A political committee tied to Mitt Romney received two separate $1 million donations from companies located in Provo, but the companies don't appear to do any substantial business. It's part of the brave new world of presidential politics after the Supreme Court decided donations to political groups could not be capped.
Restore Our Future is a so-called "Super-PAC": a political action committee created to receive donations in support of a cause or candidate. The super-PAC makes no secret of its support for Romney. From January through June, Restore Our Future raised more than $12 million, more than any similar committee this year.
"The doors have been blown off the walls in terms of how much money can flow into political committees," said Michael Beckel of the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics.
Companies called Eli Publishing and F8 LLC contributed $1 million each to Restore Our Future. The companies share an address in downtown Provo and the super-PAC received the money from both on the same day.
The giant sums of money is surprising enough, but Eli Publishing and F8 LLC don't seem to do any business. They incorporated with the state, but they have no presence on the internet and when Fox 13 went to their address, we found only an accounting firm whose employees weren't aware of the companies' activities.
Incorporation documents filed with the state show Eli Publishing was founded by Steve Lund, co-founder and former CEO of Nuskin. Lund told Fox 13 he's not trying to hide the donation. He made it through a corporation he created to publish a book years ago because donating through a corporation has accounting advantages. Lund says the size of his donation shows the extent of his concern for the direction of the country.
F8 LLC was founded by another lawyer with ties to Nuskin, Jeremy Blickenstaff. Blickenstaff did not respond to an interview request made through the accounting firm where he indicated his business was located.
The Center for Responsive Politics says the use of "front" companies is troubling because it obscures one of the only regulations the Supreme Court allowed for super-PACs: they have to disclose their donors.