Foreign Money Fight Hinders Biden Ballot Deal

( – President Joe Biden faces an uncertain election campaign in Ohio after missing the deadline to be registered as the Democratic presidential candidate for the state.

Ohio law demands that presidential candidates are confirmed with 90 days to spare before the election. Although it is presumed that the incumbent president will be his party’s nominee for the November vote, he will not be formally certified until after the Democratic National Convention, which commences on August 19th, missing the 90-day deadline by several days.

Ohio Republicans have seized the opportunity to try to pass legislation that would disallow foreign nationals from donating money to Ohio-specific campaigns by tying it in with a measure to grant the Democrats more time to confirm Biden as the state’s blue candidate. The legislation failed to pass, however, leaving lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle in a state of confusion without a clear road to confirming the presidential nominations.

The GOP push to prevent foreign nationals from donating to local political causes stems from the furor over one Swiss billionaire named Hansjörg Wyss. Wyss, who now lives in Wyoming, has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to progressive organizations in recent years. Republican Secretary of State for Ohio, Frank LaRose, issued a report in January 2024 that showed that pro-choice groups donated nearly $4 million to help pass Ohio’s December 2023 legislation that protects the right to an individual’s reproductive decisions. The $4 million came from groups that Wyss had given significant funds to in recent years.

In trying to pass legislation to stop what Republican Sen. Rob McColley referred to as “foreign election interference,” Republicans attached their measure to a piece of legislation that extended the presidential nomination deadline to August 23rd. The bill passed the Senate but was stalled in the House, with lawmakers in both major parties unhappy about the details. While both Democrat and Republican lawmakers say they intend to find a way to get Biden on the ballot in November, nobody is certain of how this will be achieved.

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