Nel's New Day

July 13, 2012

Romney Getting in Deeper Trouble

Filed under: Uncategorized — trp2011 @ 8:53 PM
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Typically presidential campaigns show Democrats beating up on Republicans and vice versa. This year’s campaign has a new twist: Republicans are beating up on the Republican nominee. The latest kerfuffle comes from Mitt Romney’s refusal to release more than one year of tax returns. His own party leaders think that he’s wrong in not being more transparent about his financial background.

“If there’s nothing there, there’s no ‘there’ there, don’t create a ‘there.’ Put out as much information as you can. Even if you don’t release 12 years worth of tax returns, at least three, four, five.”—former RNC Chairman Michael Steele

“I think he [Romney] should release his financial records and I think if he does it in July it would be a lot better than in October …. Whenever you are asking for the vote of the American people that you need to fully disclose what your holdings are, if you have any.”—Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) who thinks that Romney should release the last six to seven years of his records.

“His personal finances, the way he does things, his record, are fair game.”—Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX), chairman of the House Republican re-election effort

“Mitt Romney had an opportunity to answer these questions during the primary. He did not answer these questions and now they’re coming up again.”—Republican strategist Rick Tyler

“I saw Andrea Saul’s robotic response [to the question of when he left Bain Capital], which was the same as it’s always been,” Tyler said, referring to Romney’s press secretary. “That doesn’t comport with documents that have his name on it after 1999 that list him as CEO who was making money off of transactions. If he wasn’t making money from Bain, then his tax returns from the period in question would reveal that. Only [Romney] can provide that information, or we’ll just have drip, drip, drip to November.”

“I feel like we are watching a rerun of an episode from the Republican primary with the return of the releasing of taxes issue. It turned into a big deal during the primary, and pretty much got diffused when he released the one-year of returns. I wish he’d hurry up and release more tax returns so this distraction would go away.”—Republican strategist Ana Navarro

“It is important for Mitt to release his tax returns. The fact is we can’t fire our nominee in September.”—Texas Gov. Rick Perry in a January 2012 debate

“Is it too much to ask Mitt Romney to get off autopilot and actually think about the race he’s running?”–Bill Kristol, editor of the conservative Weekly Standard

“Mr. Romney promised Republicans he was the best man to make the case against President Obama, whom they desperately want to defeat. So far Mr. Romney is letting them down.”—Wall Street Journal

One leading conservative still approves of Romney. Although the Romney campaign tried to keep the Wyoming fundraiser by George W. Bush’s former VP Dick Cheney very quiet, Cheney did endorse Romney with this statement: “Romney’s malleability is an advantage for his neocon advisers, giving them an opportunity to shape his worldview, as they did with Bush after 9/11. Four years after Bush left office in disgrace, Romney is their best shot to get back in power.”

Cheney’s statement can best be translated as follows: “Romney is so wishy-washy that he’ll do anything people tell him to do. Because 70 percent of Romney’s advisors worked for Bush, we can hope for a return to the Bush/Cheney years.” I wonder what W. thinks of being called “malleable.”

Romney has excellent reasons for not releasing any more tax returns. In the only one that he has allowed to be public, the return for 2010, he showed a blind trust held by his wife, Ann, with a $3 million Swiss bank account that was not reported on previous financial disclosure statements. Also shown was his complex offshore tax shelter, known as a blocker corporation, to shield the investments in his $100 million IRA from paying an obscure business tax. The country loses $1 billion per decade from the use of this decade.

In addition, at least 20 investments had not been previously listed on disclosure reports although there was not enough information to determine their size or holdings. Neither the tax return nor other disclosures have revealed the full amounts of the Romneys’ other offshore holdings over the years, including investments in Germany, Luxembourg, the Cayman Islands, Australia, and Ireland. Romney transferred a Bermuda account to his wife’s blind trust the day before he was inaugurated as governor of Massachusetts in 2003 but was not properly disclosed to voters.

Last month, Romney’s trust reported receiving a $2 million payment from Bain as part of unpaid earnings from his work there. Of the 138 Bain funds organized in the Cayman Islands, Mr. Romney has interests in 12, worth up to $30 million. Firms like Bain park money in the Caymans because the islands have no taxes on capital gains, profits or income for foreigners. Legal, yes; ethical, no.

The question that might be answered through the release of more tax returns would be how much money Romney is hiding. We know that he has a $102 million IRA, a difficult task when he put $32,000 in it for each of 15 years. That’s the kind of compound interest we would all like to have. When questioned recently about his Cayman Island assets, he said that this was only 0.5 percent of his money. If that’s true, then Romney has $6 trillion somewhere.

The “Bain issue” comes from the question of  when he left Bain Capital. Romney says that he was gone in 1999, but Romney and Bain filed government documents stating that Romney stayed as chief executive and chairman of the firm until 2002. Romney even created five new investment partnerships during the three years after the time that he said he was no longer in charge of the company.

Public  Securities and Exchange Commission documents filed later by Bain Capital specifically identified Romney as the firm’s “sole stockholder, chairman of the board, chief executive officer, and president” in 2002. 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.

Fact checkers for the questionable three years have lost all credibility in identifying the veracity of statements. Washington Post Fact Checker Glenn Kessler, maintains that there is no proof that Romney a Bain executive during that time. Kessler explains that the terms “sole stockholder, chairman of the board, chief executive officer, and president” are simply “boilerplate” that doesn’t have anything to do with managing a company. Possibly Kessler has been offered a position with Romney.

Romney desperately wants people to believe that he left Bain in 1999 because of the company’s activities in the next three years. One of those was the company’s investment in a company called Stericycle whose services included the disposal of aborted fetuses. Another of Bain’s activities during that time  was sending jobs to China through a contract with a Chinese firm. Three weeks ago Romney’s campaign said that people just didn’t understand the difference between outsourcing and offshoring; this week they said they didn’t do it at all.

The Romney campaign has tried to shift the media’s attention to the story that Romney may choose Condoleezza Rice for his VP, an impossibility on many levels. First, Romney doesn’t deal well with women. Second, Rice is pro-choice, something that Romney has to avoid for the approval of conservatives. Third, she was in the middle of the Bush wars, again not good for Romney’s campaign. Fourth, she said in June and again more recently that she would not consider being Romney’s vice president. (Hint to Romney: Rick Santorum says he’s willing!)

Today Romney demanded an apology from President Barack Obama because his campaign said that Romney may have committed a felony by misrepresenting his position at Bainl. Before Romney’s statements, President Obama said, “My understanding is that Mr. Romney attested to the SEC, multiple times, that he was the chairman, CEO and president of Bain Capital. I think most Americans figure if you are the chairman, CEO and president of a company that you are responsible for what that company does. Ultimately Mr. Romney, I think, is going to have to answer those questions, because if he aspires to being president one of the things you learn is, you are ultimately responsible for the conduct of your operations.”

“Behind every great fortune there is a great crime.” –A maxim from Honore de Balzac

1 Comment »

  1. Cheney may finally be right about something. Love the use of “kerfluffle!”


    Comment by lynchly — July 13, 2012 @ 9:59 PM | Reply

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