By Illinois Review
Recent financial disclosures filed with the Illinois State Board of Elections revealed that Elizabeth Uihlein – wife of conservative mega donor billionaire Richard Uihlein made a $12,000 contribution to the embattled Illinois Republican Party in April – a far cry from the $52 million her husband spent last year in support of Darren Bailey’s campaign for governor.
Records revealed that Richard Uihlein donated $42 million to People Who Play By The Rules PAC – a pro-Bailey PAC, and another $10 million to Bailey’s campaign during the 2022 Illinois election cycle.
And just weeks before the election, the Illinois political consulting class, including the pro-Bailey PAC, were out promoting a single poll that showed Bailey within “striking” distance and only two points behind Pritzker during the final stretch of the campaign.
But on election night, the governor’s race was called at the exact moment the polls closed, with the Associated Press declaring Gov. Pritzker the winner at 7:00 pm CDT.
Bailey would lose to Gov. Pritzker by 12 points.
The results left Republicans stunned – including many supporters who were still en route to Bailey’s election night party in Springfield.
And sources confirmed with Illinois Review shortly after the election that members within Uihlein’s circle were left “mortified” by the election results after spending $52 million – including Elizabeth.
In February, Elizabeth Uihlein joined IL GOP leaders and endorsed the embattled chair of the Republican National Committee (RNC) Ronna Romney-McDaniel for re-election over the conservative grassroots candidate Harmeet Dhillon – who received an endorsement from her husband, Richard.
Ronna-McDaniel, the niece of Republican Sen. Mitt Romney, for years, went by Ronna Romney, until 2017, when President Trump asked her to drop her famous last name after her uncle Mitt grew critical of Trump during his presidency.
Romney-McDaniel was under intense pressure last year after a string of high profile midterm election losses, and the failure of the RNC to wage a substantive battle against widespread voter fraud in key battleground states across the country.
In the last week, the Illinois State Board of Elections website also revealed in the latest filings that the founder, president and treasurer of the pro-Bailey PAC – Naples, Florida-based Chicago radio show host Dan Proft (Starfish Consulting LLC) continues to pay himself a $25,000 a month consulting fee using the PACs leftover funds from Uihlein’s donations.
In April, Illinois Review reported that disclosures revealed that the PAC paid three political consultants $142,000, while spending just $3,700 to support conservative school board candidates during the April elections.
In addition to the $75,000 consulting fee that the PAC paid its founder, president and treasurer, disclosures also reveal that the PACs communications director (TMKS, LLC) was also paid a $25,000 consulting fee in two monthly installments.
In the last six months, the PAC has paid out $242,000 in consulting fees – $150,000 to the PACs chairman alone, for the benefit of three conservative school board candidates who were supported by a single $3,700 endorsement letter.
Giving the benefit of the doubt that this was an honest day’s work, and the billable consulting hours totaled in support of the $3,700 letter was eight hours, that’s $30,000 per hour in billable hours charged by the PAC.
The next election in Illinois is not scheduled until March 19, 2024.