By Bryan Smith | Idaho Freedom Foundation Board Member
Recently, Frank VanderSloot wrote an opinion piece taking aim at the Idaho Freedom Foundation. Frank, who’s been referred to as “Idaho’s multilevel marketing baron,” said: “I consider myself an avid conservative. I believe that conservative solutions have proved to be far more successful than the solutions usually touted by the ‘liberal left.’”
This has become typical of Frank who often prefaces statements critical of conservatives with, “I’m a conservative.” The problem for Frank is his actions speak louder than his empty words. So, what does Frank do?
Frank endorses Democrats. Don’t get me wrong — I’ve got some Democratic friends. I like them, and they like me. Yet, we don’t like each other’s policies. For me, no real conservative endorses Democrats because their policies run counter to conservative solutions — you know, the ones Frank claims have proved far more successful than those of the “liberal left.” Yet Frank has a long history of endorsing Democrats.
In 1994 Frank endorsed Democrat Larry EchoHawk for governor. In 2006 Frank endorsed Democrat Jackie Groves Twilegar for controller. Most recently, in 2018, Frank endorsed Democrat Cindy Wilson for state school superintendent. Cindy Wilson touted her membership in the teacher’s union, the Idaho Education Association, a state affiliate of the extremely liberal National Education Association. The NEA vigorously opposes educational choice, openly supports the “fundamental right to abortion” and aggressively promotes special rights for transgendered students.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking Frank’s left-leaning endorsements and support are some kind of historical mistake. Nope. In 2009 Frank contributed to the campaign of Democrat Evan Bayh, a senator from Indiana. Evan was pro-choice, and he supported same-sex marriage and Obamacare. But the self-described “avid conservative” outdid himself when in 2008 Frank L. VanderSloot contributed to the presidential campaign of Barrack Hussein Obama. So much for Frank’s claiming to be an “avid conservative.” Frank can say whatever he wants, but his endorsing and supporting Democrats undermines his claim and all credibility.
Frank also repeatedly has endorsed and supported self-proclaimed conservative Mitt Romney. Nobody views Mitt as a conservative except himself, most often when he’s running for office. Mitt is the guy who joined Democrats and voted to convict his fellow Republican, President Donald J. Trump, of high crimes and misdemeanors. In fact, Mitt is the only Republican to join with Democrats and vote to impeach President Trump. Yet Mitt has had Frank’s unwavering support for years.
Frank, the self-described “avid conservative,” was the inventor and cheerleader for the liberal Idaho Patient Act. What, you don’t believe that the Idaho Patient Act is a piece of liberal legislation? Consider the evidence. In reference to the Idaho Patient Act, the Idaho Statesman published an article entitled, “How to get a ‘liberal’ bill passed in the Idaho Legislature: Ask VanderSloot for help.” This is actually quite a statement from the Idaho Statesman, a liberal newspaper expertly qualified at recognizing all things liberal.
This article points out the obvious that if any Democratic legislator had brought this bill, Republicans would have given it a fast death. But because billionaire and sometimes Republican donor Frank supported the legislation, these same Republicans couldn’t have been more accommodating. The Statesman article closes with these words: “So the Democrats now have a clear new political strategy. Just stay close to VanderSloot.” This is exactly what happened when every single Democrat in the Idaho House and Senate had their dreams come true and voted for Frank’s bill while 21 House Republicans voted against it. With a friend like Frank, Democrats don’t need to control the Idaho Legislature to get what they want.
The bottom line is the Idaho Freedom Foundation is just too conservative for someone like Frank who supports Democrats and is not what he pretends to be.