Are Your Art Shipments Funding the Far Right? Top Shipping Supplier Uline’s Founders Gave Millions to Extremists, Including Ones From Jan. 6

Richard Uihlein, founder of Uline, donated millions to far-right activist groups, think tanks, and media outlets in 2020.  

Close-up of logo for shipping and logistics supply company Uline. Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images.
Close-up of logo for shipping and logistics supply company Uline. Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images.

The founder of the art world’s go-to shipping supply company has been revealed as a major behind-the-scenes funder of numerous extremist groups, including some that have been implicated in the January 6 riots at the U.S. capitol, recently released tax documents show.

Richard “Dick” Uihlein, founder of Uline and one of the country’s top Republican donors, used his family foundation to direct millions to various far-right organizations in 2020, according to the tax filings, which were published by the Center for Media and Democracy,

Among these were the Tea Party Patriots, a right-wing activist group responsible for organizing January 6 rallies (to which it gave $800,000); the Center for Security Policy, an anti-Muslim think tank ($750,000); and the FDRLST, a conservative media outlet that promoted misinformation about the November 2020 election ($750,000). 

The list goes on. Uihlein also gave $25,000 to Judicial Watch, a conspiracy-oriented organization that contested the election results; $30,000 to Turning Point USA, a far-right youth group that helped transport “Big Lie” believers to the January 6 rallies; and $50,000 to the Texas Public Policy Forum, another conservative lobbyist group and brain trust, the Daily Beast points out. 

The Uihlein family, from left: Brian, VP of merchandising; Liz, president;
Freddy, corporate planner; Steve, vice president; Dick, CEO; Duke, vice president. Image courtesy of ULINE.

Meanwhile, between January and May 2020, the shipping mogul’s foundation donated a staggering $1.25 million to the Conservative Partnership Institute, a think tank with strong ties to former Trump administrators, including the former chief of staff Mark Meadows. 

“While today’s Washington is designed to defeat conservatives, CPI is designed to build them up. CPI trains, equips, and brings together the movement’s best leaders—and we do it right here, where and when conservative heroes need us,” the organization’s mission statement reads.

An heir to one of the founders of Schlitz beer, Uihlein, along with his wife Elizabeth, are worth an estimated $4 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. A revealing New York Times exposé published in 2018 called the Uihleins “the most powerful conservative couple you’ve never heard of,” comparing their sway in the Republican Party to that of major donors like the Koch brothers, Sheldon Adelson, and Robert Mercer.


Follow Artnet News on Facebook:


Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.

Share