Brief

Uihleins, owners of Wisconsin company, gave millions to group sponsoring the Jan. 6 March for Trump

By: - January 15, 2021 1:03 pm
Elizabeth and Richard Uihlein (Screenshot from the New York Times YouTube video "Meet the Billionaire Couple Trying to Reshape the Republican Party")

Elizabeth and Richard Uihlein (Screenshot from the New York Times YouTube video “Meet the Billionaire Couple Trying to Reshape the Republican Party”)

Richard and Elizabeth Uihlein, owners of Uline shipping supply company located in Pleasant Prairie, WI, and major donors to Republican candidates including President Donald Trump, contributed more than $4 million to the Tea Party Patriots.

The group participated in the rally before the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. While the organizers have taken down their website, and many tweets, since the rally led to the mob takeover of the Capitol, Mother Jones and others have reported on the March to Save America, AKA the March for Trump, sponsors.

That contribution of $4.3 million, reported by Chicago’s public radio station WBEZ, has led the Democratic Attorney General Association (DAGA) to call on attorneys general and its counterpart the Republican Attorney General Association (RAGA) and Republican attorneys general and candidates to refuse any future contributions from the Uihleins.

“This declaration and other corrections to their association are necessary actions on the only path forward for those who claim to believe in the rule of law and protecting our democracy,” said Sean Rankin, executive director of DAGA in a statement. “Republican AGs or candidates who choose to accept Uihlein money moving forward will be turning their backs on our country and ignoring the deadly attack on Congress on January 6th.”

According to the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign (WDC)’s website, the Uihleins (and others related to Uline shipping) have given nearly $1.5 million to Wisconsin candidates including the annual maximum $32,500 in donations to former Attorney General Brad Schimel — who frequently used the slogan “law and order” to describe his views in the race he lost in 2018 to Attorney General Josh Kaul.

RAGA also has direct ties to the Jan. 6 rallies. WDC reported this week that an arm of RAGA, called the Rule of Law Defense Fund (RLDF) urged followers to attend a Jan. 6 “Stop the Steal” rally making robocalls, according to reporting from Documented, a watchdog group.

WDC describes RAGA as “a Washington, D.C.-based group, which raises and spends unlimited amounts from special interests to help elect state GOP attorneys general throughout the country. The group was active in the 2018 Wisconsin state elections, doling out more than $2.8 million on electioneering activities to attack Democratic candidate Josh Kaul.”

Between January 2018 and late November 2020, RAGA took in around $279,000 from about two dozen Wisconsin contributors, including  MillerCoors (now Molson Coors), Foley & Lardner, Wisconsin Realtors Association and Kwik Trip.

The Uihleins have also given amounts of $1,000 each election cycle to many Republican legislative candidates, WDC records show.

Rankin continued: “We must demand accountability from our elected leaders and future leaders, and we must refuse to let funders of terror and spinners of dangerous conspiracy theories undermine our democracy.”

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Melanie Conklin
Melanie Conklin

Melanie Conklin is proud to be a native of the state of Wisconsin, which gave humankind the typewriter, progressivism and deep-fried cheese curds. Her several decades in journalism include political beats and columns at Isthmus newspaper, the Wisconsin State Journal and other publications. When not an ink-stained wretch, she served time inside state, local and federal government in communications. She is excited to be back at the craft of journalism as Deputy Editor of the Wisconsin Examiner. It’s what she’s loved ever since getting her master’s degree in journalism from the UW-Madison. Her family includes one husband, two kids, four dogs and five (or more) chinchillas.

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