The quarterly filing released Friday for Restoration PAC, the political action committee almost exclusively funded by GOP megadonor Richard Uihlein, shows it brought in $2.6 million and disbursed close to $5 million in the first three months of 2022.
Taken together, Richard and his wife Elizabeth were the fourth biggest donor to super PACs in 2021, a Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) analysis of Federal Election Commission data found. The billionaire couple also gave millions in grants in 2020 through the Ed Uihlein Family Foundation to support right-wing infrastructure. The 2021 IRS filing for the Foundation is not yet publicly available.
The Uihlein family own the privately held Uline shipping and packing company and are among the most influential donors on the right.
The quarterly filing shows that Richard gave Restoration PAC $2.6 million in three parts in February and March.
Uihlein Drops $500K on TV Ads Opposing Sen. Warnock
The only independent expenditures made by Restoration PAC over the three-month period were for ads attacking U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.).
The $500,000 television ad buy attacks Biden and Warnock for rising gas prices, something Republicans have repeatedly tried to message despite experts saying that the coronavirus pandemic and its disruption to the supply chain combined with the Ukraine War are to blame.
Sabato’s Crystal Ball currently rates the Georgia U.S. Senate race as a toss-up.
Restoration PAC’s filing also details over $1 million in for television ads and mailings in non-federal elections.
Building on Trump’s Big Lie that voter fraud was widespread in the 2020 elections, the PAC is running ads in the city of Green Bay attacking Mayor Eric Genrich for his efforts to run elections smoothly and safely amidst the coronavirus pandemic. Republicans are hoping to recall Genrich.
Uihlein’s PAC Contributes Over $3 Million to Other PACs and Political Organizations
The Restoration PAC filings details over $3 million donated to super PACs and political nonprofits.
The 1776 PAC, which describes itself as “dedicated to electing school board members nationwide who want to reform our public education system by promoting patriotism and pride in American history,” received $900,000 from the Restoration PAC in the first three months of 2022.
1776 PAC states on its website that its goal is to abolish critical race theory and the 1619 Project from public schools, which Republicans have weaponized in hopes that it will lead to a red wave in the November midterms.
As of publishing, 1776 lists endorsements for dozens of school board candidates, including 18 in Pennsylvania, nine in Colorado, 10 in Kansas, four in Virginia, three in Ohio, and six in New Jersey.
The Iowa-based Americas PAC received $650,000 from Restoration PAC over the same period, the FEC report details.
Americas PAC’s website shows that it targets Hispanic and Black communities with ads “supporting free market candidates and Republican principles.”
The American Principles Project PAC (APP PAC) also received $650,000 from Uihlein’s PAC. APP PAC is run by Frank Cannon, the longtime political strategist for Susan B. Anthony’s List, a major anti-abortion funder.
“The worst possible outcome for the pro-life movement—and I believe for the party itself— would be [for] Republicans to mishandle the abortion issue,” Cannon told meeting attendees. “If…we are failed by the Republican Party, and by ourselves not working hard enough to win in [the November] elections, we’ll squander the miracle that got us here.”
Restoration added another $219,000 to the Women Speak Out PAC and $219,000 to Women Speak Out Virginia, sister organizations of the Susan B. Anthony List. Women Speak Out PAC’s site states its mission as, “Using our proven micro-targeting strategy, we meet persuadable voters right at their front doors to educate them on the extremism of pro-abortion lawmakers and to urge these voters to choose candidates who are committed to defending life.”
Restoration PAC also disclosed giving $266,000 to Fair Courts America (FCA). FCA placed a six-figure ad buy to defeat Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers’ appointee, Lori Kornblum, in the April election for the Wisconsin 2nd District Court of Appeals.
Kornblum lost to Maria Lazar. Wisconsin Democracy Campaign found that FCA spent $250,000 on the ad buy.
Restoration PAC also threw in $184,000 to the Republican National Lawyers Association, the largest membership organization for Republican lawyers in the country.