Last year Frank VanderSloot made a sizable donation to a super PAC supporting Mitt Romney. He signed up as a national co-chairman on Romney’s finance committee. And then the Idaho businessman got hit by one of the most ruthless political attacks not seen since the Nixon era.
VanderSloot’s story was a precursor to the IRS scandal now making front-page headlines. As lawmakers and the American people seek answers about the government’s overreach, it’s also worth asking the question, Who ordered the probe on VanderSloot?
The intimidation began in February 2012 when VanderSloot was the subject of hit pieces by left-wing Mother Jones and Salon’s Glenn Greenwald. Both stories surprised VanderSloot for their harsh and negative portrayal of Melaleuca, the company he has overseen for more than 25 years.
The attacks escalated on April 20, 2012, when President Obama’s campaign named VanderSloot to the first presidential “enemies list” since the days of Richard Nixon. The campaign website KeepingGOPHonest.com castigated eight Romney donors as having “less-than-reputable records. Quite a few have been on the wrong side of the law, others have made profits at the expense of so many Americans.”
The eight private citizens were singled out for their donations to Romney. They committed no crimes, sought no attention, and yet they became the subject of Obama’s scorn.
Two months later, on June 21, 2012, the Internal Revenue Service notified VanderSloot that he and his wife would face an tax audit. Then, two weeks later, the Labor Department informed VanderSloot it was auditing workers employed at his cattle ranch.
VanderSloot told the Daily Caller yesterday he complied with all of the government’s audits. “Everything is done. No penalties. No fines,” he said.
There are still many unanswered questions, however. As VanderSloot told the Daily Caller, he wasn’t the only political adversary of Obama to face a backlash. Who initiated the IRS and Labor Department investigations? And were they connected to the coordinated attacks of the Obama campaign?