reverbpress.com/.../when-you-discover-whos-funding-jason-chaffetz-it-will-shake-yo...Nov 1, 2016 - Nu Skin has donated $96,850 to Chaffetz and his PAC since he first ran ... Nu Skin got a slap on the wrist for running a scam and lying about it, ...
From the beginning, Chaffetz didn't chart an obvious path to political power. The great-grandson of Russian immigrants, he was born in California and raised Jewish. He converted to Mormonism during his college years at Brigham Young University, the Mormon Church-owned school where he played on the football team as a place kicker.
Chaffetz majored in business and minored in communications, and after graduating he went to work for a local multilevel marketing company—think Amway—called Nu Skin, where he worked in PR. At the time that he joined, the company had some pretty significant public-relations needs. It was facing class-action lawsuits and investigations by state attorneys general and the Federal Trade Commission, all related to allegations that the company was operating as a pyramid scheme. (The company has been Chaffetz's biggest campaign donor.)
Chaffetz spent more than a decade at Nu Skin before leaving the company abruptly in 2000 without any obvious next stop. He worked briefly in the coal industry, unsuccessfully applied to join the Secret Service, and eventually started a marketing firm with his brother called Maxtera.
In 2004, when Jon Huntsman Jr. ran for Utah governor, Chaffetz volunteered for his campaign; Chaffetz, whose mother died of breast cancer in 1995, says he was impressed with the work Huntsman had done to advance cancer treatment. Huntsman eventually asked Chaffetz to become his campaign's communications director, and then his campaign manager. When Huntsman won the election, he appointed Chaffetz as his chief of staff. But Chaffetz only lasted a year in the job.
For the next two years, Chaffetz doggedly laid the groundwork to challenge Chris Cannon, a six-term incumbent Republican congressman—a politician whose campaigns Chaffetz had previously volunteered for. Cannon, who hailed from a well-connected political family, was conservative, but he was firmly in the Republican camp that supported immigration reform. This stance put him in the crosshairs of anti-immigration activists, as well as the grassroots agitators who would become members of the tea party. Conservative pundit Michelle Malkin dubbed Cannon a "shamnesty Republican."
Chaffetz saw an opening, and he was aided by the somewhat arcane system through which Utah Republicans, until recently, selected their congressional candidates. Districts elected about 4,000 delegates, who in turn voted for their desired candidates at the state party's convention. The top two winners moved on to the primary, unless one marshaled 60 percent of the vote, in which case that person became the GOP nominee. The system, it turned out, was well suited to a poorly funded upstart like Chaffetz, who could initially concentrate on winning a small group of delegates rather than tens of thousands of voters.
When Chaffetz decided to run, he invited Kirk Jowers, then the director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah, to breakfast. Jowers was a veteran of dozens of GOP campaigns and Chaffetz asked him if he'd help with his long-shot race against Cannon. "I said no," Jowers recalls. "He then asked, 'Would you be willing to be part of the campaign in any capacity?' I said no. He said, 'Do you think I have any chance to win?' and I said no. He said, 'Do you mind if I just give you a call to talk about politics and policy?' and I said no. I couldn't have been worse to him," Jowers says with a laugh.
But Chaffetz persisted, calling Jowers every two weeks for the next year and a half to update him on his progress. The former place-kicker campaigned largely on a harsh, anti-immigration platform. With an army of volunteer staffers, he worked each delegate heading to the convention—twisting arms and otherwise persuading them to vote for him, though he refused to succumb to the long-standing tradition of plying them with free food. Jowers slowly realized that the determined upstart actually had a shot.
Chaffetz's lobbying blitz was overlooked by most polls, which until the GOP convention put him at a mere 3 percent in the race, a number so small he didn't qualify to participate in the GOP's televised debate. When the moderator asked Jowers afterward how he thought the debate went, Jowers responded, "It was great, except you didn't have the one who was going to win."
Jowers was right: Chaffetz won the convention, gaining nearly 60 percent of the delegate vote and very nearly knocking out Cannon in the first round. He went on to handily beat Cannon in the primary, even though the incumbent had a more than 4-to-1 spending advantage and had been endorsed by virtually the entire Republican establishment, including then-President George W. Bush. The loss so angered Cannon that he reportedly refused to talk to Chaffetz during the transition.
Barely had Chaffetz been elected to his first term in the House when he registered a new domain name: ChaffetzforSenate.com........