Eye On Boise

VanderSloot: 'I'm sure we'll be beat up on mercilessly'

Here's a link to my full story on the last-minute campaign attack launched over the weekend against Judge John Bradbury and in favor of Idaho Supreme Court Justice Roger Burdick, whom Bradbury is challenging. The entire $38,000 effort was funded by Melaleuca Inc., the Idaho Falls personal-care products firm headed by eastern Idaho conservative activist Frank VanderSloot. VanderSloot told Eye on Boise that he was "embarrassed" that the proper disclosure paperwork wasn't filed by two PACs that handled the effort. A major funder of numerous political campaigns, who four years ago helped defeat a sitting judge in his eastern Idaho district after he was unhappy with the judge's behavior in a case involving his firm, VanderSloot said, "We've taken a role over the last 10 years or so, but we've always done it in the open. ... I'm embarrassed I gave my money to someplace that hadn't done the paperwork right."

VanderSloot said so far this calendar year, he and his wife, Belinda, have made $70,800 in political contributions, including $60,800 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee on May 17. Meanwhile, through Melaleuca, he's donated $54,750 to various Idaho campaigns and PACs, plus another $29,500 to the Committee to Elect Meg Whitman, a Republican candidate for governor of California. VanderSloot said he's done much of his campaign spending from his company, rather than personally, because of limits on campaign contributions from individuals to candidates, and because he believes businesses and corporations have a right to participate in the political sphere. "Now it's not popular to do, and I'm sure we'll be beat up on mercilessly," VanderSloot said. "That doesn't bother me. ... I think it's incumbent upon us to do things legally and ethically and honestly, and let the chips fall where they will."




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