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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"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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