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HomeIllinois NewsWhere’s Uihlein? Who’s Directing His Political Investments Away from Bailey?

Where’s Uihlein? Who’s Directing His Political Investments Away from Bailey?



Screen Shot 2022-08-22 at 3.27.55 PMCHICAGO – The question everyone interested in Illinois’ conservative politics is wondering is “Where’s Dick Uihlein?” and “Who’s the key influencer that is apparently steering Uihlein’s political investments away from Darren Bailey’s bid to oust JB Pritzker?” 

It’s a fair question. Conservative gubernatorial candidate Darren Bailey is fighting hard among the state’s grassroots to win support against Pritzker, who is nationally recognized as a Leftist COVID tyrant and a radical criminal comforter – exactly the kind of political figure Uihlein would be happy to defeat.

But nothing from Uihlein?

After all, Uihlein has been writing checks this summer to certain, specific House races, one specific Chamber leader, two statewide races (including Tom DeVore and Dan Brady), and a couple of countywide races. 


But all of those campaign donations added together come nowhere near the $15 Million Uihlein gave a month ago to radio talk show host Dan Proft, the Chairman and Treasurer of the People Who Play By the Rules PAC. People Who Play By the Rules is a political action committee that Proft runs from Naples Florida (or, at least that’s the PAC’s listed address). The $15 Million Uihlein gave Proft July 26 was preceded by $5 Million July 5th.

Still, with time running out, Darren Bailey’s campaign isn’t yet on the Uihlein donation list. It is noticeable that the Senate Republican Leader Dan McConchie got an interesting amount of nearly $150,000 from Uihlein in July while House Republican Leader Jim Durkin scored zilch from Uihlein.

Durkin and Proft have been feuding for years and Proft used Uihlein funds to defeat Durkin-backed candidates over the past ten years. At the same time, Uihlein wrote checks directly to the 66th and 53rd District House races.

So far, here’s the list the Illinois Board of Elections website shows that Uihlein saw worthy of his funding, up through last week … 

Screen Shot 2022-08-22 at 12.16.43 PM

Screen Shot 2022-08-22 at 12.18.51 PM

So where is Mr. Uihlein now? And why isn’t he donating directly to Darren Bailey? 



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  1. “Uihlein, the GOP mega-donor heir to the Schlitz brewing fortune and owner of the Uline shipping products company, gave more than $9 million to Bailey’s campaign between February and March, state campaign records show.” https://illinoisnewsroom.org/republican-candidate-for-governor-darren-bailey-struggles-to-unite-his-party/
    I voted for Darren in the primary and did all I could to get other people to do the same. That said, maybe Uihlein was not impressed with a campaign that didn’t have any money left over after spending almost nothing on grass roots organizing. Indeed, the most effective part of Bailey’s campaign was the constant mail and media ads from the Democrats and some Republicans that he was too conservative and too pro-Trump to win in the fall.
    It could be Uihlein is using Proft to help Bailey in the fall plus other candidates, especially the chance to win the Illinois Supreme Court for the first time since 1964, that have a better chance to win. Other than his strange love for Club for (Chinese) Growth, Uihlein has been the biggest donor to true conservative candidates and causes that I know of. Bailey would have never broken out of the pack in the primary without him. After my interaction with the Bailey campaign, I fully understand Uihlein’s frustration and his desire to see the money better spent elsewhere.

  2. His Team is just not getting it done. Lack of experience. I have known Darren for about 1 1/2 years. In the last few months I noticed some changes in actions. Since the Primary I have seen no Media ads on TV here in Central IL.On Bailey campaign. In the meantime Pritzker is all over him. I really think Bailey needs to use the Pritzker shutdowns against him. Many Many parents & youth Health care voters are stumped why he has not. They need to get it right in a hurry or IL gets Pritzker till 2026 & load of Executive Orders.

  3. It sounds like Uihlein feels Proft is more efficient with money than Bailey is. That may very well be true though. So what’s the problem people have with Uihlein again? Maybe they should fork over 20 million dollars. Then I might listen to their criticisms of Uihlein…
    Also, why should he give money to Durkin? I don’t care for Durkin and know many Republicans who feel the same way.

  4. I re-read Grant’s comment after he got a response and there is one part in the last paragraph I overlooked that is completely wrong.
    The notion that Bailey would not have won without Proft is pure poppycock. Bailey was leading in almost every poll. Bailey had huge support downstate and with conservative grassroots even in 2021 due to his spats with Pritzker over lockdowns. Bailey also got support from Trump (albeit near the end of the campaign). The point is Bailey was always the leader of the pack and the person for others to beat. He was not in the middle of the pack like Grant would mislead readers to believe. Bailey ended up finishing with ALMOST DOUBLE the votes as Irvin and Sullivan (the third and second place candidates) COMBINED. He could have done much worse and still won, so although Proft’s PAC did help Bailey a lot it was not what got Bailey over the hump or out of “the pack.” Bailey would have won without Proft or Trump helping.
    Grant’s assertion is revisionism. You should know better than to make up tall tales like that, Grant.

  5. Then why did Uihlein give Proft’s PAC money *after* the primary?
    Then why is Proft’s PAC still running ads attacking Democrats?
    You have not thought this through. You could’ve saved words and just said, “I don’t like Bailey or Proft.” That’s all anybody will get from your low effort post anyway.