The Media and Bain

Despite concerted attempts by the Media and its "factcheckers" to dismiss the Bain story, Mitt Romney has blown it so badly that it is now the Media issue of the campaign. While Romney is clearly suffering badly under the Obama onslaught on Bain (mostly I submit, mostly due to his own political incompetence -- how in blazes does he expect to distance himself from Bain - the company he founded, owned and ran for 25 years? The very company that is basically his "economic" credential? Incredible political incompetence), so too are the "factcheckers", who have become subjects of ridicule and lampooning at this point.

The tipping point was the Boston Globe story on Bain's SEC's filings from 1999 to 2002, which listed Romney as the CEO, Chairman of the Board and sole stockholder of the company whike earning at minimum, $100,000 a year for serving as Bain CEO. Since then other articles and information have come out that pretty much point to Romney having a continuing involvement with Bain during that period. Let me say that that is as it should be given Romney's retention of the titles mentioned above. If he wasn't involved, one would have to question Romney's basic competence. But for whatever reason, Romney has chosen to lie about his role in Bain from the 1999 to 2002 period, making the story much bigger than it would have been -- it now becomes about Romney's character as well as his policies (See Krugman for why discussion of Bain by the Obama campaign makes sense in the larger political narrative regarding the GOP-Romney policy of taking from the poor and the middle class to give more to the rich.)

A somewhat surprising casualty of the Bain story is the "factcheckers", who look like complete fools (or worse.) In particular, Glenn Kessler of the Washington Post, who has been bombarded with ridicule for his assertion that the Bain SEC filings describing Romney as CEO, Chairman of the Board and sole stockholder as not being relevant to whether Romney was involved with Bain. It's gotten so bad that Kessler wrote a personal defense of his writings on the subject:

It’s not often that one of my columns gets more than 5,000 comments, many of them angry. I tried responding via Twitter and various e-mail exchanges but eventually gave up because I was overwhelmed. My analysis was also roasted on the web by various people I often admire, and the Huffington Post rewrote my column to highlight exclusive material that they thought I had played down. My best friend from third grade even sent me a message on Facebook saying I “was carrying the Republicans’ water.”

It was that kind of day!

I always value informed critiques. Given the many comments, I will try to make a general response.

The most amusing part of his "general response" is this:

For some readers, this may not be important. He is listed as chief executive in SEC documents, he hired the people at Bain, and so they might believe he bears responsibility for these deals. End of story. But that’s really an opinion, not a fact. [Emphasis supplied.]

Actually, that's a fact, not an opinion, as a legal matter. Kessler's actual argument is HIS OPINION that even though Romney was legally responsible for Bain decisions from 1999 to 2002, there is no evidence that Romney actually made made any Bain decisions in that period.

Beyond being a perverse way to think about the issue, it also misses this very important point - as long as Romney remained the CEO, Chairman of the board and sole stockholder of Bain, it was within his power to dictate what deals and actions Bain did or did not do. Being charitable, let's assume that Romney did not formulate any policies or actions for Bain during that 3 year period. This does not mean he could not have. He clearly had the legal power to act. If he chose not to, then that is an act of control.

Kessler wrote "The years 1999-2002 are a gray period in Romney’s life." Perhaps in some ways, but not regarding the fact that Romney had the power at Bain during that period.

It seems clear that Kessler consulted experts to support HIS OPINION:

I consulted with securities law experts who have many years of experience with these particular SEC filings. One expert pointed out that the titles are basically meaningless, that someone can be listed as a chief executive and have no responsibilities whatsoever.

This is nonsense. If someone is listed as CEO and has "no responsibilities whatsoever," then THAT FACT needs to be disclosed. It is a material issue and listing someone as CEO who has "no responsibilities whatsoever" without explaining this reality is a false and misleading statement that violates the securities laws.

Beyond that, a CEO serves at the pleasure of a Board of Directors (Romney was Chairman of the Board), who in turn serves at the pleasure of the stockholders (Romney was the sole stockholder of Bain.) It requires strains that would make political campaigns red faced to make the argument that Kessler, ostensibly a "factchecker," makes here.

The question is why did Kessler destroy his own reputation on this story? Personally, I have hard time explaining it. I predict it will get worse for Romney AND Kessler on this story.

Speaking for me only.

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    The only thing in Mitt's favor (5.00 / 3) (#9)
    by Dadler on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 11:17:38 AM EST
    Most people still get their news from TV, your less savvy undecideds to an even greater degree.  And national TV journalists are highly paid performers, entertainers, celebrities.  They invest their money like any other group of wealthy people.  By and large they are part of the slim minority who have done well from the corrupt financial system.  This corrupts journalistic integrity better than anything else. Money is like that. Don't look for them to kill their golden geese anytime soon.

    Everyoneunderstands "Swiss Bank Account" (5.00 / 2) (#54)
    by scribe on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 03:50:59 PM EST
    means "[dirty] money to hide from the tax man."

    It's been the subject of jokes of all kinds for decades.


    Yes, and association (none / 0) (#64)
    by KeysDan on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 04:28:11 PM EST
    with those yodeling bankers should really be avoided when you are running for public office, for Pete's sake.  

    So What Exactly Does Kessler Do For A Living? (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by john horse on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 11:37:35 AM EST
    You might think that a basic requirement for the job of Factchecker is being able to distinguish between what is a fact and what is not.  Apparently not at the Washington Post.


    I'm grateful for someone (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 01:01:37 PM EST
    who understands SEC laws, as everything that has to do with Wall Street these days is sold to the lay people as being too complex and complicated for them to understand.  It's all just out of our league in the land of magical magicness.

    As a lay person not steeped in legal knowledge, I fail to see how anyone can be listed as a CEO and the sole stock holder and not have BAIN directors taking his every phone call at 2:00 am.  I fail to see how those people would not be taking his guidance and have a primary goal of producing exactly what Mitt wanted produced.  Seems too absurd to even entertain.

    Is it just me or is Kessler also willing to give Romney credit for Staples while allowing him to not be responsible for other BAIN dealings?  How can that be?  How can you not be CEO of BAIN on one hand and then the CEO of BAIN on the other hand?

    Let's keep a couple things clear (5.00 / 3) (#56)
    by scribe on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 04:03:16 PM EST
    1.  He was, simultaneously, CEO, Chairman of the Board of Directors, and Owner of Bain.
    2.  I don't think he had any other directors' opinions to consider.
    Setting up a company like that is perfectly legal.  It's no different, from the perspective of control, than the corner grocery store with a sole owner.  Bain is in a corporate form for tax reasons.
    1.  In that kind of a setup, Mittens had absolute power and absolute control over everything Bain did and did not do.  That would extend to hiring, firing, which deals to do and which to pass on.
    2.  I think it's likely he devolved some control to minions, but that control came with the proviso:  "make money or be gone."  
    3.  The SEC filings were in connection with Bain buying a piece or more of publicly traded companies.  Buying companies, looting them, then tossing the carcass was Bain's business.  You have to buy a big enough chunk of the company to get things like seats on the company's board of directors, where you get a good look at the company's books.  If a company's stock is publicly traded, i.e., listed on a stock exchange, and you buy enough of the company's stock (IIRC 5% or more) the SEC is involved, SEC filings are required and SEC regulations must be followed.  Not the least of these requirements is that the filings be made ... under oath and penalty of perjury.  (In other words, "no lying allowed".)
    4.  Mittens' is saying he kinda lied on the SEC forms, that yeah, he had the title but he really wasn't it.
    5.  Mittens knows the statute of limitations has run out on any direct prosecution for lying on the SEC forms.  So, he figures he can be as arrogant as he wants on this.

    Does this help?

    Yup, even better and thank you (none / 0) (#76)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 04:53:34 PM EST
    It is pertinent knowledge, at least to me, that Mitt knows that the ability for any of us to legally make him responsible for his lies has now had the statute of limitations run out on it.

    I wish the "media" would let people know that the reason why nobody is legally going after Romney for being a liar and committing perjury is because the statute of limitations has run out.  I will never hear that on Fox News, but I probably won't hear anything about it and CNN or MSNBC either.


    Your point #6 (none / 0) (#148)
    by Coral on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 11:14:35 AM EST
    That American politics has come to the point where it is considered a defense that you lied on your SEC filings.

    This is a sign of an utterly corrupt political system and society.

    I have been rather tepid re Obama up until now.But this last week or so has made me so angry at Romney and the GOP that I am ready to go out knocking on doors for Obama with almost as much enthusiasm as I did in 2008. Although, of course, there's Geithner--which saps a bit of my strength.


    Isn't the question (none / 0) (#30)
    by Payaso on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 01:08:20 PM EST
    whether he was actually giving them guidance or not?  Even if they would have answered his 2 am calls, is there any evidence he made any?

    If he has the power to fire them (none / 0) (#31)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 01:09:32 PM EST
    at will, that's guidance

    I don't agree (none / 0) (#35)
    by Green26 on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 01:22:43 PM EST
    that having the ability to replace or fire employees is guidance, especially if it has been said that he's taking a leave of absence to run the Olympics and won't be managing the business or involved with the management of it. As others have said, the key fact is whether he ran or managed or guided the business during those years.

    If Romney had been a business man (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 02:00:52 PM EST
    seeking to make millions to billions in more socially ethical ways we would never be having this discussion and he would also be taking full credit for all that his company did instead of cherry picking what his company did and then attempting to say that those were the only things he was overseeing.....all else was done by others that he could call instantly and say some of his favorite words to, "You're fired!"

    That leads to other questions too, why didn't he fire people who were his to fire when they were doing horrible things to the citizens of the United States.  If he didn't know his own company was out there doing horrible things to his own people, then he isn't competent to be this country's President.

    And another question, what are the details about the two directors who "resigned" in July 1999. Did they go to yoga together every morning and come to the conclusion that they must together go join an ashram or something?


    Other Republicans have said that (none / 0) (#36)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 01:24:08 PM EST
    but they also say Romney will disclose the same number of tax returns as John Kerry and that is a lie too.

    You're looking at this weird (none / 0) (#133)
    by TheSteelGeneral on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 07:58:25 AM EST
    The issue is decidely NOT "I can fire you, therefor I run the business"

    The issue is that

    1. Romney's name is on everything for the 1999-2002 period, so he IS TOO responsible for everything.
    2. The day to day decisions aren't what counts. He made it more difficult for himself by stating that he did not have ANY INVOLVEMENT with Bain as from Feb., 1999 onwards.
    He lied, and he perjured himself.

    Harry Trumans famous quote was: "The buck stops here."
    Romney agrees wholeheartedly, but the accountability?? Goes somewhere else, though.


    I find it interesting that (none / 0) (#33)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 01:11:20 PM EST
    two managing directors "resigned" in July 1999, and as the CEO he made comments to the press that they would be missed.

