Idaho Dispatch

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Op-Ed: The King of King Makers

By • July 8, 2022

Immediately after the May primary, Melaleuca donated $2,000 to the Idaho Democrats’ legislative campaign fund. That, of course, is CEO Frank Vandersloot’s right. And he’ll probably chalk it up as just a mistake, or the result of a lost bet, which is how he explained his donation to Barack Obama some years ago.

But I point this out because Vandersloot, who is known to also give money to the most leftist Idaho Democrats like Illana Rubel($3,000), Brooke Greene,($3,000),  and Michelle Stennett ($2,000) and four years ago supported the Democrats’ choice for superintendent of public instruction, Cindy Wilson ($10,000), is the one who has quietly been in control of the state Republican Party for the last two years, all while funneling $295,200 to Democrats and leftist Republicans and affiliated political action committees in Idaho.

It was Vandersloot who helped get Tom Luna elected chairman of the state Republican Party in 2020. And when it looked like Vandersloot’s nemesis, Bryan Smith, was on his way to winning a seat in Congress, Luna with Vandersloot’s lawyers initiated a scorched earth bogus lawsuit, Attorneys & funding by Vandersloot, aimed at smearing the Bonneville County Republican Central Committee in order to get at Smith. This lawsuit started an unprecedented and very public intraparty war, much to the delight of the legacy news media and Idaho Democrats. It is clear, from Luna’s own comments during a recent executive committee meeting of the Idaho Republican Party, that Luna and Frank acted alone their decision to target Bonneville County, having received neither the input nor consent of any party elected leaders.

Vandersloot then used East Idaho News, the news outlet he founded and continues to control, falsely accusing Smith of directing illegal activities.

Now it appears that Vandersloot would like to get Luna reelected as state GOP party chairman when Republican delegates gather in July. It’s obvious why. Vandersloot would like nothing more than to continue to have, at his disposal, a party chairman who will do his bidding. Vandersloot will do anything to protect his investment.

The question for Republican Party delegates is whether Vandersloot should continue to play puppet master for the state GOP. It’s fair to say that Vandersloot has also supported the party financially, but he’s done so because he realizes that by passing out big checks, he’ll secure the party chairman’s loyalty, and that loyalty can be weaponized whenever Vandersloot so chooses, as was the case in the Republican Primary.

This gives Vandersloot a voice louder than that of the GOP delegates who elected Luna chairman.

This orchestration and targeting of a single county GOP central committee is made all the more obvious by the fact that other county GOP central committees were basically engaged in the same activities as the Bonneville County Republican Central Committee. They endorsed or gave money or other support to Republican Primary candidates and were left alone. Only Bonneville County was targeted, and that’s because it suited Vandersloot’s political interests.

Luna is again running for state party chairman. I’m deeply concerned that Luna allowed Vandersloot to manipulate him, to publicly malign members of his own party, for Vandersloot’s own political objectives.

Vandersloot really has no loyalty to the state Republican Party or its conservative values, as evidenced by his contributions to Democrat candidates, causes and leftist Republicans. That’s what I hope state party convention delegates think about as they cast their votes for the next Republican party chairman.

This Op-Ed was submitted by Doyle Beck. Note: Op-Eds do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of those at the Idaho Dispatch.


Tags: Brooke Greene, Democrat Party, Doyle Beck, Frank Vandersloot, Illana Rubel, Melaleuca, Michelle Stennett, Republican Party

14 thoughts on “Op-Ed: The King of King Makers

    1. The Republicans are the other Democrat party. We are being played as the fools we are by the Democrats and the Republicans.

      1. Dorothy Moon is a true conservative Republican. Check out her voting records on the Idaho Freedom Foundation website.

  1. The Idaho GOP is the biggest fraud ever perpetrated on the people of Idaho. Time to torch it.

  2. This is how evil Frank Vandersloot, Owner of Melaleuca, is. He funded both of the liberal democratic representatives in my district. He gave $3,000 to Illana Rubel and $3,000 to Brooke Greene. These are both disgusting Idaho state representatives. They are the AOC and Nancy Pelosi of Idaho!! They are despicable. I’ve sent them many correspondences and they never bother to reply. Even when i send them certified mail.Vandersloot is posing as a Republican but he is a dirty scheister RHINO!!

  3. Idaho GOP has conservative values? HAHAHAHAHAHA

    They do not even acknowledge the platform any longer.

  4. I receive regular correspondence from the Idaho GOP to “help” with their efforts. I usually trash their requests (and those from the National GOP) because they fail in most ways to clean up their vetting system and make sure that they get rid of guys like Vandersloot who do things such as described in this Op Ed. The GOP is filled with these kinds of RINO’s – that’s been a proven fact in voting records, their support of the liberal agenda, and their unwillingness to stand against liberal policies. This Op Ed says it very well.

  5. We must start a new patriot party made up of strong conservatives with allegiance to the Constitution! We need a new party that initiates strong vetting processes that vet incoming candidates who vow a strong allegiance to the constitution and conservative values. Enough of these RINOS!

  6. Starting a new party won’t help anyone but the Dems! Wonder why he didn’t support the melissa wintrow? Wikipedia has his information. Incorrectly states what a great guy he is supporting Republicans.

    No info on the Democrats he props up.

  7. I appreciate this article about Frank Vandersloot. I had no idea about any of this and thought of him as a respectable person. Even though it’s very disappointing, I’m glad to know the truth. He obviously has way too much money and power and like many others is now abusing it.

  8. I have to agree with Bonnie. Clean up the RINO riddled GOP and fix the problems. The system worked until the GOP started giving up and settling for something less. Now with wide spread corruption and so many weak conservative politicians it will be a LONG, DIFFICULT job. Clean your own house before you move to get away from the dirt.

  9. Oh, one more thing. ANYONE supporting LUNA as a member of any government position is in for a very rude surprise. I have personally had dealings with him (when OTTER was Governor) on education issues when he held that job and he isn’t anything close to what is needed the conservatives GOP, and since he is being supported by Vandersloot that insures that he won’t be what is needed.

  10. The RINO incursion began a long time ago. Their #1 job is blocking Freedom Republicans from passing policy and/or getting elected. They hold ground for the Dems, until the demographics alter the landscape, like in Colorado.

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