Greenwald on Vandersloot

I hate rich people who use their wealth to try and silence critics. In the UK, there are so-called “super-injunctions” which stop the media from printing stories and also stop anyone from revealing that the injunction was taken out! And of course, all over the place there is the threat of libel suits, which usually bankrupt the poorer party long before the case actually gets heard. One rule for the rich, another for the poor. I know, that’s how it’s always been… but it still pisses me off, and that is justification enough for me to rant about it on here.

Anyway, this Vandersloot is a right dodgy one who needs an eye kept on – after all, he’s bankrolling Republican nut Mitt Romney’s attempt to become the next president of the USA. If Romney wins, he’s gonna owe Vandersloot a hell of a lot – and when the most powerful person on earth owes you favours, that doesn’t bode too well for those who’ve exposed his evil deeds in the past.

I’m a Brit, and I don’t know much about Vandersloot. But Salon writer Glenn Greenwald does – so I urge you to take a look at what he’s written about the puke. My unfortunately very cursory look into Vandersloot makes it look like he’s into running pyramid schemes, he sells “cure-all” quack medicine products and diet supplements, and, the one thing that really enrages me: he uses intimidation to silence his critics. As Greenwald says in the linked article:

In the last month alone, VanderSloot, using threats of expensive defamation actions, has successfully forced Forbes, Mother Jones and at least one local gay blogger in Idaho to remove articles that critically focused on his political and business practices (Mother Jones subsequently re-posted the article with revisions a week after first removing it). He has been using this abusive tactic in Idaho for years: suppressing legitimate political speech by threatening or even commencing lawsuits against even the most obscure critics (he has even sued local bloggers for “copyright infringement” after they published a threatening letter sent by his lawyers). This tactic almost always succeeds in silencing its targets, because even journalists and their employers who have done nothing wrong are afraid of the potentially ruinous costs they will incur when sued by a litigious billionaire.

Numerous journalists and bloggers in Idaho — who want to write critically about VanderSloot’s vast funding of right-wing political causes — are petrified even to mention his name for fear of these threats. As his work on the Romney campaign brings him national notoriety, he is now aiming these tactics beyond Idaho. To allow this scheme to continue — whereby billionaires can use their bottomless wealth to intimidate ordinary citizens and media outlets out of writing about them — is to permit the wealthiest in America to thuggishly shield themselves from legitimate criticism and scrutiny.

Please please please, check out this Vandersloot. And if you can vote in US elections, do not vote for anyone who might be a Vandersloot glove puppet. It’s already been established he’s got his hand up Romney’s ass… who knows where else his wandering mitts might have been?

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