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AlterNet: Billionaire Bigot Bankrolling Mitt Romney


Frank VanderSloot's business practices and anti-gay activism--as well as his history of bullying journalists and bloggers--have brought the Romney backer lots of attention.

-By Joan McCarter

February 19, 2012- In a column sure to rain lawsuit threats down upon him, Glenn Greenwald exposes many of the scandals surrounding Mitt Romney's national finance co-chair, Idahoan Frank VanderSloot. VanderSloot is a billionaire whose deep pockets have funded no small number of Idaho's political figures. As Greenwald details, his business practices have drawn plenty of unwanted attention, as has his involvement in numerous far-right causes, particularly his anti-gay activism, including running a billboard campaign against Idaho Public Television for running a documentary about teachers talking about lesbian and gay issues in age-appropriate ways. His wife, Belinda, donated $100,000 to California's Prop 8 campaign.

VanderSloot also has a storied history of bullying journalists and bloggers. He seems to have a staff person devoted entirely to googling him and forwarding uncomplimentary instances of him name to his lawyers, so they can send threatening letters and bully said journalists and bloggers to pull their stories. His rabid anti-gay politics combined with his propensity to bully in one particularly disturbing incident involving local media, the Boy Scouts, and the Mormon Church. The "small, independently-owned newspaper in Mormon-heavy Idaho Falls," The Post Register ran an investigative series uncovering the story of a local pedophile in the local Boy Scouts troop who had molested dozens of children. The paper sued to obtain sealed court records from a civil suit in the case, and "then detailed how a Mormon bishop knew of his pedophile history yet still recommended him as a Scout master, how he was protected by several Boy Scout lawyers who were aware of more abuse but did not tell the boys’ parents, and how top-level local and national leaders of the Mormon Church had also received warnings."

The newspaper then began uncovering the presence of several other scout-master pedophiles. As the Post Register‘s courageous Managing Editor, Dean Miller, detailed here, the backlash against the paper, its editors and reporters was severe.

FULL STORY HERE:

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