    What I find odd about this story is that (5.00 / 3) (#42)
    by observed on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 01:51:30 PM EST
    the year when Romney started his transition out of power from Bain is exactly the year when certain practices began, which today are political liabilities.
    Somehow, this aspect of the story reall smells.
    I don't believe that the issue is really whether Romney was responsible for those decisions---unless it's only the Sterycide purchase which will hurt him.

    Yes, observed, yes (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by christinep on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 05:20:05 PM EST
    I've been wondering about that "coincidence.". And, that is why BTD's comments about "control" seem so relevant. It is beginning to look like:  Hey, you guys take care of that, and--uh--just keep me away from it in public, etc.

    We have an odd allergy (5.00 / 2) (#51)
    by lilburro on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 03:18:41 PM EST
    to accountability in this country don't we?  I won't be crying any tears for a CEO who kept his title, paycheck, and somehow insists he should have no accountability for anything that happened during that time.  Just as I didn't cry any tears for higher up figures in the Bush Administration who wanted us to believe they shouldn't be held responsible for issues that no doubt passed through their offices by virtue of their rank/position in the food chain.

    In other words (5.00 / 2) (#89)
    by CST on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 06:15:16 PM EST
    he did the same thing at Bain that he did in MA.  Left for another job, but kept the CEO title.

    Hey Mitt, your poor economic record in MA really isn't your fault since you weren't actually around to do anything about it!

    I think (none / 0) (#90)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 06:22:24 PM EST
    the economic record in MA is a lot more deadly than the Bain thing because it's easy to confuse people w/r/t Bain and not so easy to confuse people about his record in MA.

    Political (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 06:27:29 PM EST
    malpractice on Romney's part is almost an understatement. He had to know this was coming but I"m sure that he thought that no one would "question" him and just take his word for it. This is the crux of the problem of having someone who was a CEO running for president. When you are a CEO, this type of response is normal and even acceptable in the corporate culture because someone like Romney was the "boss" and as underling you either had to do what he said or get fired or leave or something. Bosses do not get questioned by "underlings". It's also shows why George W. Bush was such a disaster as President even though his businesses were failures. They make the decisions, good or bad, and everyone else has to live with the consequences of their actions and you can either go find another job or learn to put up with it. CEO's are basically dictators in a company.

    Honestly I think his campaign believed (none / 0) (#94)
    by indy in sc on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 07:25:18 PM EST
    they could get away without having to deal with it.  He's been running for President for almost 8 years now and it hadn't really come up before this--certainly not to this extent.  His opponents in the R primary were pretty ineffectual in calling him on any number of things that could have been disqualifying.  

    If this had been fleshed out during the primaries, I think we'd have candidate Santorum or Gingrich (I shudder to think).


    Well (5.00 / 2) (#97)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 07:40:23 PM EST
    Santorum or Gingrich would probably produce an Obama win since they both come off as mentally unstable. The electorate can handle some of this kind of stuff because many think that "all politicians do this kind of stuff" but I don't think they would vote for someone who comes off as a crazed fundamentalist.

    It's also (5.00 / 2) (#127)
    by jbindc on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 07:08:43 AM EST

    A site often quoted here by commenters and posters alike as reliable (except, I guess, when their conclusions do not comport with their world views).

    The Columbia Journalism Review also chimed in.

    One article I read put it the best (paraphrasing): It's amazing how early it is and how much both candidates are blatantly lying and don't even seem to care that they are getting called out on the truth.

    This story will have legs for a week or two, and then will fade away.

    Frankly, I really could give a d@mn one way or another.

    It is a crime against truthiness to (5.00 / 1) (#135)
    by observed on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 08:16:54 AM EST
    rely on self-proclaimed arbiters of truth.
    In my opinion, it is a gross dereliction of journalistic ethics to even cite a site such as "factcheck.org".

    I give a d@mn because I don't want Romney (none / 0) (#128)
    by Angel on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 07:13:50 AM EST
    to get elected.  

    They are both bad (none / 0) (#130)
    by jbindc on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 07:21:44 AM EST
    In the end, it really doesn't matter. You can't trust anything either one says.

    Both are doing (and have done) bad things.

    I'm tired of people getting elected who really don't give a d@mn about us - why should I care about them?


    But one will be elected (2.00 / 1) (#137)
    by christinep on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 08:49:54 AM EST
    Are you opting out of voting, then, jbindc?  That's your right of course...but,is there any effect your claimed pox-on-both-their-houses stance will have?

    BTW, to date, the Bain argument put forth by the Dems seems to be having demonstrated effect in portraying Romney in general (anecdotal) & in Obama gains in battleground states specifically (recent polls.)

    Nope, it is not going away...and, Kessler knows it (witness the gyrations & turns in his response to readers where he still tries to contend that the burden of explaining SEC  filings is not on the responsible party submitting them.)

    Keep trying to minimize it tho...we get your perspective.


    It won't matter (none / 0) (#165)
    by jbindc on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 12:51:08 PM EST
    The only thing that is going to matter come November is the economy.  You can kep spinning fairy tales about how this is the thing that will nail Romney down, but it won't.  Not sure why Obama isn't touting his glorious accomplishments and talking about Romney's backing of the Ryan tax plan - which IS horrendous, but resorting to this kind of stuff is only going to make the Dems appear weak - when you have weak accomplishments and no plan, throw mud.  The Republicans have done it successfully for years.

    And I'm not sure what polls you're looking at - the needle has moved very little in the few months that the Obama team has spent over $100 million in ad buys.  Sure, this may give him a point or two for a few weeks, but this is not a game changer.


    Pew & Reuters in the past week. (none / 0) (#182)
    by christinep on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 06:17:01 PM EST
    Also: Tracking the "battleground states" where Obama continues to maintain a lead.

    Of course, the economy is the issue.  We'll track how that goes, won't we.  And, as is being suggested now, the President may have succeeded in making it an economy-plus election now...meaning that voters appear to be taking the measure of Romney as a possible replacement & turning from him after finding him wanting. "Bain" & the related issue of his approach to managing economic situations are having an effect...as even people like George Will and Matthew Dow suggested this weekend.  So...jbindc, it may well be that the "economy" as an issue is a bit more complex that merely looking at the slow recovery & saying we don't like it...it is becoming more & more a choice between the two, with referendum overtones.  But, if it pleases you, please stick with your position.


    The economy is the issue (5.00 / 1) (#185)
    by Politalkix on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 07:38:40 PM EST
    To solve a problem, you need to understand how the problem was created in the first place. To discuss how we can create jobs, we have to understand how job losses occured in the last 15 years-how American plutocrats bet against the middle class in the country and outsourced jobs and moved our manufacturing and industrial base outside the country-how they used tax free shelters to rob America from prosperity where everyone who worked hard got their legitimate share of rewards. For a healthy discussion of economic policy, it is very important to understand how Mittens made his money and what taxes he paid. GWB scuttled any discussion of economic and tax policy by repeating a word salad of "fuzzy math" and "private enterprise" and "lower taxes" and pretending that running a country was like running a business. We have to remember that some of the worst Presidents in the country have been businessmen-GWB and Herbert Hoover. We cannot let Mittens get away without a thorough grilling that the media would not GWB to be subjected to.

    Forgot to mention (none / 0) (#183)
    by christinep on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 06:19:27 PM EST
    Methinks that you dodged my initial question in your response.

    Aside to sj (none / 0) (#181)
    by christinep on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 06:09:00 PM EST
    Sorry to offend you by touching on one of your flash-point issues suggesting that votes not cast also have an effect.  All I can say--in strong disagreement with some of your earlier opinions that I've read concerning that type of issue--is that, like it or not, it does mean something when one votes & for whom one votes.  At this point in our political history, one of the two major party candidates in as near-as-certain-as-we-can-measure to become the President.  My point to jbindc is premised on something a bit different: Let me just suggest that when jbindc presents links, etc. & arguments supporting directly or indirectly the candidacy of someone other than Romney (reviewing the last several months), then I'll take seriously the claim of the pox-on-both-their-houses variation emanating from jbindc.  Right now--as others have mentioned--it defies credibility.

    That--in a nutshell--is the basis for my comment. In this particular matter, it will continue to be.  Thanks for your interest.


    If you don't care then why are you posting (none / 0) (#131)
    by Angel on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 07:33:04 AM EST
    about it?  I think Romney's record at Bain is extremely important.  I'd like to see his tax returns, too.  I wasn't an Obama supporter and I disagree with the way he's operated, but that doesn't mean he's a bad person, and it certainly doesn't put him in the same category as Romney.  

    The real question is, do you care to (none / 0) (#141)
    by Anne on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 09:10:05 AM EST
    address the claims being made by both camps, or is your response to everything going to be "they both lie, neither of them care, what's the point?"

    So, depending on whether you are in the mood to look at the actual issues here, you may or may not care enough to respond to what follows.

    Mitt Romney has been relentlessly emphasizing his stellar business experience as a reason why he, and not Obama, would be better able to lead the country out of its economic doldrums.  His main claims to success on that score are his years at Bain Capital and his leadership of the Salt Lake City Olympics.  The nexus of these two elements of Romney's career are the years from 1999 to 2002.  Coincidentally, that was also the time when Bain was shipping jobs overseas.

    What we are getting from the Romney campaign is that while his name was all over SEC filings related to Bain, he wasn't really operationally involved, wasn't making decisions, so that what was happening at Bain during that time can't - or shouldn't - be something he has to be accountable for.

    Do you know the reasons why SEC filings require the disclosures of - among other things - officers and directors?  Well, in part, because investors rely on this and other information contained in these filings, and it's why misrepresentation of that information is considered to be a no-no.  There are allegedly criminal consequences to doing this kind of thing, but we do have to remember that this is the SEC we're talking about, and they seem to have an aversion to attaching "criminal" to any company or individual even in cases where it is blatantly obvious.

    So, Factcheck.org which you cited, described Romney as a "passive, absentee owner."  Wonder if Romney will be touting that as a reason why he should be elected?

    What strikes me is that the kinds of things that are being said by so-called experts, some on the record and some not, that are downplaying the SEC filings, are eerily reminiscent of the things that were being said when it came to light that banks and lenders and servicers were robo-signing documents - that somehow it didn't really matter, followed by a laundry list of why we shouldn't consider this any kind of fraud - it was "harmless."  

    If Romney's such a great businessman, he should not be weaseling out of what Bain did when he was or wasn't actively involved - and because this is how he's choosing to handle the issue, I have no reason to think that he will be any different if faced with having to defend or account for things that will happen if he is president.  Is he going to say, "oh, no - that wasn't my decision, that was the Attorney General, or the Treasury Secretary - I really had nothing to do with that?"

    I understand that there is a real dearth of accountability by people who hold elective office, and the fact that Obama may not be doing well on that score doesn't mean, and shouldn't mean that Mitt Romney, who claims to have the chops to do it all better, shouldn't also have to come to grips with whether he understands the meaning of "the buck stops here."

