Tonight’s guest on The Rachel Maddow Show for her segment ‘The Interview,’ was New York Magazine’s editor-at-large, Frank Rich who talked about his latest feature, Sugar Daddies: The old, white, rich men who are buying this election.
Rich commented on Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign co-finance chair and Idahoan, Frank VanderSloot. Vandersloot is one of several Romney ‘Sugar Daddies” Rich features in his piece that have donated a $1 million or more to Romney’s super PAC.
Rich said this about VanderSloot:
“Romney is surrounded by a couple of sugar daddies like Frank VanderSloot, who’s name is not known to the public really, who are attached to companies that sell weird , in my view, weird health remedies and do all sorts of strange, housewives selling at home and make money kind of schemes. They are all regulated by government agencies who presumably will be defanged and have employees or friends and cronies of these sugar daddies in them if there is a Romney presidency.”
Here is an excerpt from New York Magazine’s Sugar Daddies:
…there’s Frank VanderSloot, the Professor Marvel behind Melaleuca, an Idaho-based company that promises to help “moms be moms” and “earn a corporate income from home,” even if they don’t have the financial cushion of, say, Ann Romney. Though a promotional video on its website features women who claim to have earned as much as $500,000 selling goods like dietary supplements (which purport to remedy clogged arteries and arthritis), the average Melaleuca peddler makes just $87 per year.
An industry critic, Robert L. FitzPatrick, elucidated for Mother Jones how companies like Melaleuca and Nu Skin are perfect examples of the vulture-capitalist business model: They set “the average person upon his neighbor to get at his assets, savings, and investments.” Romney, meanwhile, has applauded VanderSloot for having “vision and sense of social responsibility” that are “second to none. … VanderSloot and the Kochs have a long history of trying to intimidate (often with costly legal actions) the publications or websites that report on them.”
Just in case you missed it, those reporters Rich is talking about (yours truly included) are featured in Glenn Greenwald’s Feb. 17 Salon.com piece Billionaire Romney donor uses threats to silence critics: Frank VanderSloot, Romney finance co-chair, suppresses scrutiny by threatening reporters and bloggers also covered on Maddow, or my piece on BoingBoing.net Don’t let Mitt Romney’s anti-gay billionaire backer whitewash his intimidation of critics.
The Rachel Maddow Show ‘The Interview’ with Frank Rich: