Showing posts with label Bain Capital. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bain Capital. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Pressure Builds

First, the Christian Science, these guys...

 “The cost of not releasing the returns are clear,” said conservative columnist George Will, on ABC’s “This Week.” “Therefore, he must have calculated that there are higher costs in releasing them.”

“There’s obviously something there, because if there was nothing there, he would say, ‘Have at it,’” GOP strategist and ex-Bush aide Matthew Dowd said. “So there’s obviously something there that compromises what he said in the past about something.”

“Many of these politicians think, ‘I can do this. I can get away with this. I don’t need to do this, because I’m going to say something and I don’t have to do this,’” Dowd said. “If he had 20 years of ‘great, clean, everything’s fine,’ it’d all be out there, but it’s arrogance.”

On “Fox News Sunday,” the Weekly Standard’s editor Bill Kristol added his voice to the list as well, calling for Romney to “release the tax returns tomorrow” and “take the hit for a day or two.”

Add in Governors Barbour, Bentley, and former RNC Chair Michael Steele and Mitt Romney has a really big problem now.

Monday, July 16, 2012

You Know It's Trouble...

...when The Christian Science Monitor starts talking about it.

When did Romney leave Bain?

The documents, filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, place Romney in charge of Bain from 1999 to 2001, a period in which the company outsourced jobs and ran companies that fell into bankruptcy.

But at least three times since then, Bain listed Romney as the company's "controlling person," as well as its "sole shareholder, sole director, chief executive officer and president." And one of those documents — as late as February 2001 — lists Romney's "principal occupation" as Bain's managing director. The Obama campaign called the SEC documents detailing Romney's role post-1999 a "big Bain lie." 

And Obama deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter said the presumptive GOP nominee may have even engaged in illegal activity. "Either Mitt Romney, through his own words and his own signature, was misrepresenting his position at Bain to the SEC, which is a felony," Cutter said, "or he is misrepresenting his position at Bain to the American people to avoid responsibility for some of the consequences of his investments."

Mitt could mitigate this problem by releasing all of his tax returns but he as refused to do so thus far.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Romney Doctrine

In the last few days there's been a lot of arguing about exactly what W. Mitt Romney did at Bain, and when he stopped doing it. The essence of the story, as reported in the Boston Globe, is this:
[A] Massachusetts financial disclosure form Romney filed in 2003 states that he still owned 100 percent of Bain Capital in 2002. And Romney’s state financial disclosure forms indicate he earned at least $100,000 as a Bain “executive” in 2001 and 2002, separate from investment earnings.

There are reports of much closer ties between Bain and Romney during this period, but they're coming from the Huffington Post, and I trust them little more than I trust Fox News.

Usually people have to wait until they're elected president to have a doctrine named after them. Mitt Romney already has one teed up: "I wasn't directly responsible." He sounds like a concentration camp guard, using the CEO version of "I was just taking orders."

According to the Romney Doctrine, he wasn't running Bain after 1999 and therefore wasn't "technically" responsible for whatever it did. Yet the company was his baby—his legacy, he owned it, he received a salary twice as large as the average American and he still claims credit for Bain's success stories, like Staples, during that period.

Time for an analogy. Let's say there was a wealthy Massachusetts businessman who owned a really expensive sports car. Before he set off to Utah on a skiing trip he gave his teenaged sons the keys to that car. He didn't transfer the registration or the car insurance, saying he might do so when he got back from vacation.

When the sons used the car to drive old ladies to the grocery store, the businessman  bragged about what great sons he had raised. But when they got speeding tickets, then drove drunk, and finally crashed the car into a line of people outside a popular Boston club and killed three girls, the businessman said that he had disowned those rotten kids the instant he handed over the keys to the car.

Technically, the businessman wouldn't be criminally liable for those girls' deaths. He couldn't go to jail. But his insurance company would have to pay up, and the parents of those girls would sue him for millions. And probably win.

When Romney rode off to rescue the Olympics, he gave the keys to the corporation to his Bain underlings. But unlike the sons who drove recklessly, the underlings operated Bain no differently after 1999: they made money for Romney and themselves, damning the consequences to American jobs. "Technically" Romney didn't fire the people who lost their jobs due to Bain's machinations, but he set the pattern, still received a salary and still had complete ownership of the company.

Romney wants to have it both ways. He takes credit for the positive things Bain did during his absence, and disavows the bad things. By trying to weasel out of his association with Bain after 1999, Romney has conceded that Bain destroyed American jobs and hurt America.

While "technically" winning this argument about his direct involvement, morally and ethically Romney has lost.