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21 Jan, 2022 18:21

Billionaire accused of ‘hate & sedition’ faces boycott

A US billionaire’s business is facing boycotts after reports claim he wrote “big checks” to “challenge” Joe Biden’s victory
Billionaire accused of ‘hate & sedition’ faces boycott

Dick Uihlein is facing calls for a boycott of his multinational shipping supplies company Uline, after recent financial disclosures revealed he gave millions to right-wing groups seeking to challenge President Joe Biden’s 2020 victory against Donald Trump.

The donations were made through Uihlein’s nonprofit, the Ed Uihlein Family Foundation, according to documents first published by the watchdog the Center for Media and Democracy and later highlighted by the Daily Beast. 

Uihlein donated over $1 million to the Conservative Partnership Institute, an organization of which former chief of staff Mark Meadows is a senior partner. Its senior legal fellow and the chair of its Election Integrity Network is Trump campaign attorney Cleta Mitchell.

Other groups funded by the billionaire include well-known Republican causes such as the Federalist Society, Judicial Watch, and Turning Point USA. The Daily Beast notes that Federalist Society members include scholars and activists who helped “corrode public trust in election results” with their statements on the 2020 race, while Judicial Watch challenged the actual results. Former President Trump continues to insist the election was fraudulent, but has so far provided no official proof of his assertions. 

Worth in the region of $4 billion, Uihlein is one of the GOP’s top donors, along with his wife Elizabeth, and supports the right-leaning media, which the outlet says amplified uncertainty about the veracity of the election results in the wake of Biden’s victory. Platforms that received support included The Federalist, The American Conservative, and Sons of Liberty, which were gifted between $25,000 and $750,000 each. 

A donation of over $700,000 to the Center for Security Policy think tank was also highlighted. The Southern Poverty Law Center has deemed it “a conspiracy-oriented mouthpiece for the growing anti-Muslim movement.”

Uihlein’s grant-giving habits have made him a pariah among liberal activists, some of whom have taken to calling for a boycott of Uline, which employs around 7,000 people. 

The billionaire is funding “hate and sedition,” Kyle Herrig, the president of Accountable.US – a nonpartisan, progressive organization that exposes corruption and holds government officials and corporate special interests accountable – told the Daily Beast. 

Twitter users, meanwhile, fired up by the revelations of Uihlein’s support of organizations and outlets that called into question the election, have accused him of being a “fascist” and supporting a “coup.”