Matt Rosendale has made one thing abundantly clear in his campaign for the Senate: he’ll take money from just about anyone, especially if they represent an out-of-state interest. While the big dollar donations from the Club for Growth are hardly shocking, it is a bit surprising that Rosendale has happily taken money from a toxic Republican donor who has gone all-in his support for Roy Moore. Bloomberg Politics reports that Rosendale donor and Illinois shipping mogul Richard Uihlein has given $100,000 to the Proven Conservative PAC, which has been deeply involved in supporting Moore’s candidacy, with many of the donations coming after the charges were made against Moore.
Uihlein and his family are major conservative donors, giving $23.5 million to conservative causes in 2016 alone, but his support of Moore has made him anathema to some conservatives who don’t want to be seen supporting a man who preyed on teenage girls. From Bloomberg:
That money made Uihlein the group’s top donor and triggered calls from Democrats that other Republicans who have taken Uihlein’s money should return the funds because Moore has been accused of pursuing dates or sexual contact with teenage girls decades ago.
The GOP’s Washington leadership has worried about just this sort of tainting of 2018 GOP candidates, which prompted them to withdraw support from Moore days after the allegations surfaced.
Uihelen is also a max donor to Matt Rosendale. Given the former’s support for Roy Moore, one would think Rosendale would run as far as he could from the image of supporting an abusive man or being bought by a magnate who propped him up, but thus far, Rosendale has given no indication that he’ll do so. Rosendale was quick to attack Senator Tester for receiving money from an Al Franken PAC and jump to conclusions about Senator Franken’s guilt, but has show significantly more deference to a child abuser in Alabama. Is that deference due to his loyalty to Steve Bannon, Richard Uihlein, or Roy Moore himself?
And, of course, unlike Matt Rosendale, Senator Tester did the right thing and gave the donation to the Montana Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. Rosendale just kept his check.
In a normal political climate, a normal political candidate would distance himself as far as possible from the toxic cloud emanating from Alabama, but Matt Rosendale, perhaps mindful of the campaign debts he needs to retire or fearful of retribution from Steve Bannon and the wacko wing of the Republican Party, is gathering it in closer to himself, infecting all of us in the process.