Thursday afternoon’s HuffPo Front Page:
The latest twist in the quest (say that three times) to understand the limits or lack of limits regarding Romney’s money-making during his private-sector years is a Boston Globe article:
Romney stayed longer at Bain
Firm’s 2002 filings identify him as CEO, though he said he left in 1999
The article makes clear why it is important when Mittens left his life in high finance:
The timing of Romney’s departure from Bain is a key point of contention because he has said his resignation in February 1999 meant he was not responsible for Bain Capital companies that went bankrupt or laid off workers after that date.
We all know the man is rich, many of us know at least some ways he got so rich, but an increasing number of us know there is still more to know:
Contradictions concerning the length of Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital add to the uncertainty and questions about his finances. Bain is the primary source of Romney’s wealth, which is estimated to be more than $25o million. But how his wealth has been invested, especially in a variety of Bain partnerships and other investment vehicles, remains difficult to decipher because of a lack of transparency.
The Obama campaign and other Democrats have raised questions about his unwillingness to release tax returns filed before 2010; his offshore assets, which include investment entities based in Bermuda and the Cayman Islands and a recently closed bank account in Switzerland…
One of those Democrats raising questions is a honcho on the Obama-Biden 2012 payroll. From The Guardian:
In remarks that took the campaign to a new, uglier phase, Obama’s deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter said Romney had either misrepresented his position to government regulators or had lied to the American people.
Now, I don’t know why The Guardian chose to characterize this as “a new, uglier phase,” since wanting to get to the truth is neither new nor ugly. But there is something strange stirring, as hints are popping up that there is more to come.
Politico’s reporting included this:
Deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter laid out the issue as the Obama team sees it: “Either Mitt Romney, through his own words and his own signature, was misrepresenting his position at Bain to the SEC, which is a felony.”
“Or,” she said, “he was misrepresenting his position at Bain to the American people to avoid responsibility for some of the consequences of his investments,” including layoffs and the outsourcing of jobs.
Felony? Ouch. The use of that word ups the ante a bit, no? Presumably, Ms. Cutter did not make that comment lightly. Her head may roll, if it turns out there is substantial evidence against the notion.
Romney’s team has been in a feud with the Obama campaign and various newspapers over the charges that he was active at Bain after he said he wasn’t. The campaign keeps claiming that “independent fact checkers” have “confirmed” Romney “had no input on vestments or management of companies” after 1999. That is not true, of course. As far as I can tell, what those fact checkers have said is that up until now there has been no proof that Romney was actively involved in Bain’s business after 1999.
But one can fairly say at this point that there is a prima facie case against Romney’s version of events, and it is now up to him to offer more information (tax returns, maybe?) to rebut the accusations, if he can rebut them.
And speaking of accusations, another one appeared today courtesy of Mother Jones:
EXCLUSIVE: Romney Invested Millions in Chinese Firm That Profited on US Outsourcing
The GOP candidate decries China poaching US jobs. But at Bain he held a large stake in a Chinese company that did just that.
And that job-poaching of U.S. jobs occurred before Romney claims he left Bain in 1999, so the timing controversy has nothing to do with this latest charge that Romney invested in companies that he knew—knew—thrived on outsourcing American jobs to China.