News blog: Romney’s top financial backer: Nu Skin

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Two Provo companies donated $1 million each to Mitt Romney’s top Super PAC.  This would be normal, except that neither company appears to do any business whatsoever.

The money behind the companies, Eli Publishing and L8 LLC, is connected to Nu Skin, according to The Daily Beast.  Steve Lund, founder of Nu Skin, started the company Eli Publishing in 1997, and his son-in-law Jeremy Blickenstaff started F8.  The businesses share the same address.

On March 31, 2011, according to the Washington Post, both companies donated $1 million to Restore Out Future, the Super PAC supporting Romney’s presidential run.  According to the Post, Lund, who lives in Provo, has known Romney for years.  Lund’s largest political donation previously was $20,000 to the Republican National Committee.

A Supreme Court decision in 2010 allowed for the formation of Super PACs, which can raise unlimited amounts of funds to spend on a particular candidate.  As of February 15, 2012, 324 Super PACs have raised almost $1oo million and have spent half of that, according to opensecrets.org.  Restore Our Future has raised about $10 million more than any other Super PAC.

How does that influence the election?  Many find it unnerving to have a small number of wealthy individuals wielding such huge political power.  There are worries that business and politics may be becoming overly tied together.

For example, Bloomberg Businessweek reported that Newt Gingrich has used the term “Lean Six Sigma” 28 times in campaign appearances.  Lean Six Sigma is a business management concept from a Texas entrepreneur who coincidentally has spent $200,000 to support Gingrich’s candidacy.

Another donor, Paul Singer, has donated $1 million to Romney’s Super PAC.  According to the Associated Press, a hedge fund run by Singer has pushed for federal laws concerning the firm’s legal efforts to profit from the debt of Third World Nations.

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