    From what I have seen, he only understands that in the sense that a "buck" is money - which he is all too happy to have stop in at his door, but in the sense of being responsible or accountable for what happens in his name?  Not so much.


    I have responded (2.00 / 1) (#166)
    by jbindc on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 12:57:00 PM EST
    BTD doesn't like Factchecker. Fine. But there are many other news organizations (Factcheck.org, CNN, the NYT, to start) who have said these allegations are a)not quite as black and white as TPM and Mother Jones would like them to be, and / or b) are outright lies.

    The fact is, that doesn't fit with the world view of the liberal blogosphere, so of course, those are discounted.

    Obama is firing back because the deep well of Bain-campaign donations he received in 2008 is drying up.  I get the political maneuvering here.  But, really?  Romney's a felon?  Because of course, no lawyer looked at these documents before anything was signed and submitted?

    Hey - if you put Romney on trial for these docs, then put Obama on trial for violating citizens' Fourth Amendment rights, killing American citizens without due process, etc. If one's a criminal, so's the other.

    Again - why not talk about the Dems accomplishments and how bad Romney's policies and stances are?


    Heh (5.00 / 1) (#169)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 01:48:28 PM EST
    Yeah I'm a big fan of Fact Check.


    I dunno, you go with what you want, my thinking is explained in a 954 word post.

    I don;t see you address anything I wrote there which is par for the course from you frankly.


    Heh yourself (none / 0) (#171)
    by jbindc on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 02:02:38 PM EST
    It's par for the course for you to be sarcastic and close minded about anything that differs from your opinion, which of course, must be accurate.

    You didn't address my opinion (5.00 / 1) (#174)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 02:58:18 PM EST
    so we'll never know.

    Your opinion is predictable (none / 0) (#175)
    by jbindc on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 03:14:44 PM EST
    Blah, blah blah.. Romney's up a creek and is a bad, bad man....those who report that the Obama ad is full of misleading and completely untrue statements are wrong.  If you disagree with my opinion, you must be stupid or low-information.

    Same ol' same ol'.


    Not on this issue (3.50 / 2) (#176)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 03:35:01 PM EST
    please refer to the 954 words directly above.

    Anyone who thinks CNN (3.00 / 2) (#168)
    by shoephone on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 01:21:00 PM EST
    is a legitimate "news organization" is someone beyond hope for rational discussion.

    Right (none / 0) (#170)
    by jbindc on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 02:01:51 PM EST
    'Cuz TPM and Mother Jones always get it right.

    I must have missed the part of (5.00 / 1) (#172)
    by Anne on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 02:15:17 PM EST
    shoephone's comment where she sang the praises of Mother Jones' and TPM's journalistic integrity, because why else would you make them the thrust of your reply?

    I bet your favorite comeback as a kid was, "I know you are, but what am I?"


    I bet (none / 0) (#173)
    by jbindc on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 02:20:26 PM EST
    You always have to have the last word, right?

    No - shoephone's comment was about how bad CNN supposedly is.  But inherent in the comment (from the post) is what (gasp) TPM and Mother Jones are reporting.  They MUST be correct, so we must believe them and not believe CNN.

    So predictable.


    CNN is swill and you know it (5.00 / 2) (#180)
    by shoephone on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 06:00:33 PM EST
    But hey, since you seem to be itching for a fight, show me where Mother Jones ever tried to pose as an unbiased "news organization." It is a proudly left of center magazine exposing corruption in government and corporations -- the kind of reporting CNN will never do, because it is beholden to the corporations and the cocktail weenie crowd. And please show me where and when Mother Jones thoroughly botches stories, makes up facts, and functions as an apologist for the corporations and the GOP wackos the way Wolf Blitzer does on a weekly basis.

    As for TPM: between Josh Marshall's misogyny and well-known support for both Joe Lieberman and the Iraq War, I have little use for him or his site. However, it cannot be denied that TPM did contribute one excellent series of reporting -- breaking the story on the firing of the U.S. Attorneys, and following every single lead, twist, and turn like a  houndog on the hunt.

    Your turn.



    I used to think ABG was the master at (5.00 / 2) (#188)
    by Anne on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 08:50:47 PM EST
    taking what people said and turning it into whatever he needed in order to have the argument he wanted, but he's got nothing on you.

    I think shoephone's comment was, on its face, quite understandable; it wasn't in need of interpretation - and even if it had been, you are not the person to provide it.

    You are an intelligent person, who clearly cares about what's going on, but the way you are choosing to engage people isn't working, is turning you into a caricature, and making you the object of derision; it's almost getting painful to see.  


    STOP saying BOTH sides are bad! (none / 0) (#149)
    by TheSteelGeneral on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 11:14:46 AM EST
    Romney is LYING MUCH more, THREE (3) times as much!

    Romney simply LIES A LOT, WAY MORE than Obama: 3 times more than the President.
    If we take the findings of Politifact, and apply a weighted average score on them we see that Obama scores more than 3 times higher than Romney.

    Obama's truth score (362) is 8 and a half times higher than Romney's truth score (42), but weighted for number of checked statements, 379 vs 139, it's to see that Obama's weighted truth score (362/379 = 96%) is 3 tiems that of Romney (42/139 = 32%).


    Politifact, the fact-checking site, categorizes what politicians say in six categories:
    True 3
    Mostly True 2.
    Half True 1.
    Mostly False -1.
    False -2
    Pants on Fire -3.
    which we can give points to, like above. This means that if a politician lies as much as he's truthful, he's be scoring a zero, which is fair.

    As of the 5th of July this stat reads:
    Obama had:
    88 True statements which gives 264 points.
    88 Mostly True statements which gives 176 points.
    96 Half True statements which gives 96 points.
    45 Mostly False statements which gives -45 points.
    57 False statements which gives -114 points.
    5 Pants on Fire statements which gives -15 points.
    Total points: 362.

    Romney had:
    23 True statements which gives 69 points.
    20 Mostly True statements which gives 40 points.
    39 Half True statements which gives 39 points.
    21 Mostly False statements which gives -21 points.
    23 False gives statements which -46 points.
    13 Pants on Fire statements which gives -39 points.
    Total points: 42.


    Mitt's problem (4.86 / 7) (#6)
    by Repack Rider on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 10:50:57 AM EST
    is that he has never in his life had to answer impertinent questions from those he considers his inferiors.

    He used to fire people like that.

    The coverup for romney by WaPo (4.50 / 2) (#8)
    by docb on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 11:13:33 AM EST
     While it is true that some firms have 'name only' ceo's  NOT IN THE FINANCIAL SECTOR...You are selling to the PUBLIC and have the need to be licensed by the SEC/NASD because of liabilities inherent to the business!

    It is unfortunate that 'water carriers' are allowed to make fools of the readers but it is only an opinion and as was demonstrated not factual or with merit!  

    Romney lied but was allowed to brush it aside in the race for Gov...This is the BIG TENT and the Street firms and White Shoe guys are not going to allow the  consumptive candidate to besmirch an already dubious reputation with more lies and deceit! They are preparing their antidotes and slipping them under the door of reporters and the SEC!   This is not over....

    Expose them both---all!  Sunlight is the very best disinfectant!

    FWIW, Bain was not (none / 0) (#21)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 12:47:33 PM EST
    "selling to the public," and the forms given to private investors, at least according to Kessler, did not include his name as one of those guiding the company's investments.

    So don't get all excited thinking anybody's going to get prosecuted for securities fraud here.  Unfortunately, not gonna happen.


    Yes, Romney has surely been (5.00 / 3) (#44)
    by KeysDan on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 02:17:07 PM EST
    careful about violating the law--for example, we know that he would never coordinate his campaign with PAC's because he said to do so he would go to "the Big House."  Besides, any possible legal offense is likely beyond the statute of limitations.  

    But, the mystery to me, is the political dimension and his doctrinal calculation to withhold complete and relevant tax returns. We know he is very wealthy, and he makes no effort to downplay a life of the rich and famous--from his wife's couple of Cadillacs, a La Joya manse with a car elevator, Lake home, sport, including dressage with an Olympic entry.

    But, importantly, being rich in and of itself is not a problem for most of the electorate. And, from the one complete tax return released we know that Romney pays a tax rate below most American workers. And, we know his charities, are essentially, his own Church.   And, we know that Romney has or has had accounts in  tax havens like Switzerland, Luxembourg and the Caymans.  So what is there remaining to be shy about?   What could be potentially damaging?  Unless he took deductions for a car-roof dog kennel, it should not be surprising.

    If he thinks he can enjoy the privacy of a private citizen (such as that is) he is applying for the wrong job.  Certainly after the expansive Ken Starr report, there can't be any illusions of presidential (or presidential candidate) privacy.  You know it is bad when William Kristol urges Mitt to release his tax returns.


    What if the Stericycle (?) investment (5.00 / 3) (#78)
    by christinep on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 05:05:40 PM EST
    In late 1999 is only the tip of the iceberg or some such?  Apparently, as an earlier article on CNN via J. king, that company disposed of aborted fetuses...clearly, if Romney is connected formally in that time period through Bain, the fervent Conservative types might take-a-pass on voting this time. That would translate to a few percent in key states.

    While I agree that even a showing of huge amounts of $$$ would not be likely to trouble the electorate, the result might be otherwise if his financials revealed either/both more extensive participation in outsourcing--let's say-- Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, even Indiana manufacturing jobs OR substantial investments with firms, operations that could be questioned by a key base component?  Or, what if a substantial amount of $$$ investment shows an unusually close intermingling with the LDS in a financial sense...would that raise any questions for moderates or independents?

    Unless it is  an arrogance on the level of stupidity, it does not make sense to hold back release of documents already long-ago compiled.


    I hope you're right (5.00 / 2) (#107)
    by cal1942 on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 10:03:25 PM EST
    about this:

    "if Romney is connected formally in that time period through Bain, the fervent Conservative types might take-a-pass on voting this time."

    But I really doubt it.  These people are nothing if not hypocrites (and heretics).  They'll find a way to rationalize their vote.

    As for Romney's arrogance and/or stupidity. IMO part of it is his incredible shallowness.  He's lived a life surrounded by everything buffed and polished.  I can easily picture him meeting a regular person and asking ... where do you summer?


    I think you are on to something, (none / 0) (#82)
    by KeysDan on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 05:26:18 PM EST
    nearing pay-dirt on the close, if not co-mingling, of LDS finances.   If so, it may explain some of the secrecy, apparently even from some Romney campaign staff.    As the current Bloomberg Business Week states, LDS theology, unlike many other religions, including the secretive finances of the Catholic Church,  does not distinguish the spiritual and temporal.  Romney may be torn in financial revelation by divided loyalties, not to mention, the possible questions from religious conservatives.  

