Leveling Up

When they’re not signing up distributors, MLMs are recruiting politicians.

NU SKIN

Known for: Galvanic spas

Political giving, 1989-2012: $675,000, mostly to Republicans. CEO supported Romney’s campaigns; ex-president and his son-in-law gave $2 million to the Romney super-PAC via shell companies.

MELALEUCA

Known for: Cleaning products, litigious CEO

Political giving, 1989-2012: $380,000, mostly to GOPers; plus $1 million to Romney super-PAC

ALTICOR (AMWAY)

Known for: Nutrilite diet supplements

Political giving, 1989-2012: $9.3 million, mostly to Republicans. Amway cofounder Rich DeVos funds the Koch brothers’ political efforts.

HERBALIFE

Known for: Nutritional shakes

Lobbying, 1998-2011: $3.65 million

METABOLIFE

Known for: Banned ephedra-based weight-loss drugs

Lobbying, 1998-2005: $3.6 million

MARY KAY

Known for: Pink Cadillac-driving sellers

Political giving, 1989-2012: $740,000

AVON PRODUCTS

Known for: Pink-ribbon everything

Political giving, 1989-2012: $345,000, plus $970,000 on lobbying since 2002

4LIFE RESEARCH

Known for: Transfer Factor immunity supplements

Political giving, 1989-2012: $54,000; founder gave $500,000 to Romney super-PAC.

FOREVER LIVING

Known for: Aloe vera-based drinks

Political giving, 1989-2012: CEO and his wife have given more than $150,000 to Republicans, including Romney.

XANGO

Known for: Mangosteen juice

Political giving, 2004-2012: $186,000, mostly to Republicans

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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