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Money Politics

Meet The Pyramid Scheme Billionaire Now Backing Marco Rubio

Marco Rubio is quickly becoming the GOP flavor of the week, and now he’s also attracting big-money supporters who are happy to bankroll his run for the 2016 Republican nomination.

The latest billionaire to join the Rubio team is a man named Frank VanderSloot. As the Washington Post reported, VanderSloot had been seeking a candidate he could toss wads of cash at:

“Frank VanderSloot, a top Republican donor and chief executive of an Idaho nutritional-supplement company, on Tuesday pledged his support to Marco Rubio’s campaign for president, giving the Florida senator another top financier in a quickly growing donor network.

“’We started out by saying we needed to answer these two questions: Who would be the best president? And number two, who can get elected?’” VanderSloot explained to The Washington Post. In the end, he said, ‘It ended up being the same person.’”

No doubt you are now asking, Who in the hell is Frank VanderSloot? And that’s where the story gets even more interesting.

VanderSloot is the founder and CEO of Melaleuca, a multilevel marketing company that sells nutritional supplements, cleaning supplies, and personal care products.

Melaleuca has had continual run-ins with state lawmakers for the way in which it does its business. The state of Michigan sent them a cease-and-desist order for violating the state’s anti-pyramid scheme laws. They ran into similar problems with Idaho regulators.

Additionally, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sent the company a warning letter about “false and misleading” claims being made in the marketing materials for two of its nutritional supplements.

And VanderSloot has some strange personal theories, too: In 1999 he underwrote an ad campaign opposing a public television documentary which explored how teachers dealt with the issue of gay pupils. VanderSloot remarked at the time:

“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.”

VanderSloot also paid for a series of ads that outed a reporter who exposed an abuse scandal in the Idaho Boy Scouts.

Now he’s Marco Rubio’s new sugar daddy. If we are indeed known by the company we keep, then Rubio has a lot of explaining to do.

This article was originally published by the same author at LiberalAmerica.org.go

By Andrew Bradford

Proud progressive journalist and political adviser living behind enemy lines in Red America.

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