    The combined spiritual/temporal position (none / 0) (#86)
    by christinep on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 05:49:46 PM EST
    Is suggested by an inscription on Temple Square that inverts the admonition to "render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's and unto God that which belongs to God.". When visiting SLC for the first time many years ago, my husband &  I noted what we thought was more of a commingling directive on a column in the Square.

    I think it's more plausible that (none / 0) (#108)
    by observed on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 10:15:50 PM EST
    he is hiding financial irregularities.
    Specifically, through Bain, financial instruments were created which began with a nominal value of 0 dollars, only to be worth millions in a few years. Don't ask me to explain this, but what I read was that if he reported the value of these investments as 0 dollars when he invested them in retirement accounts, he could have avoided large tax liabilities.
    That's what I read. It makes sense to me--except that I don't know about tax law.

    So, is that how Mitt ended up (5.00 / 3) (#109)
    by caseyOR on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 10:23:14 PM EST
    with an IRA worth $100 million?

    That IRA is a potentially devastating story if the news people would get digging. IRAs were not created as vehicles for the uber-rich to stash their $$$ out of the way of taxes. The maximum yearly contribution is, what, around $6,000. Even with everything in the IRA invested in a riskier fund, nobody ends up with $100 mil. if they have followed all the rules.


    Romney must have (none / 0) (#138)
    by KeysDan on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 08:52:30 AM EST
    a rational reason  for risking suspicions that do not require great financial expertise and register easily with voters.  The Book of Mormon is important to him, but an open book is important to presidential voters.

    Having lived in Mass. (5.00 / 1) (#136)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 08:49:11 AM EST
    during his two campaigns and tenure as governor, my personal theory is that the reason he holds this stuff back -- apparently even from his campaign staff, given their inability to defend him -- is pure arrogance and entitlement.  He just doesn't think he should have to expose his private finances to public view.

    I personally doubt there's anything much more embarrassing in those tax returns than what we already know.


    I think that the reason is that what is in the (5.00 / 1) (#177)
    by indy in sc on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 03:49:07 PM EST
    returns is actually that bad. He's taking quite a beating for not releasing the information so he has to have made the calculation that he would take an even worse beating if he did release the info. So many "experts" have openly speculated that they would show he paid little or no taxes and that he put quite a bit in off-shore accounts to avoid the tax consequences (which as you indicate, we already know).  He's already taking the hit for those things--if that's all it is, it wouldn't make sense to continue to hold back.

    The most interesting theories that I have heard about what could be in there worth hiding are: (i) a strong financial connection to the LDS church and its business pursuits which could (x) turn off those voters for whom Mormonism is an issue and (y) bring increased scrutiny on the Mormon church and its tax exempt status; and (ii) a high salary from Bain in the 99-02 years, which would sink his argument about non-involvment (right now, we know it was at least $100,000, but we don't know for sure what it was).

    I'll bet you're right about the hubris factor contributing as well, but it seems like with all the voices on the right, left and middle clamoring for more disclosure, he would do that if there was nothing catastrophic in them.  He may be waiting for the Olympics to start to dump additional tax filings so that the information might get lost in our excitement over Michael Phelps' 1,000th gold medal.


    He turned over (none / 0) (#178)
    by jbindc on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 04:02:03 PM EST
    23 years worth to McCain in 2008.  Maybe the above joke is true that's why McCain picked Palin.

    But then again, if something is so bad in there, don't you think that would have been a factor when he decided to run for President again?


    Running anyway (5.00 / 1) (#179)
    by indy in sc on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 04:18:17 PM EST
    is where I think the hubris comes in.  IMO, he thought he could get away with not having to answer these questions or release more than the current year's taxes.  He had never really been called to account for that in his past attempt to run and he escaped the primaries this time without having to answer these questions.

    I would think though, that he would be prepared to release from 2007 onward since he did run in 2008.  If he had been the nominee instead of McCain, he would have had to release 2007 (and maybe 2006).  


    Really good point about (5.00 / 2) (#191)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 11:53:50 PM EST
    2007 and 2008, which sends me at least partially back to my hubris explanation.

    Mitt I suspect has never been called to account for a single thing his entire life.  His outrage about being asked to release his returns seems to me entirely genuine-- a rare quality in Romney.


    It's really very odd. (5.00 / 1) (#197)
    by indy in sc on Tue Jul 17, 2012 at 10:54:35 AM EST
    He is inviting all kinds of unkind speculation about what he could possibly be hiding and taking the hit for the speculated matters anyway.  Why not just release them and then deal with whatever the fallout is for the 2 weeks that it would probably be a story (unless it was really disqualifying).  After that, something else will take center stage.

    I've actually come around to your position that this is more hubris than fear of what is in the filings.  Maybe he thinks that because he dug in about not releasing them before, releasing them now would seem like he was bullied into it and he doesn't want to appear weak.


    It would have, unless he figured he could (none / 0) (#190)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 11:51:06 PM EST
    get away without making it all public.

    I'm coming around (none / 0) (#189)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 11:50:04 PM EST
    to your point of view on this with the last several days of increasingly intense pressure and even ridicule.

    At this point, it's really gone beyond personal arrogance and sense of entitlement.  He's being seriously damaged by his refusal now.

    I'd bet money we're never going to see those tax returns, so we'll just have to see how it all plays out.  He may well be getting advice that nobody's paying attention right now and that he can survive just waiting it out.


    I wonder (1.33 / 3) (#63)
    by lousy1 on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 04:26:32 PM EST
    if Romney is considering using his tax records  to counter insist that Obama release his full scholastic record?

    IMO neither disclosure or lack there of has much influence on the undecided electorate.


    Oh, that has already happened. (5.00 / 2) (#77)
    by KeysDan on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 05:02:04 PM EST
    Romney's son, Matt, when asked whether his father would release his tax returns, he said he heard someone suggest the other day that as soon as President Obama released his grades and birth certificate, ..then maybe he will do it ('The Hill", 12/30/11).

    Hard for me to know with certainty  what the "undecided electorate" will be influenced by, but it would seem that a presidential candidate's financial interests might strike any voter's interest.  As for President Obama's K through law school grades, they may be of mild interest to some, but, at this point, the voters can grade his term in office as they make their decision this time--probably a more reliable predictor. That, and being a comparative shopper.


    schoolrecords?? REALLY? (5.00 / 1) (#132)
    by TheSteelGeneral on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 07:49:56 AM EST
    school records? ORLY? this is a typical case of false equivalency:
    School records might show that Obama played hookie a lot .... in GRADE or HIGH SCHOOL. So this is a matter of privacy. We do know that he graduated SUMMA CUM LAUDE from Harvard, which are the grades that matter.

    Romney's tax record might reveal he's a criminal though. So, they're WAAAAY more important than any sort of shitty school records. Because:

    1. Every other presidential candidate did it, INCLUDING HIS OWN FATHER!
    2. If you run on your financial acumen, you better show us that you know about taxes!

    Good point (none / 0) (#80)
    by lousy1 on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 05:19:42 PM EST
    Buts most people can understand grades and read a thesis.

    Very few individuals ( myself included) can fully understand reams of extremely  sophisticated Tax returns.

    Perhaps Romney could just release adjusted net income and Tax for the earlier return.


    Ha! Nice try, but that won't solve the problem of (none / 0) (#134)
    by Angel on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 08:04:56 AM EST
    the fact that people want to know how he came into the money and how much he's paid in taxes, among other things.  

    I want to know (5.00 / 1) (#192)
    by NYShooter on Tue Jul 17, 2012 at 12:35:46 AM EST
    How much he's paid to the Mormon Church

    I could care less what his (none / 0) (#129)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 07:19:56 AM EST
    primary school grades are.  When it comes to child development those grades have little to do with adult success.  As the head of the local school district here agreed with me the other day, having stellar primary education grades is no indicator of how successful students will become in the adult game of life.  My son-in-law was a horrible primary education student, he perceived it and experienced it as very manipulative and uncaring about him as a person.  When he was 21 though he started his own landscaping business after working for another landscaper.  He works 12 hours a day 6 days a week I guess because it is his, and his business grows and grows.  He is having his best year yet, even in this economy.  

    Read that Romney said he would release (none / 0) (#74)
    by nycstray on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 04:48:36 PM EST
    2011 tax info as soon as it's finished by his accountants . . . . but that's it.

    It's also important to remember that it's (4.50 / 6) (#55)
    by Anne on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 03:56:16 PM EST
    the SEC we're talking about here, perhaps the most ineffective, ineffectual, near-negligent overseer, with a record of either ignoring the obvious - this is the agency that was told repeatedly that there was a problem with Bernie Madoff's funds, and did nothing - or, when forced to take action, letting companies buy their way out of trouble without ever having to admit wrongdoing.

    Marcy Wheeler has a post up about the current Glenn Kessler, who has been spending a lot of time explaining that SEC documents don't mean what people think they do, and the former Glenn Kessler, who used to exclusively cover finance for the WaPo, who treated SEC filings as evidence of truth.

    I don't know why Kessler is making excuses for Romney - or is he really attempting to protect the SEC for the inevitable claims that once again, it failed in its oversight responsibilities?

    Whatever's really going on here, there isn't much Romney is saying, or can say, that will pass most anyone's smell test.  What slays me is the he looks genuinely puzzled at why anyone's making a big deal out of this - it's as if he wonders why we don't understand that the rules for the uber-rich are just different.

    I truly have no idea why anyone thinks this man can do anything good for the country; all I would expect him to engineer is a massive transfer of what little bit the rapidly-disappearing middle class has left into the already-bulging pockets of the elite, and a huge increase in the number of people falling off the cliff into abject poverty.

    All without breaking a sweat or getting a hair out of place.


    Re: Gatsby (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by christinep on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 05:11:27 PM EST
    Great comments, Anne.

    An analogy (3.50 / 2) (#27)
    by Green26 on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 01:03:44 PM EST
    Let's assume Jeralyn is the ceo, chairman of TalkLeft. She takes a leave or sabbatical to run a charitable organization, and asks you to run the TL site. It says on the site that you are running the site. She continues to be listed as the ceo, chairman and sole owner and the annual form filed with the Colorado secretary of state.

    Is it your view that Jeralyn is still running the site and making the decisions, because she would have the authority to do that?

    Can she fire BTD at the drop of a hat (5.00 / 3) (#29)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 01:06:22 PM EST
    If something happens around here that she doesn't like?

    So what if she could fire BT? (2.00 / 1) (#38)
    by Green26 on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 01:25:17 PM EST
    If she doesn't call or contact BT, she is not running the business.

    Wouldn't firing me be (5.00 / 4) (#39)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 01:27:41 PM EST
    "running the business?"

    The power to fire BTD (5.00 / 6) (#49)
    by Coral on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 03:03:50 PM EST
    suggests that not firing is tacit approval of the way the business is being run.

