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Mitt Romney's record as a capitalist, and why it matters now. - Elf M. Sternberg
Mitt Romney's record as a capitalist, and why it matters now.
"In 2002, Mitt Romney decided he had retired from Bain Capital in 1999."

That's Brad DeLong, and his take is the best one I've seen yet.

Mitt Romney is running for president. He is running opposed to many of his own policies as Governor of Massachusets from 2002 through 2006, because those policies are essentially progressive and the progressive position is unavailable and unelectable. So he's running on his skill as a business acumen, as a man whose specialty was leveraging massive funds into ever more massive funds-- nothing mattered other than profit. Nothing. He did this from his perch at a company called Bain Capital.

In 1999, Mitt Romney decided he had political ambitions. So he leapt at the chance to take a high-profile job mananging the 2002 Olympics in his birth state of Utah.

Between 1999 and 2002, Bain Capital was involved in a number of legal but morally dubious activities, many of which destroyed businesses and outsourced jobs, many of those to overseas investments. Mitt says he wasn't involved in any of those activities-- especially not the one that disposed of "medical waste" from abortion facilities.

In 2002, Mitt Romney ran for governor of Massachusettes. In sworn testimony before the Massachusettes Election Board, he testified that he had been involved in the supervision of his corporate officers, maintaining the Bain brand, but the Olympics prevented him from engaging in what he perceived to be his central job as CEO: circling above dying companies, picking one, swooping down at the right moment and picking the carcasses clean.

This was enough to ensure his residency requirement to run for Governor, but to Mitt, it wasn't really "running the company." He wasn't in the role of acquisition officer, which he viewed as his primary duty. That was where the thrill lay.

So now, Romney's telling us he really retired in 1999. Although his nameplate stayed on the door and his signature appeared in SEC filings through 2002, and he himself made frequent flights and phone calls to make sure Bain would still be healthy if that whole politics thing didn't work out and he wanted his chair back, he wasn't doing "his job." He was just being CEO, pulling down $100,000 a year, for doing nothing three years in a row.

So Romney's duplicity is on full display here: either he lied to the SEC-- a felony, by the way-- or he's lying now about his involvement in Bain Capital, and must take credit for Bain's actions.

Current Mood: annoyed annoyed

5 comments or Leave a comment
shockwave77598 From: shockwave77598 Date: July 13th, 2012 05:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
If it's a SEC violation, better arrest him fast! Because once he's in office, the trials will have to wait until he's no longer in office. And of course, he can always give himself clemency his last day too.
amindofiron From: amindofiron Date: July 13th, 2012 07:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
But of course consequences for lying about things only apply to people who *don't* have 8 and 9 figure net worth. Law's are for little people in our wonderful new plutocracy.
tagryn From: tagryn Date: July 14th, 2012 01:24 am (UTC) (Link)
From John King's research over at CNN, it doesn't look like this one has legs. Even the Democrats he contacted with knowledge of Romney's time at Bain back up his account, as do WaPost's FactChecker and FactCheck.org.

"This is a horse that won't run, Master Secretary."
"Just a trial gallop, your grace. We'll find something better."

(from Robert Bolt's "A Man for All Seasons")
elfs From: elfs Date: July 14th, 2012 05:00 am (UTC) (Link)
I have to healthily disagree. In July of 1999, five months after Romney divested himself from Bain, he issued a press release on Bain stationary wishing two of his fellow co-workers good luck with their future endeavors.

In 2002, when he ran for Governor, he testified before the Massachusetts election board that he was involved in business dealings at Bain, occassionally flying to Boston personally but often conducting business in teleconference, in 2000 in 2001 because he needed to establish residency requirements.

Either he committed perjury and established his residency to run for Governor by fraud, or he committed felony misrepresentation.

Regardless of his personal involvement, Romney received over $100,000 a year in salary as an employee of Bain in 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002. He took money from his organization, with name and title and everything, while claiming to have no interest in an organization that invested in a fetus-destroying business, among others.

Maybe he really did "nothing." But he got paid as much as the POTUS did for doing nothing.

Politically, it's dynamite stuff: Romney played "by the letter of the law," but the law allowed him to make twice the median household income in the US while he never lifted a finger, and he benefited greatly.

I suspect this horse will be flogged, effectively, into running hard. So far, Romney's response has been to call the Obama's campaign claim "disgusting" without effectively rebutting them.
tagryn From: tagryn Date: July 14th, 2012 11:59 am (UTC) (Link)
With respect, it looks convincing and 'dynamite' to those who were never going to vote for Romney anyway, but when all the groups I cited (who aren't exactly on the GOP's Christmas card list) investigated it and concluded there's nothing there, well...its not going to hold up to scrutiny.

I think Romney's "disgusting" comment was in response to being called a felon by Obama campaign operatives, which they're already backing off from. Wisely, I think: you don't pull that claim out unless you've got rock-solid evidence to back it up, otherwise it sets up other attacks (which may have actual mileage) to look like "the boy who cried wolf."

The real value on this for the Democrats is probably the Bain link to Stericycle. That's gift-wrapped for an attack ad the last week of the campaign about how "Romney...worked with abortionists to dispose of fetuses." That looks like a highly effective way to depress voter turnout among the pro-life side of the GOP, especially if the timing is crafted so that Romney doesn't have time for the rebuttal to get the same media attention. Pro-lifers are already not sure about his credentials on their issue, given his flip-flop history on that, so it would feed into those doubts.
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