ULINE CEO and Republican megadonor Richard Uihlein gave $4.7 million to his Restoration PAC in the second half of 2023, leaving it with $4.1 million to spend on far-right campaigns in this year’s elections.
With Uihlein’s funds, Restoration PAC sent over $4 million to anti-abortion organizations and other right-wing groups over the same period, according to the 2023 Year-End Federal Elections Commission (FEC) filing it submitted today.
Restoration PAC states on its website that it “engages in elections, provides support to truly conservative candidates, and opposes Leftists and the woke agenda” with the goal of “enabl[ing] all Americans to live in true freedom.”
However, the PAC has sent millions to groups committed to restricting women’s freedom to control their own healthcare.
Restoration PAC is one in a constellation of nonprofits run by GOP operative Doug Truax and fueled by Uihlein cash that includes the Foundation for the Restoration of America, the Voter Reference Foundation, and Fair Courts America.
Through the Ed Uihlein Family Foundation Uihlein also gives millions to support right-wing litigation centers and far-right advocacy, policy, media, and youth groups. In 2022, the Foundation distributed $5.5 million in grants, according to a grant list first obtained and published by the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD).
Uihlein is worth $5.1 billion, according to Forbes.
In addition to supporting Republican candidates for office, Uihlein is a major backer of Club for Growth Action, giving the right-wing PAC over $8.7 million in 2023.
Despite being major backers of the former president, Richard and his wife Elizabeth have yet to donate to the presidential campaigns of either Donald Trump or Nikki Haley this cycle.
Last spring, each one gave $1 million to the Ron DeSantis Never Back Down effort, and in August 2023, Elizabeth added $3,300 to each of the Mike Pence and Vivek Ramaswamy campaigns. All three candidates have since dropped out of the GOP primary race.
The American Principles Project (APP) PAC led all Restoration PAC recipients in receiving $2.1 million between July and December of 2023, the latest filing shows. This accounts for more than 91% of the total funds APP PAC raised over the period.
In total, the PAC received $3.4 million from Restoration PAC in 2023, according to FEC filings.
Frank Cannon, a longtime political strategist for the anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony (SBA) Pro-Life America, runs the American Principles Project. In March 2022, CMD exposed his strategy for improving Republicans’ chances to win big in the midterm elections, which he detailed at the Council for National Policy’s February 2022 meeting.
In 2023, Cannon’s PAC ran a series of ads attacking Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear (D) for his support of the rights of transgender people. But in November, Beshear won a second term nonetheless, beating challenger Daniel Cameron (R) by 5%.
Restoration PAC’s $1-million contribution to Women Speak Out PAC in October 2023 was the second largest it doled out in the last half of the year, but Women Speak Out did not disclose it in its monthly FEC filing for November.
In its latest FEC filing, Women Speak Out PAC disclosed raising a total of $2.5 million in 2023, while in its own two filings Restoration PAC disclosed giving the PAC a total of $3.5 million. In other words, the math just doesn’t add up.
Women Speak Out PAC is dedicating resources in “eight battleground states” to defeating Biden (who it decries as “the most aggressively pro-abortion president in our nation’s history”) and to electing “a pro-life majority to the Senate, and an expanded pro-life majority to the House.”
According to its field team tracker, activists from SBA Pro-Life America and Women Speak Out PAC have made 830,916 visits to date to voters in Arizona, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
Americas PAC’s website indicates that it targets Hispanic and Black communities with ads “promoting the GOP’s free market principles on suburban and medium sized market radio in purple states.”
Restoration PAC gave $175,598 to the Republican National Lawyers Association (RNLA) in the second half of 2023. RNLA is the largest membership organization in the U.S. for Republican lawyers and hosts election law training sessions at the state level, along with receptions for candidates for U.S. Senate and state attorneys general.
Restoration was listed as a platinum-level sponsor of RNLA’s 2023 National Election Law Seminar.
Moms for Liberty has gained prominence on the Right for appearing on the frontlines of the culture war in fighting against the factual teaching of racism, mask mandates, LGBTQ+ rights, and sex education in public schools.