    Or paying no attention (none / 0) (#116)
    by Green26 on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 02:24:00 AM EST
    to how the business is run--because you're not involved in the operations of the business anymore.

    Yes, firing someone (2.00 / 1) (#46)
    by Green26 on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 02:44:09 PM EST
    would be good evidence of running the business. However, having the authority to firm someone, is not, in and of itself, running a business. The relevant question is: is she running the business or not?

    Lots of owners don't run their businesses or have anything to do with them. I'm talking private companies. Most ceo's do in fact run their businesses. However, again, the relevant question is: is the ceo running the business? It's a factual question.


    Not really (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 03:00:05 PM EST
    shareholders vote for directors who hire the executives and so on.

    Okay, sure, but what (none / 0) (#117)
    by Green26 on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 02:26:15 AM EST
    does this have to do with who actually is running the business? Can you really not see the question of who is running a business is best answered by the people who are running the business?

    you getting the relevant question WRONG (none / 0) (#151)
    by TheSteelGeneral on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 11:27:13 AM EST
    Romney didn't say I wasn't running the business, he upped the ante by stating that he didn't have ANY thing to do with ANY Bain Capital entity


    He then happily declared that he sat on the board of some Bain daughter.

    As to for the firing of thousands of workers while walking away with 102 million dollars, it comes down to credibility: Do you really believe that he didn't have ANY say in ANYTHING regarding this? Or not? He admits to getting INCOME (not dividend, or interest payments, but INCOME).
    I find that really hard to believe, based on the testimony of his fellow board members who are gonna lose as much as he does when they tell the truth, yes including the Democratic board member.
    They're NOT objective about this.

    Then again it doesn't come down entirely to credibility: If you are the CEO, Chairman, Sole Shareholder, Controlling Person and being paid $100,000, and your signature appears on SEC documents, you ARE running the company.

    Romney is saying:
    "Yeah I was CEO, Chairman, Sole Shareholder, Controlling Person and being paid $100,000 a year but I wasn't responsible because I didn't know what was going on in the company."

    Yeaeaeaeaeaeaeaeaeaeah RRRRRRRRRRight!

    He's lying.

    He does that ... a lot.


    So you are assuming that she left BTD (5.00 / 3) (#40)
    by nycstray on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 01:30:39 PM EST
    free to do what he wants on her site, even though her good name is attached?

    (no offense intended to BTD, not sure how that reads {grin})


    If BTD starts writing pro (5.00 / 7) (#41)
    by observed on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 01:36:28 PM EST
    Ron Paul articles, says that the wrong side won the "War of Northern Aggression", adding that blacks were better off as slaves, then Jeralyn's ownership is relevant---no matter what she does.

    Likewise, if Romney's company, over which he has sole legal authority, invests in a company which disposes  of murdered humans as "medical waste" ( to use the Republican viewpoint, obviously), then Romney's ownership is relevant.
    Pretty simple, isn't it?
    Look, the only reason this is even an issue is that Romney ostensibly wants to avoid taking responsibility for outsourcing.
    In fact, he also wants to distance himself from the purchase of the medical waste disposal company. It shows a pretty poor sense of taking responsibility to try to deny any authority today over a decision he could have halted at the time with the stroke of a pen.


    If Romney wasn't running or (2.00 / 1) (#45)
    by Green26 on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 02:38:26 PM EST
    involved in the Bain business at the time, he probably didn't even know of the proposed transaction or know what was involved. Again, it's a factual question.

    If he was secretly running the business or asked to weigh in on this proposed transaction, then the answer would be different.


    So, are you saying Romney paid no attention (5.00 / 6) (#47)
    by nycstray on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 02:45:53 PM EST
    to what was going on with his company while he was on part/full time leave/retired/working out retirement/CEO in name only/his grey period that he was getting paid for?

    This is what Romney and (none / 0) (#118)
    by Green26 on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 02:30:08 AM EST
    the Bain people have said. He was gone, and they ran the business. They have said that they ran the business and Romney didn't. They apparently listed, for investors, the top 18 people making investment decisions, and Romney wasn't one of them.

    Are you saying that the Bain and Romney were lying?


    Yes (5.00 / 1) (#152)
    by TheSteelGeneral on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 11:28:56 AM EST
    Are you saying they are NOT lying?
    When they have SOOOOO much to lose if they told the truth?

    No, in case there was a decision made (none / 0) (#112)
    by observed on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 10:30:30 PM EST
    which reflects poorly on him, he needs to affirmatively demonstrate that he was not involved, and had no awareness whatsoever of the deal in question.

    Nah (1.50 / 2) (#37)
    by lousy1 on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 01:25:10 PM EST
    If she could why hasn't she done so already :)

    The obvious question (none / 0) (#32)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 01:10:29 PM EST
    Well... (none / 0) (#143)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 10:04:12 AM EST
    ...the question seems obvious, but there is greater point here since there are no real shareholders.

    Were these documents and used by anyone or an institution to garner funds/credit with the assumption that someone was running the show when in fact they weren't (or weren't, still unclear) ?  That's fraud, probably not major enough to warrant charges, but in the real world, privately held firms file with SEC for one purpose, money.  Either investment or to secure credit.

    But they certainly aren't held to the flame like a publicly traded company.  But, and I doubt this is the case, that is reason enough for credit to be retracted and demand for any debt be paid immediately.


    it's fraud but (none / 0) (#153)
    by TheSteelGeneral on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 11:32:40 AM EST
    it's fraud but it's outdated, the statue of limitations on these types of crimes has run out, which is why no-one is prosecuting them.

    This is a blessing in disguise for Holder and Obama because they wouldn't want to be caught between the legal need to prosecute Romney and the accusations of trying to sabotage your opponent for political reason.

    So, in essence, if you run for President, you're above the law.... if you're a republican.


    At the same time (3.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Raoul on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 10:36:07 AM EST
    He ran the Olympics and Bain at the same time? Impressive.

    Not really (5.00 / 4) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 10:44:27 AM EST
    BTD: One of the most insightful comment to date (5.00 / 3) (#72)
    by christinep on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 04:46:15 PM EST
    About Bain appears in your commentary above...that the power to control is also in the decision to not control. Kind of like a favorite old labor law opinion about the "iron fist in the velvet glove" wherein an Unfair Labor Practice was found in a pattern of promise (not limited to coercion) as J Douglas noted, I recall.  Seriously, the reality of the legal control & the ability to have been read to approve company acts by not overtly disapproving seems to be part of the pretzel-weave that Romney advisor Gillespie inadvertently revealed when saying that Romney effectively "retired retroactively " (albeit in 2002 n.p.t. 1999.)

    What is your take on the very noticeable use of the word "daily?". I've noticed that Romney defenders in interviews, panels, etc. Use the word "daily" when contending that "Romney was not involved in the daily decisions.". What about weekly or monthly ones then?  And, as one observer--excuse me, but the sheer volume now of the growing imbroglio makes it difficult to  get each name--said "If he  wasn't in charge during that time, who was?"

    Ah, Romney's sewn off compartmentalizations are coming undone....


    Ohhh, (none / 0) (#88)
    by BTAL on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 06:12:19 PM EST
    so Romney is actually the Wizard of Oz.

    Ignore that man behind the curtain.

    Either he as in control or he wasn't - the Wizard of Oz meme is like a mud puddle.  Lacks depth and significance.  But, keep spinning the All Powerful Oz concept.


    As an independent this topic is nothing but (1.50 / 2) (#52)
    by samsguy18 on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 03:18:55 PM EST
    A distraction from the  overwhelming problems this country is facing....the ongoing legal semantics Around this topic just ticks off the independent voters....for those of us with no party alliance or bias ......the fact is ....Romney at that time period  stepped in and successfully turned around the Olympics ! Which by the way were on the way to disaster  status before he took over !

    Ha! (5.00 / 2) (#53)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 03:21:25 PM EST
    Love how you think you can speak for "independent" voters.



    BTD (1.00 / 1) (#59)
    by samsguy18 on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 04:16:25 PM EST
    Your sarcastic comment is unwarranted...independent voters want solutions.......

    It was perfectly warranted (5.00 / 2) (#61)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 04:23:54 PM EST
    You claim to speak for "independent" voters.

    Learn a phrase from me - speaking for me only.


    BTD (1.00 / 2) (#67)
    by samsguy18 on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 04:33:27 PM EST
    Btw...how do you know I don't speak for independents ?

    Cuz nobody chose you to (none / 0) (#69)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 04:40:42 PM EST
    You speak for yourself, as do we all.

    BTD.... (1.50 / 2) (#73)
    by samsguy18 on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 04:47:16 PM EST
    LOL...you can't let it go...

    Just exactly who (5.00 / 2) (#83)
    by Zorba on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 05:34:40 PM EST
    "can't let it go"?  You've made six comments to BTD's three.

    Zorba it was only Five... (1.00 / 1) (#85)
    by samsguy18 on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 05:46:21 PM EST
    Lol.....since we're counting

    Speaking for myself ! (none / 0) (#75)
    by samsguy18 on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 04:51:27 PM EST
    As an independent  I don't feel this is a discussion that will help or hurt  either candidate ....it's not productive

    Speaking for myself, as an Independent, I (5.00 / 2) (#87)
    by caseyOR on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 05:49:54 PM EST
    think this is an issue that can certainly dog Romney for the entire campaign. If Obama keeps pushing it, especially the off-shoring and out-sourcing of American jobs, and the off-shore bank accounts, both of which just about any voter (low-information or not) both understands and has a generally not good opinion of, then this does indeed hurt Romney and help Obama.

    Romney has built his entire campaign around his supposed business acumen and success. Anything that calls that into question is bad for Romney.

    Take away his "successful businessman" narrative and Mitt has nothing to offer the voters of any party except the obvious fact that he is not Barack Obama. And that little fact will not, IMO, tip the scales in Mitt's favor with the majority of voters.


    I am not an Independent and I don't (none / 0) (#110)
    by oculus on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 10:25:46 PM EST
    don't watch TV. Query:  why doesn't Romney just refuse to discuss Bain and talk about his successful running of the Olympics?

    Because the Olympics are a double-edged sword? (none / 0) (#113)
    by Erehwon on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 11:06:02 PM EST
    See the MSNBC report: Salt Lake City Olympics earmarks a double-edged sword for Romney ...

    Reeks of lobbying, earmarks, pork-barrel spending, federal bailouts, and more ... just what Romney needs to top off his current travails ...


    refuse to talk bain? (none / 0) (#157)
    by TheSteelGeneral on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 11:47:26 AM EST
    he doesn't do that because he's not a 10 year old, and people tend to not vote for 65 year old men displaying the responsibility of 10 year olds?

    It's breathtaking that you so casually would expect this behavior, and appear to be OK with that behavior.


