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ICYMI: GOP Megadonors Spend Big To Reelect Ron Johnson After He Saved Them $43 Million in Taxes

Apr 20, 2022

ICYMI: GOP Megadonors Spend Big To Reelect Ron Johnson After He Saved Them $43 Million in Taxes

“According to Federal Election Commission filings, in the first quarter of 2022, Elizabeth Uihlein, the president of Uline, donated $266,300 to Ron Johnson Victory…”

MADISON, Wis. – A new report details how after Ron Johnson secured massive tax breaks for two of his biggest donors, they have already rewarded him with over a quarter million dollars in donations for his 2022 re-election campaign. 

The American Independent: GOP megadonors spend big to reelect Ron Johnson after he saved them $43 million in taxes

Key Points:

  • Richard and Elizabeth Uihlein just gave nearly $280,000 to the Ron Johnson Victory joint fundraising committee.
  • In 2017, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) helped pass then-President Donald Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and insisted that it include provisions that benefited so-called “pass-through” entities, companies that pay taxes through the personal filings of their owners. Among those who benefited from the provisions were billionaires Richard and Elizabeth Uihlein, owners of the Uline shipping supply company, generous donors to Republicans and right-wing causes.
  • The Uihleins are spending big to help Johnson get reelected. According to Federal Election Commission filings, in the first quarter of 2022, Elizabeth Uihlein, the president of Uline, donated $266,300 to Ron Johnson Victory, a joint fundraising committee benefiting Johnson and other Republican Senate candidates. Her husband Richard, the Uline CEO, kicked in another $10,800. The $277,100 will be split between Johnson’s reelection campaign committee, his Strategy leadership PAC, and the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
  • In 2017, the Republican-controlled Congress passed Trump’s tax cut plan — which slashed tax rates for corporations and the wealthy while actually raising them for 10 million families — without a single Democratic vote.ProPublica reported in August 2021 that in the weeks before the vote, Johnson threatened to tank the legislation if the proposed tax cuts were not expanded to include more savings for “pass through” companies, whose business income is taxed as personal income of the owners. Desperate to get the bill through, Trump and the GOP leadership acceded to his demand. ProPublica reported that confidential tax records it had obtained showed “Johnson’s last-minute maneuver benefited two families more than almost any others in the country — both worth billions and both among the senator’s biggest donors.”
  • One of those was the Hendricks family, owner of the construction materials company ABC Supply. The Uihleins were the other. The Uihleins saved $43,534,878 in 2018 alone due to the new tax deductions. Overall, the news outlet found, the top 1% of American earners saved $24.8 billion in 2018 from Johnson’s pass-through tax cuts; the other 99% saved just $18 billion total.
  • ProPublica also noted that in 2016 the Uihleins had given $8 million to outside political groups that helped give Johnson a narrow reelection victory over former Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold.
  • ABC affiliate WKOW in Madison, Wisconsin, reported on Monday that Johnson had admitted that he personally benefited from the pass-through tax cuts and that it had been beneficial for his top donors.
  • Johnson, who has low approval ratings and faces a tough reelection campaign in November, said in October 2021 that he believes the top 1% of Americans already pay “pretty close to a fair share” in taxes — even though many of the wealthiest Americans pay at a lower tax rate than do middle-income families

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