Yet Another Republican Billionaire Is Convinced Republicans Are Too Damn Liberal

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.

It seems like every two years I read a story like this:

Richard Uihlein, a wealthy shipping-supplies magnate from Illinois who shuns the spotlight, has risen to become one of the most powerful — and disruptive — GOP donors in the country.

For years, Uihlein has given money to isolated races in the service of his anti-union, free-market and small-government views. But he has dramatically increased his giving this cycle, pouring $21 million into races from Montana to West Virginia to ensure more conservative victories in the upcoming midterm elections, Federal Election Commission records show.

Every election cycle there’s some new Republican billionaire who’s dumping bucketloads of money into races all over the country in service of his unique view that Republicans just aren’t conservative enough. Inevitably, this includes a deeply held belief that unions are a tool of Satan, despite the fact that unions apparently didn’t prevent them from becoming billionaires in the first place.

Anyway, Uihlein is the latest Fox News fan to decide that the Republican Party needs a shot of real conservatism and the RINOs need to be ridden out of town on a rail. Honestly, though, since this has been happening regularly for at least the past decade, I have a hard time calling this “disruptive.” It’s just business as usual.

What happened to the good old days, when robber barons were assholes during their business careers but then settled down to a life of philanthropy after their kids took over the business? Shouldn’t Uihlein be funding a children’s hospital or a nationwide chain of free internet cafes for inner-city kids or something?

THE END...

of our annual funding cycle is fast approaching, on June 30, and we have a considerable $230,000-plus gap in our online fundraising budget.

If you value the nonprofit journalism you get from Mother Jones, and you can, right now is an important time to help us keep charging hard with a much-needed and much-appreciated donation.

payment methods

THE END...

of our annual funding cycle is fast approaching, on June 30, and we have a considerable $230,000-plus gap in our online fundraising budget.

If you value the nonprofit journalism you get from Mother Jones, and you can, right now is an important time to help us keep charging hard with a much-needed and much-appreciated donation.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate