February 7, 2023

DIRTY MONEY: Don’t rich Republicans have better things to do with their cash than this?

DIRTY MONEY: Don't rich Republicans have better things to do with their cash than this?

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Dick and Elizabeth Uihlein, owners of the ULINE shipping supplies company and major donors to the GOP, have been funneling millions to Republican election deniers.

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Their dark money 501(c)(4) organization is currently supporting Kari Lake’s efforts to challenge the Arizona gubernatorial race that she lost, paying Arizona GOP Vice Chair Gina Swoboda — who worked on the Trump campaign — to serve as an “election integrity expert” to oversee things (as if the Trump campaign was some model of integrity, LOL.)

But that’s not all, folks! As reported by the Daily Beast, the Uihleins have their hands in many an antidemocratic pot!

They have consistently given money to election deniers, including sending $1.3 million to the campaign chests of the 147 Republican members of Congress who voted against certifying the 2020 election.

In the wake of the January 6 attack on the Capitol, their organization, Restoration Action, raised over $20 million within a year, bringing total receipts to more than $30 million.

The Uihleins also helped Wisconsin Republican Senator Ron Johnson, who barely won reelection this year, and have consistently poured money into Wisconsin races.

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Swoboda was brought in by the Uihleins to run the Voter Reference Foundation, conveniently shortened to “VoteRef” – because obviously, we can trust a completely diehard GOP Trumper to act objectively.

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No reason to think that information won’t be reliable!

The Uilheins have also pumped money into Michigan to support extending restrictive voter-ID laws.

Dick Uilhein has even given $1.5 million dollars of his own money to that cause – because if you’re going to be a “philanthropist,” why not put yourself behind the noble goal of making it harder for people to vote? Right?

As the Daily Beast has previously outlined, the Uilheins (including Dick’s sister Lucia – another real winner, it seems) have spent some $55 million since January 6 building their “election integrity” apparatus.

Over a million of these buckaroos went to support Trump-loon Cleta Mitchell’s Conservative Partnership Institute, which might as well be entitled the “Stop People from Voting Project.”

Essentially, these deep-pocketed fraudsters have constructed a formidable network to provide the anti-democratic forces within the Republican Party with funding and resources.

Yet if they were really concerned with election integrity, they would be fighting to make sure that mail-in ballots are always counted, that polling stations remain open in poor and minority areas, and that state legislatures will never overrule the electorate.

Yet somehow I don’t think that’s on their agenda.

I wonder how they feel about the Electoral College?

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Bet they were really irate that Trump got to be president even though the people didn’t really choose him. Maybe I’ll go to their next meeting and bring that up.

Do you think I’ll hear crickets or boos?

Meanwhile, I know where I won’t be buyin

Original reporting by Roger Sollenberger at The Daily Beast.

The Republicans won’t stop and neither will Ross. Follow him on Twitter! Do it! He needs you! @RossRosenfeld

Ross Rosenfeld

is a news analysis and opinion writer whose work has also appeared in the New York Daily News and Newsweek. He lives in New York.

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