Opinion: Idaho Press Fails To Ask Romney Tough Questions About Finance Co-chair

While the press reports coming from Mitt Romney’s visit to Idaho Falls on Thursday tout crowd turn out and his slams against President Obama, it’s hard to believe that not one reporter dared to ask the questions that have been in the national spotlight for more then two weeks now.

They were even laid out for them by the the National Journal‘s Chris Frates on Monday. “Did he, [Romney], know of VanderSloot’s reported pattern of threatening journalists critical of his interests? Does Romney agree with that response? And does Romney stand by VanderSloot?”

What we got, instead, was local TV anchors enjoying access and photo-ops, more rah rah Romney stories and a NBC News photo of a highly questionable statement that,”Mitt is bringing sexy back.”

Don’t get me wrong, I have no doubt that the fact that they had to open an over flow second gym to hold Romney’s supporters in a town that is predominantly LDS is big news, it is after all the stuff that makes Idaho’s GOP party proud to have joined the Super Tuesday hoopla, but I can’t help but wonder if journalists aren’t willing to ask real questions of the presidential candidates, especially when the story happening in their own back yards, are we really getting the full picture?

Then again, maybe the fact that ” Mitt is bringing sexy back” is all we really need to know.


MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Features Greenwald’s VanderSloot Story

Progressive talk superstar Rachel Maddow reported on Glenn Greenwald’s Frank VanderSloot story last night.

Jody May-Chang writes over at her site,”Rachel did a brilliant job of describing just how Melaleuca’s CEO, Frank VanderSloot, has used his power and wealth to silence his critics, like the bloggers at 43rd State Blues, The Idaho Agenda and recently my four year-old posts on my former blog PrideDEPOT.com.”

You can watch the segment below.

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, a HUGE thank you goes to Jody and to Glenn for making sure this story gets heard!

Vodpod videos no longer available.MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Features Greenwald Story, posted with vodpod

A Must Read! Glenn Greenwald Strikes Back!

To say that things behind the scenes at the Idaho Agenda have been interesting  the past couple of weeks would be an understatement. If you care about Idaho, free speech and the First Amendment in any way shape or form, you’ll want to read today’s explosive piece by Glenn Greenwald over at Salon….

“Anyone who is the national finance co-chair of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign deserves probing, substantial scrutiny. That’s equally true of someone who continues to use their vast wealth to influence the outcome of our elections and our most inflammatory political debates. And it’s certainly true of someone who has made it a regular practice of threatening journalists, bloggers and activists who shine light on his political and business practices.”

You can read the whole Orwellian tale HERE.

It’s going to make for interesting lunch conversation over the at the Boise Center on the Grove this afternoon that’s for sure.

If you’re unfamiliar with Glenn, he is a  Constitutional and civil rights expert, journalist and the author of  two books. He was recently the keynote  speaker at ACLU Idaho’s Annual Bill of Rights Celebration.

A HUGE thanks to Mr. Greenwald  and Idaho’s own independent journalist,  Jody May-Chang, for standing up for Idaho, the right of free speech and bloggers everywhere!

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.

GOP Presidential Candidate Round Up: The Looney Tunes Edition

To no one’s surprise, Rick Perry’s out. But  really, did you expect the guy who fashions his wardrobe after old Brokeback Mountain costumes to go straight to the White House? (Yes, every pun in that sentence was truly intended.)

Meanwhile, Newt’s family values appears to be more inline with Mitt Romeny’s Great Grandfather Miles then with the,”one man-one woman” stuff we typically hear from the camp on the right. Don’t worry though, Rush Limbaugh tells us, “everybody has an angry spouse.” Rush, who is on his fourth marriage, is sure to know a thing a to about angry ex-wives.

Newt’s sister, Candace Gingrich-Jones, who is a lesbian, is staying out of the whole mess by voting for Obama.

Speaking of Mittens,  now that Rick Santorum has been proclaimed the promised one by the likes of James Dobson and Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, American Family Association’s favorite hatemonger, Bryan Fischer, appears to backtracking on his stance on the LDS faith.

Readers of the Idaho Agenda will recall that leading up to the GOP primaries Fischer bent over backwards trying to convince his Mormon fan base that he was on their side.  Thanks to independent journalist Jody May-Chang ,we learned that Fischer was really just speaking out of both sides of his mouth.



The “don’t attack the Mormons”  fund-raising strategy no longer appears to be on the money changer’s tables at the AFA.  Fischer  has pretty much imploded his relationship with his “good LDS friends” by declaring that Mormonism is a false religion and now says that he’s concerned what,”a worshiper of a false god occupied the White House” would mean for  the future of America.

No real friend of the LGBTQIA community to begin with, we can probably expect Romney to move even more to the right  as he tries to “prove” himself to the fascist flock.  Dumb mistake, since the majority of Americans support some sort of LGBTQIA equality  but then nobody has exactly ever accused Mitts of being the smartest man in the room.

Finely, it’s a pretty safe bet that “Frothy Mix” Rick Santorum, who said this week that,“children of lesbian parents are worse off than children with a father in prison,” doesn’t read the Idaho Agenda, nor does he deal very much with reality.  If he did, he’d know that kids raised by lesbian couples actually do just as well or even better than kids raised by straight couples.

But then, Santorum also believes that there’s no difference between Mitt Romney and President Obama when it comes to LGBTQIA rights.

All this and it’s only January 19th…only ten more months to go.

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