Politics • Unlike earlier $2M donation, Nu Skin executive uses his real name.
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Nu Skin executive Steven Lund and his wife, Kalleen, gave Restore Our Future, the super PAC supporting GOP nominee Mitt Romney, another $1 million in September and this time he put his name on it.
Back in early 2011, the mysteriously named Eli Publishing and F8 LLC gave Restore Our Future separate $1 million donations, among the first seven-figure checks cashed in the outside-spending craze.
The two companies shared the same Provo address, but seemed to be fronts. It turns out that Eli Publishing listed Lund, one of Utah's dietary supplement millionaires, on state tax records. And F8 was connected to a relative.
Lund eventually copped to the donations when called out by Fox 13.
His most recent donations, $500,000 in his name and $500,000 in the name of his wife, list the same address that Eli Publishing and F8 listed in 2011.
House Dems kick in • The campaign committee for House Democrats has finally jumped into Utah's 4th District race, spending an initial $105,000 on ads to bolster Rep. Jim Matheson as he battles it out with Republican Mia Love.
The Democratic National Campaign Committee is the 15th outside group to spend money on the close contest, and when it's all tallied, the groups have thus far dropped $4.3 million to influence Utah voters.
In contrast to the Democratic group, the National Republican Congressional Committee has been the biggest single spender in the race, forking over $1.38 million largely on a series of attack ads against Matheson.
For months, the spending has been relatively evenly split between the rivals, but in the past few weeks, the pro-Matheson groups have pulled ahead.
As it currently stands, $2.36 million has been spent to help him get re-elected, while $1.94 million came from groups backing Love, mayor of Saratoga Springs and a first-time candidate for federal office.
With the current rate of outside spending, the final amount should be well north of $5 million, a stunning tally for a Utah election.
(Not) welcomed back • Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman served in China for 18 months as the U.S. ambassador but has apparently rattled Chinese leaders with his comments.
Huntsman told Foreign Policy magazine that he was supposed to be in China last month for a speech but that the country canceled his visa so he couldn't enter.
"Why? Because I talk too much about human rights and American values, and they know that," Huntsman said. "And at a time of leadership realignment, the biggest deal in 10 years for them, they didn't want the former U.S. ambassador saying stuff that might create a narrative that they would have to fight. I understand that. But when the transition is done, the crazy American ambassador will be let back in, and I can say whatever I want."
Huntsman's office later said the ex-ambassador misspoke and the speech was canceled, not his visa. He has been back to China since, he said Friday at the Bipartisan Policy Center.
Money in politics • Tucked in the back of lengthy campaign finance reports released last week were a few items that caught our eye:
• Sen. Orrin Hatch, the Grand Poobah of campaign fundraising, spent $6,500 to have the musical group SEVEN perform at an event on Sept. 17, just two weeks after the seven male vocalists performed at the Republican National Convention. UPDATE: The Hatch campaign said SEVEN performed at a Hatch event during the convention, but wasn't paid until Sept. 17.
• Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, billed his campaign for satellite radio for his campaign pickup truck.
• Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, gave most of his money to other candidates and charities, including a $300 donation to the Utah Patriot Camp, which teaches children about early American history, a topic near and dear to the retired history teacher's heart.
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Burr and Canham report from Washington, D.C. They can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or via Twitter @thomaswburr or@mattcanham.