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WHO THE HELL IS ULINE?
If you’ve received a box in the mail recently, you’ve likely touched ULINE. As North America's largest distributor of shipping, packaging and industrial supplies, ULINE is an omnipresent supplier in today’s shipping-fueled economy. ULINE was founded in 1980 by Elizabeth and Richard Uihlein—heirs to the Schlitz beer company fortune. ULINE has grown to offer close to 40,000 products and has more than 7,000 employees—seems like a true midwestern success story, right?
OK, SO WHY SHOULD I “REFUSE ULINE?”
The Uihleins have used their wealth to funnel millions of dollars into the most extreme right-wing politicians and movements in the United States.
The Uihleins are ranked by the donation-tracking site OpenSecrets.org as the fifth-largest donors in the United States to outside political spending organizations, having contributed a whopping $62.8 million to conservative groups in the 2020 election cycle.
- The founders of ULINE were the largest Trump donors in Wisconsin — and Mrs. Uihlein took a fundraising role with the Trump campaign.
- The Uihleins have funneled at least $27 million into “dark money” groups that funded the Republican law makers who baselessly voted to invalidate the 2020 election.
- The ULINE founders gave millions to the groups that stormed the US Capitol and organized the Jan 6 insurrection.
- The Ed Uihlein Family Foundation poured millions of dollars in 2020 into a sprawling number of groups connected to efforts to challenge Joe Biden’s victory and reimagine election law, as well as other right-wing extremist organizations, including ones designated as hate groups.
- The Uihleins donated over $20 million to get Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wis) into power, and in turn he personally ensured a tax break for “pass-through companies” like ULINE—netting $215 million in deductions in 2018 alone.
- ULINE received over $700k in government aid since the start of the pandemic — while the Uihleins poured over $1.1M to vaccine and election conspiracists in 2020.
- The Uihleins assail transgender rights and bankroll partisan newspapers that try to disguise as “local reporting.”
- ULINE ignored public health recommendations for COVID while accepting federal funds to supply PPE and industrial cleaning supplies.
- The Uihleins funded Roy Moore’s campaign in Alabama—even donating after he was accused of sexual misconduct with underage girls.
ISN’T THAT THEIR PRIVATE BUSINESS?
Nope. It goes beyond private ideology and donations—in each ULINE catalog Liz Uihlein brings her conservative politics directly to her customer base with a “letter from the president” where she broadcasts her right-wing political views openly to millions of customers.
SHOPPING ULINE IS SUPPORTING EXTREME RIGHT-WING POLITICS
Despite their politics, millions of small businesses, non-profits and artists still use ULINE completely unaware of what their dollars are supporting. This needs to end now: REFUSE ULINE.
WHAT ALTERNATIVES ARE OUT THERE?
While we can’t vet the political affiliations of every company below, rest assured that none are funneling as much dark money into far-right extremism as ULINE.