Big Political Donors Shy Away From Public Scrutiny : NPR
Several dozen wealthy donors have taken advantage of this post-Citizens United world, writing seven-figure checks to political superPACs.
Yet it seems there’s something wealthy donors weren’t counting on when they wrote those checks — attracting attention, including from the political opposition and the media.
“There’s been a ton of so-called electronic media journalists that have lodged all kinds of innuendo in my direction, accused me of all kinds of bad things,” says Frank VanderSloot, who wrote checks totaling $1 million to Restore Our Future, the superPAC supporting GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
The money came through his company, Melaleuca, which uses Amway-style marketing to sell cleaning products.
Any superPAC donor who gives more than $200 has to be reported to the Federal Election Commission, and that information is released to the public. That’s how journalists found out about VanderSloot’s donation and began looking into him.
That’s how President Obama’s campaign got VanderSloot’s name, too. On a website called Keeping GOP Honest, the Obama campaign posted a list of big donors to the pro-Romney superPAC, including VanderSloot.
VanderSloot told Fox News he was taken by surprise: “That really worried me at first, I’ll tell you, and my first anticipation was that, ‘Yeah, I’ve got a target strapped on my back.’ And sure enough, then the attacks started coming, and I really thought I’d made a mistake.”
- Mega-donors: Quit picking on us (politico.com)
- Businessman Faces Backlash After Appearing on Obama’s Enemies List (heritage.org)
- Fox News’ New Role: Fundraising for Mitt Romney (crooksandliars.com)