MUST READ: Eric Hovde’s Family Business Set Up Company to Do Business in China

Jun 23, 2024

MUST READ: Eric Hovde’s Family Business Set Up Company to Do Business in China

MADISON, Wis. — Last night, in a bombshell, must read report, the Daily Beast broke the news that Eric Hovde’s family business tried to do business in China through an investment vehicle called Hovde China Ventures. 

The news of Eric Hovde’s family business trying to make money from this suspicious investment entity in China comes as Eric Hovde uses his fortune to pour millions of dollars into his campaign, with nearly 90% of the money raised for Hovde’s campaign coming directly from his own bank account. Hovde has refused to file a financial disclosure and come clean about his personal finances.  

This new report raises serious questions about the conflicts of interest that surround Hovde’s finances. 

Read more below:

Daily Beast: This GOP Candidate Is Anti-China. His Family Tried to Build Water Parks There.
By: Kate Briquelet

  • Multimillionaire banker Eric Hovde is taking a tough stance on China in his battle to unseat Wisconsin Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin—but corporation records show his brother and business partner once tried to launch an investment vehicle there.

  • Just before Eric’s first 2012 U.S. Senate bid, his brother Steven set up Hovde China Ventures LLC in the notoriously secretive state of Delaware. According to the few public records available, the entity shut down four years later.

  • Steven, who bankrolled most of a pro-Hovde PAC to support his brother’s race in the battleground state, added that his own views on China are “irrelevant.”

  • Still, Eric Hovde—bashed by opponents as a wealthy California carpetbagger with a $7-million Laguna Beach mansion—has made the U.S. economy a central focus of his candidacy and frequently raised the alarm on China.

  • When the mustachioed businessman toured a Wisconsin dairy farm last month, he said he had “a big problem” with China buying up agricultural land.

  • “If I were in the Senate,” declared Hovde, who stars in TV commercials for his Utah-based Sunwest Bank, sporting his Tom Selleck-like mustache, “I’d be very focused on what China is doing and why we are allowing them to come to our communities and buy up our land, especially around military bases.”

  • And in March, Hovde swiped at Baldwin on Fox News, claiming that she backed tax and regulatory policies that ultimately moved manufacturing jobs to China.

  • This week, he told a local TV outlet that his solution to the fentanyl crisis is to “hammer China,” since it’s a major manufacturer of the drug.

  • Delaware records obtained by The Daily Beast show Hovde China Ventures was formed in December 2011. The state canceled the LLC’s registration in 2016 over a failure to pay $1,702 in back taxes, which are still listed as due.

  • The entity shared a similar name to other Hovde family businesses (such as the Hovde Group and Hovde Capital) and the same registered agent service as other firms tied to Eric, including Sunwest Bancorp and the bank’s charitable foundation.

  • Eric and Steven have led or teamed up on several family businesses for years.

  • Among them are the Eric and Steven Hovde Foundation, H-Bancorp, a $2.9-billion multibank holding company, and the Madison-based Hovde Properties, whose employees were recently featured as voters (rather than identified as company directors) in a campaign ad.

  • Steven even introduced Eric at his February campaign kickoff at one of the Hovde family’s Madison luxury buildings.

  • The event arrived as the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel revealed Eric transferred his $2.3-million Washington, D.C. home to a trust managed by Steven last August.

  • The next day, a pro-Hovde committee, Fix Washington PAC, was formed and Steven contributed $1 million, with others donating its remaining $31,000. Campaign finance records show the group spent $1.5 million on Baldwin attack ads.

  • When Eric Hovde was mulling a Wisconsin gubernatorial run in 2022, he again talked China with local radio host Vicki McKenna, fuming that the nation was “trying to displant us from being the most powerful country in the world.”

  • Eric Hovde claimed he knew of several people with horror stories of trying to open firms in the Communist country.

  • “There’s a good-sized business here in Madison… went over to try to open up a plant,” he said. “Within a short amount of time, a plant got opened right across the street. All his intellectual information was stolen. They started producing the same good at a much lower rate. He ended up losing millions upon millions of dollars.”

  • “I know many stories of that nature,” he said.