionaire’s Mega-Influence On U.S. Politics

REAL CLEAR POLITICS:

It was an enduring mystery. At least, in America.

While Hansjörg Wyss draws comparisons in the press to liberal megadonors like George Soros and Tom Steyer, relatively little is known about the Swiss billionaire, other than that he regularly ranks as one of the richest men in the world and also as one of its most philanthropic.

Wyss made headlines recently by leading a consortium of investors attempting to buy the Chelsea Football Club from sanctioned Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich. He also tried unsuccessfully before that to purchase a national newspaper chain owned by Tribune Publishing. One area where the wealthy Swiss businessman has met with unquestionable success after retiring from the pharmaceutical industry: U.S. politics. He has deep pockets and deep ties in Washington as a result – connections that he tells reporters overseas extend all the way to the White House.

And yet, despite the hundreds of millions Wyss has spent bankrolling progressive advocacy groups and despite the undeniable heft Wyss throws around in the Democratic Party and its causes, one question has remained unanswered in the American press. Despite being a power player in U.S. politics for decades, it was unclear whether or not Wyss is a permanent resident in the United States or an American citizen.

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