Romney’s Idaho: Big Money From Not-So-Gay Friendly Melaleuca Company

On the same day that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was glittered bombed by a pair of gay civil rights activist during campaign stop in Eagan, Minnesota, we learned that Idaho Falls based Melaleuca Inc. has donated a million dollars to a Romney aligned Super PAC, “Restore Our Future.”

According to The Idaho Statesman’s Dan Popkey, “The company founded by Idaho Falls billionaire Frank VanderSloot gave Restore Our Future the money in four $250,000 chunks, from Melaleuca Inc. and affiliates exporting to Asia, Japan and Southeast Asia between July and December.”

Romney, who has pledged to propose a constitutional amendment banning same gender marriages as president, has flip-flopped on the gay rights issue more times than flipper himself.

Not so much with billionaire Frank VanderSloot, who has a pretty solid anti-gay history in Idaho.

In 1999, VanderSloot spearheaded a billboard campaign against Idaho Public Television for airing a documentary called “It’s Elementary.” The program is described as “A window into what really happens when teachers address lesbian and gay issues with their students in age-appropriate ways.”

VanderSloot displayed a shocking sense of homophobia by declaring the program unsafe, “I’m really concerned that if this isn’t stopped, a lot of little kids will watch this program and create questions they’ve never had, raise curiosities that they shouldn’t have at those ages, little lives are going to be damaged permanently because of the recklessness of airing this program.”

He also used his June 5th,2005 community page news ad in the Post-Register to attack gay Post Register reporter, Peter Zuckerman.  Not only to knock him for his sexuality but for his award-winning reporting on the Eastern Idaho Boy Scout molestation cover-up as well.

Not surprisingly the VanderSloots seem to share Romney’s new-found lack of support for marriage equality. VanderSloot’s wife, Belinda, donated $100,000 to support Proposition 8 on October 28, 2008.

Popkey points out,”VanderSloot is a national finance co-chairman for Romney and has been a backer of mostly Republican causes and candidates. He was a key supporter of the 2011 “Students Come First” laws authored by Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna. He has held Romney fund-raisers at his Idaho Falls ranch in both the 2008 and 2012 campaigns.”

As for the glitter bombing, EaganPatch reports that, “20-year-old Sam Richards was the second of two protesters to hit Romney with a “glitter bomb”—a symbolic gesture employed by LGBT activists, who throw a handful of glitter thrown at a politician or public figure. Similar tactics have been used against other notable conservative politicians including Newt Gingrich.”

“Fellow protester Nick Espinosa dumped glitter on Romney at the beginning of the speech and was hauled out by security,” reports the website.

“We feel this a fun way to draw attention to an issue that Mitt has been avoiding, They are using hate to gain political support,” says Richards.

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