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              FILE - In this July 11, 2008 file photo, Frank VanderSloot, who owns Melaleuca, Inc., a healthcare products company, is seen in Idaho Falls, Idaho. As Congress prepares to take on illegal immigration, an expanding network of Republican fundraisers is quietly, but aggressively, pressing for a pathway to legal status for millions of immigrants living in the United States illegally. Business leaders and major donors who raised tens of millions of dollars in the last election are meeting privately with Republican lawmakers _ and other top GOP fundraisers _ who may be reluctant to support what critics call “amnesty” for immigrants who broke the law. At the same time, a coalition of pro-reform fundraisers is funneling donations to a new crop of outside groups designed to protect like-minded congressional Republicans fearing backlash on a political issue that could alienate the GOP’s core conservative supporters.  (AP Photo/John Miller, File)

FLASHBACK: Romney donor vilified by Obama campaign, then subjected to 2 audits

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Jamie Weinstein
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      Jamie Weinstein

      Jamie Weinstein is Senior Editor of The Daily Caller. His work has appeared in The Weekly Standard, the New York Daily News and The Washington Examiner, among many other publications. He also worked as the Collegiate Network Journalism Fellow at Roll Call Newspaper and is the winner of the 2011 "Funniest Celebrity in Washington" contest. A regular on Fox News and other cable news outlets, Weinstein received a master’s degree in the history of international relations from the London School of Economics in 2009 and a bachelor's degree in history and government from Cornell University in 2006. He is the author of the political satire, "The Lizard King: The Shocking Inside Account of Obama's True Intergalactic Ambitions by an Anonymous White House Staffer."

Just months after being slimed by President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign, Mitt Romney supporter and businessman Frank VanderSloot was informed that he was going to be audited not only by the Internal Revenue Service, but by the Labor Department as well.

VanderSloot’s saga was told by columnist Kimberley Strassel in the Wall Street Journal last July.

In April 2012, VanderSloot, who served as the national co-chair of Mitt Romney’s presidential finance committee, was one of eight Romney backers to be defamed as ”wealthy individuals with less-than-reputable records” in a post on the Obama campaign’s website. The post, entitled “Behind the curtain: a brief history of Romney’s donors,” singled out VanderSloot for being a ”litigious, combative and a bitter foe of the gay rights movement.”

Two months later, the IRS informed VanderSloot he and his wife were going to be audited, Strassel reported. Two weeks after that, VanderSloot was notified by the Labor Department that it was going to “audit workers he employs on his Idaho-based cattle ranch under the federal visa program for temporary agriculture workers,” reported Strassel.

“The H-2A program allows tens of thousands of temporary workers in the U.S.; Mr. VanderSloot employs precisely three,” Strassel wrote. “All are from Mexico and have worked on the VanderSloot ranch—which employs about 20 people—for five years. Two are brothers. Mr. VanderSloot has never been audited for this, though two years ago his workers’ ranch homes were inspected. (The ranch was fined $8,400, mainly for too many ‘flies’ and for ‘grease build-up’ on the stove. God forbid a cattle ranch home has flies.)”

“This letter requests an array of documents to ascertain whether Mr. VanderSloot’s ‘foreign workers are provided the full scope of protections’ under the visa program: information on the hours they’ve worked each day and their rate of pay, an explanation of their deductions, copies of contracts,” she continued.

In her column, Strassel raised the specter that the IRS targeted VanderSloot for his political activism.