Is Mitt Fit?
August 27, 2012 by Bob Livingston
The big bash called the Republican National Convention is set to kick off. If all goes as the party elites have planned, Mitt Romney will be nominated and acclaimed tomorrow (the roll call had been moved up to today “because of concerns about supporters of libertarian Texas Rep. Ron Paul” but Hurricane Isaac interfered) as the country’s salvation from four years of the illegal Obamination that currently despoils the people’s house.
Romney hardly qualifies as a savior — unless what you want to save is big government, ever-growing debt and perpetual war. Beyond the facts that Romney is a natural-born citizen (and there is no proof that the current occupant of the White House is) and there are slight differences in their statist, big government policies, there is little else to differentiate between Romney and the undocumented White House usurper.
To wit: Both believe the government should bail out failing industries; both believe in corporate and agricultural welfare; both support off-shoring American jobs; both support unlimited money printing; both support the notion that government can imprison people without charges or trial; both support government assassinations of Americans; both support weapons bans; both support socialized medicine; both support abortion; both believe in man-caused global warming and support cap-and-trade legislation; both have stated their undying support of Israel; both have advocated pre-emptive war on Syria and Iran and growing the American empire. As President Barack Obama has continued George W. Bush’s nation-destroying-then-rebuilding policies and Romney has employed as advisers much of Bush’s foreign policy team, expect four more years (at least) of war tacked onto the more than 20 we’ve endured in the Mideast.
But the Republican faithful have turned a blind eye to these facts and accepted the party elite’s chosen candidate as well as the elite’s false narrative. The rank and file have also dismissed the ill treatment of the only true conservative in the race, Ron Paul, as well as the ill treatment of his delegates and supporters. But do the rank and file really know who Romney is? And better yet, are they willing to hear the truth and reject Romney while there is still time to replace him with a real conservative who can defeat Obama and change the direction of the country?
In 1984, when Bain Capital was just getting off the ground and struggling to find investors, Romney approached old-money families, including the Rothschilds, for investment in the new venture. Those old-money families turned him down. So Romney went searching for other sources of funding.
In doing so, he began doing business with some nefarious characters, according to the Los Angeles Times. One of them was Sir Jack Lyons, who made a $2.5 million investment through a Panama shell company. Lyons was later convicted of fraud, fined heavily (though spared prison because of ill health) and stripped of his knighthood.
Another British investor of Bain Capital was the publishing baron Robert Maxwell. After Maxwell’s drowning death in 1991, investigators learned Maxwell had stolen hundreds of millions of dollars from his company’s pension funds.
Romney’s Bain partner Harry Strachan suggested other sources of funding with Central American ties. The LA Times quotes a Boston Globe article from 1994 that describes Romney and Bill Bain as being “terrified of bringing in Central Americans” because of “drug money.” But Strachan reassured them so that they approached some of El Salvador’s wealthiest people.
El Salvador was in the midst of a civil war and many of the country’s rich were looking to get their money out of the country. Two of the investors were Francisco R.R. de Sola and his cousin Herbert Arturo de Sola, whose brother Orlando de Sola was suspected by the U.S. State Department and CIA of backing right-wing El Salvadoran death squads, according to now-declassified documents.
Another Bain investor was Jack Hanley, formerly the head of the agricultural terrorist company Monsanto. Hanley invested $1 million. “It seemed like a hell of a smart thing for to do to ride their coattails,” Hanley told the LA Times. “I got rich.”
Romney is a classic crony capitalist, i.e., a fascist, and his ties to Paul Ryan go far beyond tapping him as his Vice Presidential selection. Last week, The Telegraph reported that Romney may have violated ethics laws while Governor of Massachusetts by profiting from a marketing company that was contracted by the State after receiving $5 million from Bain Capital.
Paul Ryan’s brother Tobin was senior manager at Bain from 1995-1998. He left to become vice president of Imagitas, a company co-founded by Bain consultant Tom Beecher. In June 2000, the company got a $5 million investment from Bain. It expanded and began to win contracts with several State governments, including Wisconsin — where Republican and Ryan ally Scott McCallum was Governor — and Massachusetts (a contract that began in 2002, shortly before Romney’s election as Governor and shortly after Tobin Ryan says he left Imagitas).
That work with Massachusetts continued for several years, yet Romney never disclosed the potential conflict of interest. According to The Telegraph, Romney’s 2002 financial disclosure forms state he still owned 100 percent of Bain Capital Investors VI and Bain Capital, Inc. But the forms do not detail individual companies like Imagitus, in which Bain Capital was invested.
In 2005, while Romney was still Governor, Imagitus was sold for $230 million.
Victor Fleischer, a law professor at the University of Colorado specializing in private equity, told The Telegraph it was “possible but unlikely” that Romney could have completely prevented himself from benefiting from Imagitas.
