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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Restoration PAC

Political leanings: Conservative

Spending target: Unknown

Restoration PAC was founded in January 2015 as the super PAC of Restoration Action, a social welfare organization offering “an aspirational conservative agenda and educational platform to help shape public policy aimed at restoring America’s greatness.”

The super PAC says that it “independently sponsors political activities that advocate for the election or defeat of candidates across the country on the basis of adherence to the Blueprint for the Restoration of America.” That agenda lists more than two dozen goals. The blueprint supports policies to “aggressively kill Islamic terrorists anywhere in the world,” “reduce non-security budgets 25% over four years (6.25% per year),” “ban government unions and eliminate the Department of Education,” and “reduce every federal tax by 25%.”

Doug Truax is the president of Restoration Action, and he heads the super PAC, too. Truax is a graduate of West Point and an Army veteran. In 2014, he ran in the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate seat for Illinois, but lost to state Sen. Jim Oberweis, who was defeated by Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin in the general election.

In the 2016 election cycle, Restoration PAC raised over $4 million and spent $2.2 million of that amount on independent expenditures in House and Senate races in three states. Its spending fell along strict party lines. The group put nearly $1.7 million into supporting Republicans and about $520,000 into opposing Democrats. Nearly all of its independent expenditures went to help Darryl Glenn, the Republican Senate nominee in Colorado, who lost to incumbent Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet.

The super PAC’s top donor in the 2016 cycle was Richard “Dick” Uihlein, the CEO of shipping and industrial supplies company Uline, who donated $3.7 million.

Based on Federal Election Commission data released on Aug. 31, the group has raised about $7.3 million for the 2018 midterm elections, with more than $5.6 million coming from Uihlein. It has spent over $5.5 million on ads and other forms of communication, and again that money has been used solely to back Republican candidates ($4.7 million) and target Democrats ($660,000).

In April, the super PAC announced a $1 million TV ad campaign supporting Senate candidate Kevin Nicholson in the Wisconsin GOP primary, which he lost on Aug. 14. The ad compared him to former President Ronald Reagan, who, like Nicholson, was a Democrat before becoming a Republican. It also has spent more than $600,000 on TV ads opposing Wisconsin Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin, who will face Republican nominee Leah Vukmir in November.