In an 8-minute commentary Monday night, Maddow linked VanderSloot, founder of Idaho Falls-based Melaleuca Inc., to the copper barons of 19th-century Montana.
"We are all still living in a billionaires' world," said Maddow, who blasts VanderSloot for his past entries into politics and his $1 million contribution to the Super PAC supporting Mitt Romney. She also critiques the wealthy men backing Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul and Rick Santorum. And she renews her attacks on the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision that freed the wealthy to make unlimited contributions to Super PACs.
"Now in this post-Citizens United world we are living in, these billionaires, who, frankly, have never been wanting for influence in the country in the first place -- now in this post-Citizens United world, they are the ones who we've also decided to hand our elections over to. Because they need that, too. Ta da."
Last week, Glenn Greenwald of Salon.com, said VanderSloot employed "thuggish" legal tactics to silence journalists. Greenwald recently keynoted an ACLU of Idaho banquet and met with Boise blogger Jody May-Chang, who also is mentioned by Maddow.
I've asked VanderSloot for comment and hope to update later today.