Frank VanderSloot — the CEO of Melaleuca in Idaho Falls and seven-digit Mitt Romney campaign donor — is feeling a bit picked on these days. Were I in his shoes, I’d probably feel likewise.
In the past two months, VanderSloot has found himself the subject of IRS and Labor Department audits. This comes two months after a Barack Obama’s re-election campaign website assailed VanderSloot as “litigious, combative and a bitter foe of the gay rights movement.”
Asked about the audits by the Associated Press, VanderSloot had this to say: “I am not claiming there is a connection and I don’t know that there is one. But the fact that it comes right on the heels of being named on the president’s enemies list is curious to say the least.”
The IRS tlls the AP its audits are based solely on tax law, while Labor says its audits are usually random. So, as usual, it is far easier to suggest a conspiracy than to prove one. But “curious” is a fair enough description.
Make no mistake. I’ve been no fan of VanderSloot and his free-spending and heavy-handed brand of political activism. When he groused this spring about the backlash from the Obama campaign’s website, this longtime political power player sounded overly defensive and laughably naive. But there is a big difference between fair-game political criticism and the — yes, unprovable — possibility of administrative harassment.