Over the years, Imagitas gave the Republican Governor’s Association, which Romney chaired, a total of $64,825. Former Imagitus board member Glenn Youngkin, a senior executive with The Carlyle Group — an organization with several directors and staffers who are members of the Council on Foreign Relations — has donated $50,000 to the Romney Victory Fund. He has donated more than $16,000 to Ryan’s campaigns since 1999.
Romney’s Abortion Problem
Romney has flopped like a fish on the subject of abortion, changing his stance depending upon which political office he’s seeking. He insists he’s pro-life now, but he refused last year to sign a pro-life pledge for the Susan B. Anthony List, a pro-life women’s organization. He has since created his own pledge that removed language from the Susan B. Anthony List pledge he didn’t like, and has received the organization’s endorsement.
But in 1999, Bain Capital invested $75 million in Stericycle, a medical-waste disposal firm that disposed of aborted fetuses collected from family-planning clinics. Bain and Romney claim Romney left the firm to run the 2002 Winter Olympics before the Stericycle deal was made. But documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission tell a different story.
Romney is listed as an active participant. According to Mother Jones:
Romney “may be deemed to share voting and dispositive power with respect to” 2,116,588 shares of common stock in Stericycle “in his capacity as sole shareholder” of the Bain entities that invested in the company. That was about 11 percent of the outstanding shares of common stock. (The whole $75 million investment won Bain, Romney, and their partners 22.64 percent of the firm’s stock—the largest bloc among the firm’s owners.) The original copy of the filing was signed by Romney.
Another SEC document filed November 30, 1999, by Stericycle also names Romney as an individual who holds “voting and dispositive power” with respect to the stock owned by Bain. If Romney had fully retired from the private equity firm he founded, why would he be the only Bain executive named as the person in control of this large amount of Stericycle stock?
The Allen Stanford Connection
Romney has also been tied to convicted Ponzi schemer Allen Stanford, recently sentenced to 110 years in prison in a $7 billion fraud case.
According to The New York Times, about a month after Romney’s 2008 President bid ended, Romney’s son Tagg and top campaign fundraiser Spencer Zwick decided to form a private equity fund and they had a rolodex of deep-pocketed campaign funders to pitch their ideas to. What they didn’t have was private equity experience, so they tapped into the Charlotte office of Stanford Financial Group (SFG) — which had been closed by Federal regulators for selling sham certificates of deposit — and used $10 million in seed money from the Romney family to invest in one part of SFG’s business called Solamere Capital.
The Times reports that Solamere executives claim the group had only been with SFG a short time and knew nothing of the fraud, even though they earned commissions and bonuses from the sale of fraudulent CDs. But the court-appointed receiver for SFG has filed a Federal lawsuit that claims the former SFG employees ignored warning signs of the fraud. He is seeking to recover money from them.
Despite Tagg Romney’s claims to the contrary, an investigation into at least three principals of Solamere who came from SFG is ongoing.
Foreign Funds And More Shady Characters
And then there’s Romney’s foreign fundraising problem. In late July, Romney went to Israel where he held several fundraisers — without collecting paperwork from the donors and most without the presence of journalists — and promised in speeches to back an Israeli strike on Iran.
In January, the Supreme Court issued an order that upheld prohibitions against foreigners making contributions to influence American elections. It stated, “Foreign nationals, other than lawful permanent residents, are completely banned from donating to candidates or parties, or making independent expenditures in federal, state or local elections.”
Veterans Today writes Romney was “personally campaigning outside the US, soliciting foreign citizens, and humiliating himself and his country with his ignorance and flagrant attempts to trade illegal cash for promises of illegal war. One could hardly break more laws if one wanted.”
The Washington Post said the fundraiser — which included Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson — involved about 40 donors who were U.S. citizens, many of whom flew in to attend the event. But there was no filming or photographs allowed and no IDs were checked.
VT also reports that Romney and Adelson met with a group of large donors from the Russian Jewish community who flew in from Moscow.
Adelson is currently being investigated by Federal and Nevada investigators for possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act over an investment in Macau.
In addition to his Israel trip, Romney has also held several campaign fundraisers in England.
It seems that Republicans are now faced with three choices. First, they can shove their heads into the sand at the Tampa, Fla., beaches and pretend that all is well with their candidate, telling themselves all the while they are voting for the “lesser of two evils.”
Or they can look into this and other evidence and determine that Romney’s not the answer for the Nation’s problems and demand a new candidate be selected at the convention: preferably Ron Paul. For this route, time is short; and it’s been made shorter by even more last-minute dirty tricks by the Republican elites.
Or, as I suspect will happen, they can ignore it all and instead unleash a stream of ad hominems and fallacies, shooting the messenger by imputing all manner of nefarious pro-Obama motives to Personal Liberty Digest™ and me while they la-de-da themselves all the way to either a November defeat or, if Romney wins, a Nixonian fall later on.
Cue the slur machine. Three, two, one…