    Candidate Obama did this on many (none / 0) (#167)
    by oculus on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 01:02:56 PM EST
    issues in 08 campaign:  Bill Ayers, Tony Rezko, birth certificate, etc.  Just keep talking about something else.  

    Don't you work for (1.00 / 2) (#119)
    by Green26 on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 02:34:44 AM EST
    Jeralyn? Then, you must be speaking for her. She can fire you anytime, right? Again, your prior posts indicate that you must be speaking for her, and controlled by her, if you can be fired by her.

    Green (none / 0) (#159)
    by TheSteelGeneral on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 12:01:49 PM EST
    Classic Strawman.
    BTD and I say that his employees/partners have a clear interest in being LOYAL and you mock that with "sock puppet" ???

    Way to go.


    BTD (none / 0) (#66)
    by samsguy18 on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 04:31:44 PM EST
    Oh Please !

    Romney's the one who's been (5.00 / 6) (#57)
    by Anne on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 04:15:43 PM EST
    running on his business experience, proclaimimg that this makes him better qualified to run the country, so it's not just fair to take a look at that experience, but important to look at what kind of businessman he is/was.

    If he was misrepresenting himself and his relationship with Bain, isn't that something he needs to explain, and isn't that something that could have some bearing on how fast and loose he would play things with the country?

    In my opinion, the Olympics are the distraction; that Romney turned it around is nice, but it has nothing to do with running the country.  


    Tell you what: Romney can have my vote for permanent chair of the committee; he can call himself "president" or "Supreme Leader" or "He who must be Worshipped."  Just as long as he stays out of politics and public office.  


    So (2.67 / 3) (#68)
    by lousy1 on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 04:34:46 PM EST
    An executive position, taking over a poorly performing entity and managing complex financial dealings under the back drop of international politics has nothing to do with being president?

    In my opinion, the Olympics are the distraction; that Romney turned it around is nice, but it has nothing to do with running the country.  

    Do you think he needs community organizer credentials?


    First of all, let me disabuse you of the (5.00 / 4) (#99)
    by Anne on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 08:12:07 PM EST
    notion that because I am critical of Romney I must have Obama sparkle dust in my eyes and am enthralled with the whole community organizer thing; I'm not.  In fact, it would be hard to find anyone who regularly comments here who has been more critical of Obama than I have been.

    My disappointment with Obama is not negated or neutralized or diminished because of the execrable choice being offered by the GOP; I am not a lesser-of-two-evils voter, and firmly believe that that attitude and approach are reasons why the quality of the choices we are being given just get worse and worse.

    And no, I don't think Romney's Olympic experience translates to being any kind of indication or guarantee the he can or should be president of the United States.


    Community organizing (1.00 / 2) (#70)
    by samsguy18 on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 04:42:56 PM EST
    Here in Chicago is a great place to learn the art of political corruption......why debate the issues when you can smear your way to the top !

    Yup, you are some "independent"...uh huh (5.00 / 4) (#98)
    by christinep on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 08:07:06 PM EST
    He may be the kind of "independent" (2.25 / 4) (#101)
    by Politalkix on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 08:25:59 PM EST
    that shares space with jbindc in Romney's closet. I hear that the mega-rich millionaire has very large closets in every super expensive house that he owns :-).  

    Where is jbindc anyway? (1.00 / 1) (#102)
    by christinep on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 08:29:01 PM EST
    Where is?? (1.00 / 3) (#105)
    by BTAL on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 09:01:02 PM EST
    Probably at the dentist after getting kicked in the teeth by the supposed friendly fire squad.

    My, my ...sj (none / 0) (#184)
    by christinep on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 06:22:55 PM EST
    you sure are touchy & prickly.  'Hate to tell you that the comment is perfectly legitimate (and more.)  Do you have a pony in this race or something?  C'mon this kind of interdiction doesn't become you & so many of your usual thoughtful responses.

    Perhaps you missed the fact (5.00 / 1) (#193)
    by nycstray on Tue Jul 17, 2012 at 12:42:42 AM EST
    that you are calling someone out? Kinda low for you . . .

    Is it possible Jeralyn is not in touch? (5.00 / 1) (#194)
    by oculus on Tue Jul 17, 2012 at 01:04:55 AM EST
    Nah.  Couldn't be possible.  

    There was no point in your comment at all (none / 0) (#196)
    by sj on Tue Jul 17, 2012 at 09:49:28 AM EST
    We (jb and I) agree on some things, disagree on some things and, frankly, it's weird to find myself defending her because she can handle that on her own.  And no doubt her manner has provoked quite a pile-on lately -- and I don't like pile-ons.

    But mostly, I just found that comment to be snide and unpleasant.  This comment is patronizing and condescending.  

    Or maybe it's the other way around.


    Misplaced, sj (none / 0) (#198)
    by christinep on Tue Jul 17, 2012 at 04:49:17 PM EST
    When a person claims to be one thing (e,g,, open, objective, independent...in the style of jbindc claims) and continually evidences being something else (e.g., only presenting one side, only offering argument supporting one person for months...here, unabashed cover for Romney...all the while claiming disinterest) that is disingenuous.  And, that is why you see what you wrongly claim to be "piling on.". It gets to some of us.  That is what this is about.

    I don't disagree with much of your (none / 0) (#199)
    by sj on Tue Jul 17, 2012 at 05:54:33 PM EST
    first statement.  But as to your comments about "piling on" I guess one's impression of what constitutes a pile-on would depend on one's perspective: as observer, the piled-upon, or the one doing the piling.

    I would say that the one[s] doing the piling-on are the least able to recognize when it's happening.  So I'll tell you: y'all are piling on.  I don't care "what this is about".  Or, more accurately, what you say this is about.  I find the pile-on most unpleasant.  Even more unpleasant than the original remarks.  


    Okay...then it will be okay as well (none / 0) (#200)
    by christinep on Tue Jul 17, 2012 at 09:29:05 PM EST
    If I presume that you will feel the same sort of offense the next time an ABG (or related) is seen to undergo a set of disagreeing/disagreeable "pile ons" by any number of y'all.(Heck, as to ABG, some of those "pile  ons" in the past were out there...incredibly bad form, to say the least.)

    As for now--as in the past-- we can agree to disagree.


    The one in his home at Wolfboro (none / 0) (#104)
    by samsguy18 on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 08:53:06 PM EST
    On Lake Winnepasaukee is especially  nice.... Once and awhile we are let out to go to the Yum Yum bakery....it has the most delicious hot milk cake.....lol.

    oooooooooh the community organizing thing! (none / 0) (#160)
    by TheSteelGeneral on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 12:08:29 PM EST
    Wow, this really show you have NOTHING to talk about.

    Riddle me this:
    Of the two persons, who has had MORE (let's say four years) experience running an USA-sized country, with roughly the shape of America?

    And for people suggesting that Obama doesn't wanna run on his record, here's what Obama did in those four years:

    1. He prevented economic collapse.
    2. He rescued GM and Detroit (got all the tax money BACK)
    3. He killed Bin Laden
    4. He got ALL kids health care

    For more:

    or, if you're Disneyfied sensitive:


    Anne I agree with you (none / 0) (#65)
    by samsguy18 on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 04:29:43 PM EST
    Re  "if  he was misrepresenting himself and his relationship with Bain " he should  explain...however I personally feel this is not a productive  discourse. When all is said and done the issues at hand crippling the country  are still  not being addressed....

    the issues (5.00 / 1) (#161)
    by TheSteelGeneral on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 12:10:50 PM EST
    crippling the country are mostly the uberrich thinking themnselves above the law, which is what Rmoney's demonstrating to do everytime he breaths, so it IS TOO very important.

    wow, I thought this was a leftwing board?
    No wonder the Dems are so weak.


    What was Romney (none / 0) (#120)
    by Green26 on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 02:38:08 AM EST
    misrepresenting himself on with regard to Bain? He said he wasn't running Bain. Bain said he wasn't running Bain. Just because of his ownership, etc. doesn't mean he was running Bain. It's a question of fact, not title and ownership.

    If he WASN'T running Bain (none / 0) (#140)
    by Repack Rider on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 09:02:16 AM EST
    Then he should not have signed documents under the penalty of perjury saying that he was.

    but (none / 0) (#162)
    by TheSteelGeneral on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 12:11:58 PM EST
    title and ownership ARE TOO facts. You're sounding confused.

    Independent? (none / 0) (#154)
    by TheSteelGeneral on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 11:35:02 AM EST
    Love how you think we're gonna believe you're an independent voter.

    True Independents tend to care about who's lying to them  a leeeeeeeeettle more than that.


    If Romney ran Bain Capital (1.00 / 1) (#150)
    by itscookin on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 11:23:04 AM EST
    and rescued the Olympics at the same time, that would make him eminently more qualified to be president than the guy who can't walk and chew gum at the same time who's there now. Because that is the message that the average independent voter is going to take away from this. But you go there if you think it's a winning argument for the Democrats.

    That's the IF that Romney says he didn't do ... (none / 0) (#156)
    by Erehwon on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 11:42:50 AM EST
    Romney says he had no involvement with Bain Capital then so he is the "guy who can't walk and chew gum at the same time" or at least, he wants everyone to think that!!! But if he did both, why doesn't he admit it?

    As for the rest of your claim about the guy who's there now, I think the average person can make up his or her mind that he has been doing lots of things at the same time, whether they agree with him or not. This dude's definitely shown he can do "walk and chew" multiple things at the same time.


    So is Kessler saying that (none / 0) (#1)
    by nycstray on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 10:17:56 AM EST
    Mittens was CEO in name only while earning $110k+ per year?

    Gray period, eh?

    Will Mitt survive (none / 0) (#2)
    by hgardner on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 10:23:37 AM EST
    I try not to be an hysteric, but it seems to me the Republicans may have to look for another candidate.  If Romney was the Bain decision maker after 1999, the GOP base won't tolerate the investment in Stericycle; if he was not, he has lied on federal forms he also signed.  Martha Stewart could tell him a little about lying to the feds.  I don't have any problem with $100K as a figure head (what's that comapared to $102 million in an IRA?), but if he wasn't the decision maker, who was?  I endorse BTD's point that not making decisions is also a decision.

    Well, they were more than happy to go after (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by Angel on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 10:30:58 AM EST
    Martha Stewart but they'll NEVER go after Romney.  There is a huge difference in those whom they choose to prosecute and those they don't.  Don't kid yourself if you think Romney is in any kind of legal trouble, or in trouble with the GOP for that matter.  He will remain their candidate.  Status quo.

    As ESPN's Lee Corso would say .... (none / 0) (#111)
    by heidelja on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 10:28:56 PM EST
    ...on College Gameday - Not so fast my friend!

    The Republican National Convention still must nominate the Republican candidate for president. And it meets six weeks from tomorrow. Who's to say Romney will be nominated given the number of Republicans found now suggesting he also release more tax returns which he has refused to do? He is doing just dumb and arrogant stuff that is snowballing on him badly.


