VanderSloot said he did not want to jump to conclusions when he first received notice from the IRS last June that he would be audited for the first time in roughly 30 years. The head of a nutritional supplement company, VanderSloot had been singled out during the 2012 presidential campaign for being, in the words of an Obama campaign website, "a bitter foe of the gay rights movement," a claim he says is untrue. VanderSloot has said he raised between $2 million and $5 million for Romney's campaign.
He said when he first heard about the audit, he did not believe he was being targeted because of his political advocacy. "I'm thinking this is America and they're not going to that," he said. Then he learned his wife and business would also face audits, and he grew more concerned.
Now, though, he thinks the matter warrants investigation.
"We can be suspicious, and I am suspicious as I can be about this," VanderSloot said. "But I don't think we ought to let our minds run too far in the field of accusations until we know what the facts are."
Democrats say the mistrust is inevitable given the allegations now facing an already unpopular government agency.
"The IRS has done something no one else has been able to do, and that is create bipartisan outrage," said Mo Elleithee, a partner at Hilltop Public Solutions, a left-leaning consulting firm. "But taking a step back, what may be one of the sad by-products of this whole disaster is that it does give the aura of credibility to those who are looking for reasons to distrust government."