Is Jim Risch's hatred of gays as strong as that of Melaleuca's VanderSloot? And how deep in debt will Risch be to Vader?

Those are questions PrideDEPOT has about Idaho's Rethug Lt. Gubbernor Jim 'quid pro quo' Risch and Melaleuca's multi-level-marketing millionaire Frank 'I hates lezzies to pieces' VanderSloot:

Risch’s anti-gay backer tried to censor Idaho Public TV

Frank VanderSloot is a very wealthy man. His Melaleuca Corporation has netted him millions by placing him at the top of his own pyramid giving him enough cash to afford a Learjet that US Senate hopeful, Lt. Gov. Jim Risch (right) uses to shuttle around Idaho.

VanderSloot also used his financial reserves in the fall of 1999 to propagandize his narrow-minded ideology in an advertising campaign aimed at attacking free speech. He took aim at Idaho Public Television (IPTV) when it planned to show "It's Elementary," a documentary that dared to show gays and lesbians as human beings to school children.

VanderSloot plastered his anti-gay propaganda on billboards around Idaho and promoted a campaign to strong-arm lawmakers to see things his way unless "It's Elementary" was pulled from the public airwaves.

PrideDEPOT's H. Lukas Green goes on to say, "VanderSloot is a major financial supporter for Lt. Gov. Jim Risch’s campaign for the US Senate. Does Jim Risch hate gays and lesbians as much as VanderSloot? Does Jim Risch believe in censoring public television? And finally, just how much is Risch paying to use that Learjet?

Click here to read the full PrideDEPOT story.

Speaking of that LearJet "rental" -- A quick search on Google shows that chartering an LJ-45 is certainly not what the average Idahoan would consider affordable. Benzo Air out of Nevada rents a slightly-smaller LearJet 35 for $1,800 an hour. StarFlite Executive Charter Services show the rental on a jet of similar size to the LJ-45 to be $2,100 per hour, while shows an estimated rental price of $2,500 per hour, though it's open to negotiation. Premier Aviation (in Europe) estimates a 45-minute flight in the same plane to cost nearly $12,000 U.S. dollars.

Current Federal Election Commission rules (as of 2004) say:

1. Timing of Reimbursement
Candidates and other political committees are no longer required to reimburse owners or lessors of airplanes in advance. Candidates and committees now have seven days after the flight began in which to make the proper reimbursement. For travel by means other than airplane, reimbursement must be made within 30 days of receiving the invoice but no later than 60 days after the travel began.

This FEC info, from Wiley Rein LLP's website, also contains information on rate of reimbursement and application to noncommercial airplanes.

I spoke with a person at the FEC who informed me that they've recently issued notice of a proposed rulemaking change for candidate travel. You can read the release here, and download a PDF of the 68-page notice here.

All in all, it appears to be awfully spendy for Jim Risch, a guy who is still in debt to the tune of $235,000 from his last couple campaigns, according to Risch's official disclosure to Idaho's Secretary of State on July 31st of this year. What do you suppose VaderSloot is going to expect from 'Rent Me' Risch in exchange for footing that (potential) $1,800 per hour -- or larger -- bill?

Jim Risch is going to be beholden up to his eyeballs to his ultra-wingnut, gay-hating pyramid-pals. On the other hand Risch's opponent, Larry LaRocco, is working to become U.S. Senator for all Idahoans, not just the clique of wackjob, wealthy, far-right fanatics.