Members of Congress want to know if one of America’s most powerful liberal political groups is evading federal laws requiring them to report lobbying on behalf of foreign billionaires.
U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Bruce Westerman (R-AR) and Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Chairman Paul Gosar (R-AZ) want League of Conservation Voters President Gene Karpinski to answer questions about LCV’s fundraising, lobbying, and political activities, and whether it is complying with the Foreign Agents Registration Act.
The League of Conservation Voters, a radical environmentalist group, is one of the nation’s most powerful political organizations.
OpenSecrets reports the LCV donated $15,129,989 to federal political candidates in 2020. They also spent $42,272,125 on ads supporting or opposing federal candidates in 2020, making them the nation’s 15th-biggest political spending.
But members of Congress want to know if the LCV is lobbying lawmakers at the behest of Swiss billionaire Hansjörg Wyss, a radical leftist who opposes American energy independence.
The members write:
“Following ‘intense lobbying’ from LCV and related groups that led to passage of the [Inflation Reduction Act,] you met then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi who told you Democrats ‘passed what you wanted’ and asked whether LCV would ‘have our backs’ in the 2022 election. Following the election, in an end-of-year memo on December 19, 2022, LCV detailed how the ‘LCV Victory Fund and affiliated entities invested more than $100 million’ to elect Democrat candidates that align with LCV’s eco-agenda agenda in the 2022 elections. Previously, in the 2018 cycle, LCV spent $80 million on candidates that support its eco-agenda.
“LCV has registered to lobby on several activities within the jurisdiction of the Committee, including issues like opposing offshore drilling plans, supporting a ‘pause and review of the federal oil and gas program,’ and supporting the restoration and expansion of a number of national monuments. The Committee is concerned that LCV’s relationship with foreign donors, such as Swiss national Mr. Wyss, who are prohibited from contributing, either directly or indirectly, to domestic political campaigns may impact LCV’s political and lobbying activities relating to America’s ability to achieve energy independence. As you are aware, such political and lobbying activities may require compliance with the Foreign Agents Registration Act.
“The central purpose of FARA is to ‘promote transparency with respect to foreign influence within the United States by ensuring that the United States government and the public know the source of certain information from foreign agents intended to influence American public opinion, policy, and laws.’ Hence, FARA requires any person or entity, including non-profits, to register with the Department of Justice (DOJ) if they act as an agent or at the request ‘of a foreign principal or of a person any of whose activities are directly or indirectly, supervised, directed, controlled, financed, or subsidized in whole or in major part by a foreign principal.’ Registration under FARA is also required for any entity that attempts, on behalf of a foreign principal, to influence any section of the U.S. public or a U.S. government official in ‘formulating, adopting, or changing the domestic or foreign policies of the United States.'”
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