Yet Another Republican Billionaire Is Convinced Republicans Are Too Damn Liberal

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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?

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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