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by
Bryan Preston

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May 11, 2012 - 1:21 pm

This is an un-American disgrace to the office of the presidency.

Frank VanderSloot is the CEO of Melaleuca Inc. The 63-year-old has run that wellness-products company for 26 years out of tiny Idaho Falls, Idaho. Last August, Mr. VanderSloot gave $1 million to Restore Our Future, the Super PAC that supports Mitt Romney.

Three weeks ago, an Obama campaign website, “Keeping GOP Honest,” took the extraordinary step of publicly naming and assailing eight private citizens backing Mr. Romney. Titled “Behind the curtain: a brief history of Romney’s donors,” the post accused the eight of being “wealthy individuals with less-than-reputable records.” Mr. VanderSloot was one of the eight, smeared particularly as being “litigious, combative and a bitter foe of the gay rights movement.”

About a week after that post, a man named Michael Wolf contacted the Bonneville County Courthouse in Idaho Falls in search of court records regarding Mr. VanderSloot. Specifically, Mr. Wolf wanted all the documents dealing with Mr. VanderSloot’s divorces, as well as a case involving a dispute with a former Melaleuca employee.

Mr. Wolf sent a fax to the clerk’s office—which I have obtained—listing four cases he was after. He would later send a second fax, asking for three further court cases dealing with either Melaleuca or Mr. VanderSloot. Mr. Wolf listed only his name and a private cellphone number.

Some digging revealed that Mr. Wolf was, until a few months ago, a law clerk on the Democratic side of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. He’s found new work. The ID written out at the top of his faxes identified them as coming from “Glenn Simpson.” That’s the name of a former Wall Street Journal reporter who in 2009 founded a D.C. company that performs private investigative work.

The website for that company, Fusion GPS, describes itself as providing “strategic intelligence,” with expertise in areas like “politics.” That’s a polite way of saying “opposition research.”

Mr. Vandersloot appeared on Fox this afternoon, and is not cowed at all by the Democrats’ thug tactics.

This isn’t the first time Democrats have resorted to personal gutter tactics, far from it. During the 2010 gubernatorial campaign in Texas, Democrat operatives generated a scurrilous email and phone call campaign alleging that Gov. Rick Perry is secretly gay. Perry has been happily married to his high school sweetheart for more than 30 years. Democrats are pro-gay, you see, until they’re not. But going after a private citizen for donating to political causes may be a new low. The message it sends is that if you so much as donate to Republicans, Democrats will sic their worst operators on you to smear you. Their intent is to chill free speech and political donations.

One reason Obama picked Robin Roberts for that gay marriage interview: He knew she wouldn’t ask about anything like his political enemies list. Like most MSM stenographers, she would stick to the script.

Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.
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