Idaho Businessman Faces Two Federal Audits for Backing Romney

Idaho Businessman Faces Two Federal Audits for Backing Romney

Frank VanderSloot, an Idaho businessman, donated $1 million to a pro-Mitt Romney Super PAC, and he promptly found himself on a list on an Obama campaign website in which he was described as a wealthy individual with a “less-than-reputable” record.

That was in April. Now, VanderSloot is the focus of audits from the I.R.S. and the Labor Department.

VanderSloot told on Tuesday that it could just be a coincidence, but the timing of the audits was peculiar because he received the audit notice from the I.R.S. last month and, two weeks later, got another from the Labor Department that stated foreign employees working on his Idaho cattle ranch would be examined. 

“It seems coincidental, but who knows,” VanderSloot told Tuesday. “The problem is the president made the list, and 61 days later I get the first letter. One has to ask: Is the fact I’m being shot at the result of having a target on my back? … Was the list made with that intent?”

After VanderSloot’s name appeared on an Obama campaign website, VanderSloot spoke out and accused the campaign of targeting a private citizen. He has also since been targeted by liberal bloggers and opposition researchers who have examined things such as his divorce records. 

VanderSloot said he has complied with both audits and is “not worried.” In fact, VanderSloot said he is “not going to stay away” because “this has given me even more resolve that we need a new president.”

But while VanderSloot will not cower, the Obama campaign knows that splashing VanderSloot’s name on a campaign website and maligning him will discourage other potential Republican donors.