    I love to gamble. How about a bet? (none / 0) (#126)
    by Angel on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 07:07:25 AM EST
    What if I don't have (none / 0) (#139)
    by christinep on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 08:57:01 AM EST
    $10,000 to throw away on this bet?

    Never gamble with $$$ you can't afford to lose. (none / 0) (#147)
    by Angel on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 11:06:59 AM EST
    The SEC documents (none / 0) (#14)
    by KeysDan on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 12:26:21 PM EST
    signed by Romney indicate, at least $100,000, but could be much above that.  Moreover, that amount may be for each  Bain "entity" filing.  The exact amount may be enlightening to the issue.

    Do you realize how little (none / 0) (#121)
    by Green26 on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 02:41:38 AM EST
    $100,000 of salary/retirement per year is for someone who apparently made $250 million in less than 25 years?

    Do you realize how bad it looks to the (5.00 / 6) (#122)
    by observed on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 02:44:19 AM EST
    average person that Romney could have made double their household income for no work at all?
    It's like when Nelson Rockefeller made some remark back in the 70's about an "average" family who made $100,000/yr

    not m (none / 0) (#155)
    by TheSteelGeneral on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 11:40:04 AM EST
    I endorse BTD's point that not making decisions is also a decision, but I will tell you why:
    Because, by not making decisions, you apparently have the AUTHORITY to not make a decision.

    And it's about that AUTHORITY, not the actual decision making.
    Personally, I think he was MAJOR in deciding to fire all those people. But he had the AUTHORITY to do that, which is what matters, and it matters because he denies he had it, which is a lie.


    Looking like this may be over soon (none / 0) (#7)
    by Lil on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 11:02:12 AM EST
    I never would have thought that the Republicans would allow Romney (or whoever their candidate was) to explode so soon. I think the time is coming to start asking Congressional candidates for their opinion on these issues. Tie all the R's to them and see if we can win back the majority, and keep the Senate too.

    Secrecy and deception prevented vetting (5.00 / 1) (#95)
    by bison on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 07:26:58 PM EST
    Transparency has not been Romney strong suit.  Secrecy and deception has been his mantra, and they have prevented him from being thoroughly vetted.

    In 2002, Romney got away without showing his tax-returns for proof of residency in the governor's race. He figures that he can get away with it again. He has not been transparent with the electorate for years, and has played by a different set of rules. Romney refused to release his 2001 MA tax return, unlike every other candidate in the race. It was assumed that he did not want to reveal financial issues; but his residency was the disputed issue. The tax return required him to select between Resident, Non-Resident, or Part-Year Resident. The question raised was that if he released his tax return, it might show that he was not a resident of the state. Adding further fuel to the secrecy was Romney refusal to release a redacted copy of the tax-return to the Boston Globe showing only the residency question.

    Also on this question of residency, the LA Times reported:
    "Romney maintains that he has always considered Massachusetts his home, and that a simple clerical error misclassified his Utah residence. He said he failed to notice the mistake because, for two years, the bills went to his wife."  http://articles.latimes.com/2002/jun/13/nation/na-romney13

    This is an old story, but it has currency; because it points to a pattern of secretive and deceptive behavior that made it difficult for him to be thoroughly vetted.


    Has anyone here (none / 0) (#11)
    by BTAL on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 12:03:13 PM EST
    actually READ the entire SEC 13D filing?  Which, was for ONE of the established investment funds managed by Bain Investments LLC, specifically the much ballyhoo'd filing was for:  Bain Capital Fund VI, L.P.

    How about the Corporate Governance Agreement, dated as of April 11, 2000?

    How about other Bain Investments LLC filings vs (and) the various investment fund LPs that are always created as separate entities?  

    And relating to a comment above, Bain is not a publicly traded company nor are the individual investment fund LPs.

    Tell us about them (none / 0) (#12)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 12:25:09 PM EST
    Here is a filing (none / 0) (#15)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 12:29:36 PM EST
    link. Tell me what you think this means:

    Mr. W. Mitt Romney, in his capacity as sole shareholder, sole director, Chief Executive Officer and President of Bain Investors VI, Bain
    Capital, Brookside Investors Inc. and Sankaty Investors II and in his capacity as sole shareholder, a director and President of Sankaty Ltd may be deemed to share voting and dispositive power with respect to the shares held by CLEC
    members. The filing of this statement by Mr. W. Mitt Romney shall not be construed as an admission that he is, for the purpose of Section 13(d) of the Exchange Act, the beneficial owner of such shares based on their pro-rata share of membership interests in CLEC.

    That addresses the portion of (none / 0) (#19)
    by BTAL on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 12:38:10 PM EST
    Bain IV and VI.  The filing is not for Bain Investments.  It was signed (as you know by Michael Krupka and also lists the other (several) Managing Directors @ Schedule A.  

    Without all the other filings, this one filing does not provide the clear and complete picture of Bain Investments Inc. LLC nor its various LP funds and established legal entities.

    Any basic research of Bain Investments LLC show:

    1.  It was not solely founded by Romney
    2.  It had several partners and managing directors and officers.

    The reporting is that it was Romney's private sandbox controlling millions/billions of $s and companies - which it was not.

    This seems a nonsequitor (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 12:47:17 PM EST
    What does it have to do with whether Romney was Chairman CEO and sole stockholder of Bain, as reported to the SEC?

    Please explain things things to me. I know so little about corporate law.


    You're getting forgetful, BTD (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by scribe on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 04:15:45 PM EST
    When you wrote:  
    Please explain things things to me. I know so little about corporate law.

    you forgot the little "</s>" at the end.


    Maybe Eric Erickson can explain it, (none / 0) (#24)
    by observed on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 12:54:37 PM EST
    for non-experts like yourself.

    Define Bain (none / 0) (#25)
    by BTAL on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 12:59:14 PM EST
    Bain Investments Inc. LLC - the parent company was never solely owned by Romney, nor he was the only shareholder, nor was he the only corporate - partnership officer.  Period.

    "Bain" included hundreds of LLC/LP legal entities dependent upon which investment fund was doing the investing with each created to establish legal ownership and partnership shares for the individuals, funds, etc. that were contributing to each "deal".  

    I thought you practiced corporate law?


    More nonsequitors (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 01:12:21 PM EST
    Did Mitt Romney have the legal power over Bain AND its investment vehicles or not?

    As a lawyer who practices corporate law, my understanding is he did through 2002.

    Perhaps you can teach me otherwise.


    Read that particular filing (none / 0) (#60)
    by BTAL on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 04:17:38 PM EST
    It was for the creation of the entity that was investing in US LEC Corp - a NC telco/isp.  Here is the parent link for the other schedules and enclosures for the entire filing.  

    This "smoking gun" is clearly a boiler plate document as part of the entire filing.  Nowhere else in any of the schedules and enclosures is Romney mentioned.  

    Also, if your opinion is so factual, you should be able to find 10s even 100s of Bain SEC filings during that period with the same damning evidence.  Or, is it your opinion that the LEC deal was the only investment made by Bain and all its funds during that 3 year period?  

    Your thread and opinion is the nonsequitor.


    But other than those (5.00 / 2) (#62)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 04:26:09 PM EST
    disclosures that Romney was the sole owner, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Bain and its investment entities, he had NOTHING to do with it!!!!

    Post'em if you've got 'em (none / 0) (#71)
    by BTAL on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 04:43:56 PM EST
    relating to the 1999-2001 time frame.

    You can post those links along with all the aforementioned SEC filings proving your point.

    And again, you loosely and knowingly use the term "Bain" in an attempt to mislead people to think Bain Investments LLC.  


    This legal entity complexity is a big problem (none / 0) (#50)
    by DFLer on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 03:13:23 PM EST
    ....with Bain and anyone else, including banks. As Sheila Bair said, talking about banks and break-ups and responsibility, on Bill Moyers this am:
    The problem is these banks have thousands of legal entities. The organizational structure itself is so complex, I've heard people call it a poison pill. How can you break them up? You can't even figure out how they're organized or structured

    When you spoke of the many entites re Bain, it reminded me of this comment.

    See the whole interview with Bair here


    Some contrary views (none / 0) (#13)
    by Green26 on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 12:25:49 PM EST
    Being ceo, chairman of the board and sole shareholder, indicates the ability to make decisions and run the company, but it doesn't mean that the person is in fact making the decisions and running the company. That is a separate factual analysis.

    A ceo on a leave of absence is not running the company and making decisions during that time, unless the ceo is not fully on a leave of absence.

    A Schedule 13D, which appears to be what most of these SEC documents are, is a document filed to report 10% or more ownership in a public company. The amount of shares owned and a description of what the owner intends to do with the ownership, is very important and must be accurate. However, I agree with some legal commentators who have said the document is otherwise largely ministerial. The document is often prepared by paralegals at law firms or companies, and then reviewed by someone a bit more senior. Occasionally, there is a decision to be made by someone who is senior, but probably not in these situations.

    A 13D is not a securities offering document. Signing the 13D's as they were signed was not misleading or an SEC violation, based on anything I can see or think of.

    A ceo, chairman and sole shareholder is a control or controlling person by definition under SEC rules. This is a technical definition, and not something that says or determines who is running the company or making decisions (as opposed to who can control the company).

    I read that Bain offering documents used to raise money for their funds during this period of time did not list Romney as one of the top 18 people making investment decisions for Bain.

    Sitting on the board of Staples, a prior portfolio company whose stock had been sold by Bain apparently, would not have been an indication of performance of Bain work. Sitting on the board of a Bain portfolio company would probably be an indication of doing Bain work (but more facts would have to be known).

    Being paid $100,000 per year while being on a leave of absence in a situation like this for a company like Bain, is not exactly alot of money in the world of high finance and investment. For example, outside directors of larger public are paid much more than that.

    From what I've read, I don't think Romney was making decisions for Bain during this time period. Bain and he says he wasn't. The Bain investment documents says he wasn't one of the top people making investment and other decisions. However, again, this is a factual question. His being the ceo, chairman and sole shareholder is of some interest, but it isn't determinative as to who was making these decisions.

    There is no leave of absence for legal power (5.00 / 3) (#16)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 12:30:34 PM EST
    unless such powers are formally renounced.

    If this is the best you can do to defend Kessler, then there is no defense.


    I said nothing about legal authority. (none / 0) (#17)
    by Green26 on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 12:36:14 PM EST
    If a ceo is on leave of absence, or doing another job, and sick on his death bed, he/she is not running his company and making decisions.

    In my view, ability to make or influence decisions does not determine who actually made the decisions.


    But I did (none / 0) (#18)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 12:37:29 PM EST
    in the post.

    And that point I think is key (none / 0) (#22)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 12:50:50 PM EST
    to this whole issue.  He could have intervened, and he didn't.

