Yet Another Republican Billionaire Is Convinced Republicans Are Too Damn Liberal

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 BIG QUESTION...

as we head into 2020 is whether politics and media will be a billionaires’ game, or a playing field where the rest of us have a shot. That's what Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein tackles in her annual December column—"Billionaires Are Not the Answer"—about the state of journalism and our plans for the year ahead.

We can't afford to let independent reporting depend on the goodwill of the superrich: Please help Mother Jones build an alternative to oligarchy that is funded by and answerable to its readers. Please join us with a tax-deductible, year-end donation so we can keep going after the big stories without fear, favor, or false equivalency.

THE BIG QUESTION...

as we head into 2020 is whether politics and media will be a billionaires’ game, or a playing field where the rest of us have a shot.

Please read our annual column about the state of journalism and Mother Jones' plans for the year ahead, and help us build an alternative to oligarchy by supporting our people-powered journalism with a year-end gift today.

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