LaRose to Ohio House: Ban foreign influence over Ohio’s elections


COLUMBUS– Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose has renewed his call for passage of legislation banning foreign influence over Ohio’s elections, asking the Ohio House of Representatives to quickly approve legislation sent over by the Ohio Senate.

LaRose first called for legislative action in January to close a campaign finance loophole that allows foreign nationals to directly or indirectly influence a ballot issue campaign. Senators subsequently adopted Senate Bill 215. The Senate again included the foreign influence ban in a bill this week temporarily fixing a ballot access problem for the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee due to the late timing of the party’s nominating convention. Democrats unanimously opposed the legislation because it contained the ban on foreign influence over Ohio’s elections.

“There’s one person at this point who’s responsible for keeping Joe Biden off the ballot in Ohio, and it’s a Swiss billionaire you’ve probably never heard of,” said Secretary LaRose. “Democrats would rather protect Hansjörg Wyss than get Joe Biden on the statewide ballot, and their motives are clear. They’ve become dependent on Wyss’s dark money to fund everything from their ballot campaigns to their fake news operations.”

LaRose specifically cited public disclosures and media reports revealing that Wyss, a Swiss billionaire, spent millions of dollars seeking to manipulate Ohio’s recent election outcomes. According to one report:

Nearly $11 million in donations favoring passage of Issue 1 rolled in during the final reporting period before the Nov. 7 election. That included $2.2 million from the Tides Foundation and an additional $1.65 million from the progressive Sixteen Thirty Fund, based in Washington, D.C., which had already given $5.3 million. The fund counts among its funders Hansjörg Wyss, a Swiss billionaire who has given the group more than $200 million since 2016. (, 12/17/23)

Wyss also created the Wyss Foundation “partly to shape media coverage to help Democratic causes,” according to The New York Times. This foundation and its partisan allies have successfully deployed a nationwide network of pseudo-news publications under the umbrella of a left-leaning non-profit entity known as States Newsroom, which controls the hyper-partisan fake news operation, Ohio Capital Journal.

“Ohioans deserve confidence in the integrity of our elections, knowing that they aren’t being bought by foreign bullies or billionaires,” LaRose added. “I hope the House does the right thing and takes action soon to close this loophole before its exploited again.”

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