    My question to Green26 (none / 0) (#84)
    by christinep on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 05:34:52 PM EST
    Are there any presumptions created, rebuttable or otherwise, about the power/control residing in Mr. Romney as a result of his status (as CEO, etc.) in the submitted SEC forms?  

    iOW, what kind of a burden is there on Romney to put forth some evidence that his position was other than what he has certified to the SEC & other legal bodies (in Mass, e.g.). While I do not pretend to understand securities law, I do know that in the world we all live in, people will expect a bit more in the way of rebuttal than a "trust me" from the candidate.


    Where, oh where (5.00 / 1) (#100)
    by NYShooter on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 08:17:53 PM EST
    are "Woodward & Bernstein" when we need them?

    When we used to have an active Journalism Profession, investigative reporters would be all over this story.

    In a company as disparate as Bain, how hard would it be to find out exactly how far Mitt's "leave of absence" extended?

    Romney's Presidential ambitions seem to rest in the hands of just one believable whistleblower.


    Legally Liable (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by bison on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 07:03:46 PM EST
    It is hard to believe that Romney, as an  astute businessman, who could have be held legally liable, had no input or knowledge of what Bain did from 1999 to 2002.

    Oops, 5% not 10% (none / 0) (#23)
    by Green26 on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 12:53:35 PM EST
    for 13d.

    Why did they make the sale of Bain retroactive? (none / 0) (#28)
    by Payaso on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 01:05:22 PM EST
    If Romney was running things until 2001 why make the deal retroactive to 1999?  The sale of Bain took place years before Romney began running for President.

    Factchecker (none / 0) (#92)
    by bison on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 07:00:10 PM EST
    Thank for shedding some light on the role of the Factchecker in the Bain debacle.  I,too, wonder why he has muddy his reputation in Romney's mess.  He throw Romney a life line that he and his surrogates on holding tightly. In fact, the factchecker, is disputing information that is front of his eyes.

    If we keep talking about the economy, we're going (none / 0) (#96)
    by bison on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 07:36:35 PM EST
    Romney started using deception political ads on Obama and the media did not call him out on it. Yesterday, on Up w/Chris, James Carville reminded viewers that the Romney's Campaign began the season with deceptive and erroneous political ads against Obama.
    In Romney's first television ad in the New Hampshire primary, he showed President Obama saying, "If we keep talking about the economy, we're going to lose." What the ad didn't tell the viewer that this was from 2008 -- and that Obama was quoting an aide to John McCain at the time.  Here is the full Obama quote: "Senator McCain's campaign actually said, and I quote, 'if we keep talking about the economy, we're going to lose.'"

    I'm not saying that there is parity between the Obama's Campaign and this Romney ad.


    And he admits the same in 2012 (1.00 / 1) (#103)
    by BTAL on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 08:52:25 PM EST
    "That is his argument and you don't hear me complaining about him making that argument, because if I was in his shoes I'd be making the same argument," Obama said.


    Can't win or run on his record, let's talk about Bain.


    You know (5.00 / 1) (#114)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 12:10:57 AM EST
    what? I actually agree with your last sentence. The irony is that Obama is rerunning George W. Bush's 2004 campaign where he made it about "the other guy" because his own record was pretty abysmal.

    If I loan my car to a friend (none / 0) (#106)
    by Payaso on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 09:40:45 PM EST
    I still own it but I am not the one operating it.  If he gets drunk and kills someone I might be civilly liable but I am not guilty of a crime.

    i'm not sure you'd be civilly liable, (none / 0) (#115)
    by cpinva on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 12:18:34 AM EST
    unless you somehow knew, or had reason to know, that your friend would get drunk, and then go drive the car. for example, your friend is an aloholic, which you knew, before you lent him the car. any reasonable person, knowing this in advance, would assume your friend would be drunk and driving. in that case, i could see you being held civilly liable. i could be wrong.

    From tonight's NY Times: (none / 0) (#123)
    by Green26 on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 02:56:53 AM EST
    "It's a disconnect between the ownership interest and managerial functions," said Harvey L. Pitt, who served as S.E.C. chairman under President George W. Bush. "When Bain takes positions in public companies, they're required to show anyone who has an ownership interest that could be the effective equivalent of control. So Romney has to be shown on those filings. If they didn't show them on those filings, they would have broken the law. But it has nothing to do with who's actually running Bain Capital."

    Indeed, no evidence has yet emerged that Mr. Romney exercised his powers at Bain after February 1999 or directed the funds' investments after he left, ....

    An offering memorandum to investors in Bain's seventh private equity fund that was circulated in June 2000 also suggests that Mr. Romney was no longer actively involved in managing firm investments at the time. The memorandum, first published by Fortune, provides background on the "senior private equity investment professionals of Bain Capital." Eighteen managers are listed; Mr. Romney is not among them.

    On another filing with Massachusetts officials, Bain Capital listed all of Bain's directors and officers for 2001. The form lists Michael F. Goss as "president, managing director and chief financial officer," along with seventeen other managing directors. Mr. Romney is not among them, suggesting that while he still owned Bain's management company, he was not an officer of the company.

    By August 2001, Mr. Romney had announced that he would not return to Bain Capital. .... Mr. Romney's partners agreed to pay him a declining portion of the firm's profits in buyout deals and other businesses for 10 years. The deal, signed in 2002, incorporated a payout formula reflecting his passive role in the firm from February 1999 forward, officials said."

    Your standard of proof is strange (none / 0) (#124)
    by observed on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 04:42:05 AM EST
    Romney's signature is on more than 100 documents. In addition, he and his wife claimed at the time that he was still working for Bain, up to 2002, and in 200s, respectively.
    Against this, you offer the claim, made today, that he exercised none of his executive powers.
    Weird reasoning.
    Why not just say that he "retroactively retired"?

    In the real world (none / 0) (#125)
    by pcpablo on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 05:02:45 AM EST
    A CEO with no duties or responsibilities usually has "emeritus" attached to the title.

    Would everyone here hold the same positions (none / 0) (#142)
    by Payaso on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 09:33:24 AM EST
    If staying at Bain until 2002 was good for Romney?

    First, you might need to define what (5.00 / 1) (#144)
    by Anne on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 10:14:25 AM EST
    "staying at Bain" means; I'm going to assume you mean that he either didn't take the Salt Lake City Olympics position, or he somehow did both.

    So, if he's still at Bain in the sense most people understand that to mean, does he or doesn't he make the off-shoring decisions?  What's he doing differently in those years than he had done before, or was done while he claims not to have been active in the company?

    The good news for Romney if he had stayed at Bain would be that he wouldn't have provided false information on SEC and - more importantly, maybe - FEC forms.

    David Dayen:

    As former Bain Capital partner Ed Conard said yesterday, everything Bain was doing from 1999-2002 reflects everything they were doing before 1999 - gaming the tax system to make massive profits and push the losses onto the public sector.

    The reason this matters to me is that Romney signed an FEC document just last year stating that he "has not had any active role with any Bain Capital entity and has not been involved in the operations of any Bain Capital entity in any way," and yet the documents revealed since show that to be a falsehood. Everyone is focused on SEC documents - with horrible people like Bob Woodward saying that "they are camouflages for what's really going on," which is nice for us little people to know - but that's completely beside the point. It's the FEC document that's the problem.

    From HuffPo:

    A corporate document filed with the state of Massachusetts in December 2002 -- a month after Romney was elected governor -- lists him as one of two managing members of Bain Capital Investors, LLC "authorized to execute, acknowledge, deliver and record any recordable instrument purporting to affect an interest in real property, whether to be recorded with a Registry of Deeds or with a District Office of the Land Court."

    In August 2011, Romney told federal authorities, as part of the financial disclosure process, that he "retired from Bain Capital on February 11, 1999 to head the Salt Lake Organizing Committee [for the 2002 Winter Olympics]. Since February 11, 1999, Mr. Romney has not had any active role with any Bain Capital entity and has not been involved in the operations of any Bain Capital entity in any way."

    Bain Capital Investors is a Bain Capital entity.

    Even if there were no ambiguity or dissembling about Romney's relationship with Bain in the years in question, it's still fair to look at what Bain was doing, before and after, and something tells me that, as quoted above, "gaming the tax system to make massive profits and push the losses onto the public sector" probably isn't going to be good for Romney's political office aspirations, even if it would have been good for his personal financial health.


    You answered my question (none / 0) (#145)
    by Payaso on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 10:46:30 AM EST
    but not the way you intended.

    You have failed to explain how (5.00 / 1) (#146)
    by Anne on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 11:03:14 AM EST
    Romney staying at Bain - whatever that means - would be good for Romney in any way other than personally - do you mean to equate "good for Romney" with "good for the country?"

    What I explained is that Romney "staying at" Bain may have been personally, financially "good" for him, but some of us look at what would translate to being good for the country, and gaming the tax system and pushing the losses off on the taxpayers doesn't do that - it does anything but.

    Clearly, it's a winner for you.


    I meant good for Romney politically (none / 0) (#158)
    by Payaso on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 12:00:06 PM EST
    It seems to me that many people here are primarily concerned about whether this can be used against Romney or not.

    The truth of the allegations is secondary.


    Unfortunately, there are people who (5.00 / 1) (#163)
    by Anne on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 12:15:34 PM EST
    only view what's going on in terms of the horse race; I'm not one of those people.  In fact, it makes me a little cranky when people don't look too far past the winning or the losing, or declare that it's a wash because both candidates are bad.

    So, yes, there are people who would characterize "good for Romney" as "bad for Obama," regardless of whether it was good for the country, and whether whatever it was was true or not.  Making one candidate look bad doesn't make the other candidate look better, or improve his own record, but you would think it did the way people cheer when points are scored.


    nah (none / 0) (#164)
    by TheSteelGeneral on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 12:27:35 PM EST
    Many people here are  primarily concerned about whether the truth can be used against Romney or not.

    Oh wait!

    It can and it has been.

    BTW, what does 'payaso' mean in English?


    Speaking of political and media malpractice (none / 0) (#186)
    by ruffian on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 08:47:10 PM EST
    What about the Dems and the media that opined that Obama should stay away from Bain as an issue?  Do they think people are so in thrall to the financial community they don't care about this? Maybe that was true a few years ago, but not now.

    Are you home? As to your question, (none / 0) (#187)
    by oculus on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 08:48:45 PM EST
    I don't think Romney will sink or swim in the general on the basis of Bain.  Too complex.  

    What about as it pertains to honesty? (5.00 / 1) (#195)
    by observed on Tue Jul 17, 2012 at 04:02:19 AM EST
    Romney clearly flat out lied in the past.
    He said he had no involvement with Bain at all, after 1999.
    Now, he says he had no "management role", while his people say he had no "day to day role".
    He's lying through his teeth, and obviously so.