PAC report: Big conservative GOP donor again lavishes cash on FL Gov. DeSantis

Wikimedia Commons photo

A $200,000 donation from Illinois packing-material magnate Richard Uihlein to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ political action committee seems a big deal – until you compare it to the $700,000 Uihlein gave the PAC during the 2018 gubernatorial campaign.

The latest gift, made on Oct. 18, was the largest received by the Friends of Ron DeSantis thus far this month, according to records posted on the committee’s website. The PAC had collected $546,125 as of that date, a large proportion of that money coming from optometrists, eye centers, and optometric associations.

Final monthly reports are due on the 10th of each month.

Last year, Uihlein contributed $500,000 on Feb. 12 and $200,000 on Oct. 17, as the race between President Trump-backed conservative Republican DeSantis and Democratic Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum neared its end.

A Washington Post profile published in April 2018 describes Uihlein as proprietor of Uline, a massive producer of shipping, industrial, and packing materials.

In the past, the Post reported, Uihlein has contributed on behalf of conservatives including Roy Moore, the former Alabama chief justice who ran for U.S. Senate amid accusations he made unwanted advances on teenaged girls.

Uihlein gave to Chris McDaniel, who argued to preserve use of the Confederate symbol in the state flag during his unsuccessful GOP primary campaign against incumbent Thad Cochran.

Federal elections records show that Elizabeth Uihline, Richard’s wife, gave $500,000 to the GOP 2016 Cleveland convention host committee.

According to a recent ProPublica report, Richard Uihlein gave more than $38 million to conservative candidates and committees during the 2018 election cycle, and his wife gave $1.5 million. He was the second-largest GOP donor after Sheldon Adelson, the report says, and tended to favor limits on legal and undocumented immigration alike.