These GOP megadonors are showing an 'overwhelming' preference for far-right 'election deniers': report

These GOP megadonors are showing an 'overwhelming' preference for far-right 'election deniers': report
Doug Mastriano in 2014 (Wikimedia Commons)

It’s no secret that Dick Uihlein and his wife Elizabeth Uihlein are major donors to the Republican Party. But according to analysis from the Daily Beast, the billionaire owners of the shipping company Uline have shown a preference for a certain type of Republican in the 2022 midterms: MAGA “election deniers” who either falsely claim or imply that the 2020 election was stolen from former President Donald Trump.

The bogus claim that supporters of now-President Joe Biden stole the election from Trump has been repeatedly debunked, and even some of Trump’s former allies on the right have called out the Big Lie as nonsense — including former U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr, who was once considered a Trump loyalist but denounced Trump’s claims of a stolen election as “bu*****t.” But none of that has stopped the Uihleins from donating to election deniers.

In a report published by the Daily Beast on November 3, journalist Roger Sollenberger explains, “The billionaire Uihlein family are the biggest Republican donors for the 2022 midterms. But a review of federal data also shows that the overwhelming majority of that money has gone to candidates who have denied or questioned the 2020 election results — in fact, about 80 percent of it went to those Republicans.”

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Sollenberger reports that according to Federal Election Commission (FEC) data, Dick and Elizabeth Uihlein “gave about $1.7 million to incumbent candidates” between January 7, 2021 and August 31, 2022.

“About $1.3 million of that money, or nearly 80 percent, went to campaigns or committees tied to the 147 Republicans who voted, on January 6, to overturn President Joe Biden’s victory,” Sollenberger explains. “The Uihleins have also given around $225,000 to non-incumbent Republicans seeking federal office in 2022. And more than 85 percent of that amount — around $191,000 — also went to candidates who have either denied or questioned the legitimacy of the election results, including some who attended events at the January 6 insurrection.”

In an article published by ProPublica on October 26, reporters Justin Elliott, Megan O’Matz and Doris Burke described the Uihleins (who own the shipping company Uline) as the “largest contributors” to the gubernatorial campaign of Pennsylvania State Sen. Doug Mastriano — a far-right conspiracy theorist, QAnon ally, Christian nationalist and “Stop the Steal” Republican who, in the Keystone State, is running against Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro (the Democratic gubernatorial nominee). Shapiro, in his attack ads, has relentlessly attacked Mastriano as a dangerous, unhinged extremist, and it appears to be working. Polls released in early November have found Mastriano trailing Shapiro by 16 percent (Fox News), 10 percent (The Hill/Emerson College) or 12 percent (USA Today/Suffolk University).

According to Elliott, O’Matz and Burke, the Uline owners “are major funders to groups spreading election falsehoods, including Restoration of America, which, according to an internal document obtained by ProPublica, aims to ‘get on God’s side of the issues and stay there’ and ‘punish leftists.’ Flush with profits from their shipping supply company, the Uihleins have emerged as the No. 1 federal campaign donors for Republicans ahead of the November elections, and the No. 2 donors overall behind liberal financier George Soros. The couple has spent at least $121 million on state and federal politics in the last two years alone, fighting taxes, unions, abortion rights and marijuana legalization.”

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