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Fri Feb 17, 2012, 07:25 PM

Frank VanderSloot, billionaire Romney donor, uses threats to silence critics

Source: Salon

Frank VanderSloot is an Idaho billionaire and the CEO of Melaleuca, Inc., a controversial billion-dollar-a-year company which peddles dietary supplements and cleaning products; back in 2004, Forbes, echoing complaints to government agencies, described the company as “a pyramid selling organization, built along the lines of Herbalife and Amway.” VanderSloot has long used his wealth to advance numerous right-wing political causes. Currently, he is the national finance co-chair of the Mitt Romney presidential campaign, and his company has become one of the largest donors ($1 million) to the ostensibly “independent” pro-Romney SuperPAC, Restore Our Future. Melaleuca’s get-rich pitches have in the past caused Michigan regulators to take action, resulting in the company’s entering into a voluntary agreement to “not engage in the marketing and promotion of an illegal pyramid”‘; it entered into a separate voluntary agreement with the Idaho attorney general’s office, which found that “certain independent marketing executives of Melaleuca” had violated Idaho law; and the Food and Drug Administration previously accused Melaleuca of deceiving consumers about some of its supplements.

But it is VanderSloot’s chronic bullying threats to bring patently frivolous lawsuits against his political critics — magazines, journalists, and bloggers — that makes him particularly pernicious and worthy of more attention. In the last month alone, VanderSloot, using threats of expensive defamation actions, has successfully forced Forbes, Mother Jones and at least one local gay blogger in Idaho to remove articles that critically focused on his political and business practices (Mother Jones subsequently re-posted the article with revisions a week after first removing it). He has been using this abusive tactic in Idaho for years: suppressing legitimate political speech by threatening or even commencing lawsuits against even the most obscure critics (he has even sued local bloggers for “copyright infringement” after they published a threatening letter sent by his lawyers). This tactic almost always succeeds in silencing its targets, because even journalists and their employers who have done nothing wrong are afraid of the potentially ruinous costs they will incur when sued by a litigious billionaire.

Read more: http://www.salon.com/2012/02/17/billionaire_romney_donor_uses_threats_to_silence_critics/
(Long: 3,779 words)

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Reply Frank VanderSloot, billionaire Romney donor, uses threats to silence critics (Original post)
Newsjock Feb 2012 OP
provis99 Feb 2012 #1
jberryhill Feb 2012 #2
JNelson6563 Feb 2012 #3
stockholmer Feb 2012 #6
Doctor_J Feb 2012 #4
ck4829 Feb 2012 #5

Response to provis99 (Reply #1)

Fri Feb 17, 2012, 11:16 PM

2. It's a common name

It means "from the ditch" or "sluice" which is the equivalent English word.

If you know anything about Holland, having a family history that involved being from around a drainage ditch, dam, dyke or canal is, like, the entire population.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Sat Feb 18, 2012, 08:42 AM

3. Wait...what's this? Mother Jones "caved"??

I am surprised I haven't seen MJ thoroughly derided here at DU by the purists brigade.

It's too bad someone like Soros doesn't step up, serve it up to VanderSloot and then say "bring it" in regard to a frivolous lawsuit. That would be fun!


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Response to JNelson6563 (Reply #3)

Sat Feb 18, 2012, 04:47 PM

6. Soros is too busy saying that there is not really that much diffrence between Rmoney and Obama


George Soros: Not "Much Difference" Between Romney And Obama


Billionaire investor George Soros explains why there wouldn't be much difference for Wall Street between President Obama and Mitt Romney. He also tells Chrystia Freeland why his billionaire constituents see him as a traitor to his class.

"If it's between Obama and Romney, there isn't all that much difference except for the crowd that they bring with them," George Soros told Reuters in Davos, Switzerland.

"So it won't be that great a difference and I think there won't be a great deal of enthusiasm on either side of the battleground. It will be more civilised than the previous elections have been," he also said.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Sat Feb 18, 2012, 11:22 AM

4. Those "frivolous law suits" the teabaggers are always complaining about

about 99% of them are filed by wingers like this criminal

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