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View Diary: Why Romney flip-flopped on Bain departure date (326 comments)

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  •  There's a lot wrong here, (1+ / 0-)
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    johnny wurster

    but that article doesn't support it. Just because Romney served on the board of Lifelike and Staples doesn't mean he was still active in day-to-day operations of Bain. Those are separate things. He could have discontinued his work with Bain and still served on those boards.

    •  So what if he wasn't involved in day-to-day (1+ / 0-)
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      So what if he wasn't involved in day-to-day operations.. He was the owner.  What happens under him is ultimately his responsibility.  Are you really trying to claim that an owner of a company can just look the other way and not take any responsibility for negative things that happen?

      •  Reread what I said (0+ / 0-)

        I'm not making that claim at all. As owner, CEO, and president of Bain through 2002 (even just "technically"), Romney was legally responsible for everything that happened there through that time. He probably played an active role, too, but that hasn't been proven yet. I suspect it will be soon.

        But this article at HuffPo doesn't incriminate him any further. It just says that he sat on boards of individual companies. He could have sat on those boards even if he was no longer with Bain.

    •  Why would he have actively participated in (0+ / 0-)

      running Lifelike and Staples as a board member and not have participated in the running of Bain, of which he was sole stockowner and CEO?  It doesn't pass the smell test.

      The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

      by lysias on Thu Jul 12, 2012 at 04:43:57 PM PDT

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      •  CEOs (1+ / 0-)
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        johnny wurster

        sit on boards of other companies all the time. For instance, Apple has Mickey Drexler from J Crew, Andrea Jung from Avon, and Robert Iger from Disney.

        Say one of them left their companies: e.g. Drexler left J Crew to start a new company. Apple still might keep him on its board, as he may have skills and a perspective they find valuable. In other words, his representation on their board isn't dependent on his position at J Crew.

        •  If Romney was simply the 100% stockholder (2+ / 0-)
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          semiot, lysias

          of Bain, or even if he was "just" chairman of the board" or a "Director of the Board", you might have a point that he wasn't "in charge" of Bain.  I agree that you can own something and let others manage, or you can even be on the Board of a corporation and not actually be involved in the day to day business (you shouldn't be involved in operations as a Director).  But Romney's involvement in Bain is different.  He could have resigned his title as CEO or as President, and still been sole stockholder, and still Chairman.  

          But he has legally listed himself as "Chief Executive Officer and President" of Bain.  

          The purpose of all these weird inconsistent maneuvers was to provide him with political cover, not for any business benefit.  

          That he retroactively "retired" from Bain during the 4 years in question, even though he originally claimed he wasn't retired in 1999 but "on a leave of absence", is another example of how he engages in an act, then reframes it later, for political purposes.  

          I know of no company or corporation that allows an employee a one two three or four year "leave of absence" without signing a condition when you apply that you will return as a regular employee.  A leave of absence is not the same as an early retirement.  It would be interesting to read Bain's HR Handbook for that time, under the policy heading "Leaves of Absence".

          "Out of Many, One." This is the great promise of our nation -9.75 -6.87

          by Uncle Moji on Thu Jul 12, 2012 at 06:25:35 PM PDT

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    •  Maybe, but those were BAIN investments (1+ / 0-)
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      and Mittens runs around the country touting how with BAIN and M Rmoney, Staples created a bunch of jobs.

      So which is it?  Do you think Mittens on the Board of Staples didn't answer to Bain at all?

    •  He was on the Board of Lifelike because he owned (1+ / 0-)
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      Bain.  The only reason he was on the board of Lifelike is because he was the "sole stockholder, Chairman of the Board, CEO and President" of Bain Capital which was the majority stakeholder in Lifelike.  You have your majority owner on your Board - you elect yourself to the board.

      If he had not been the CEO, President, Chairman and 100% owner of Bain, it is unlikely that a doll company would have chosen him, just some random guy without any ownership,  to volunteer for their board.  

      There is something particularly weird about a man who runs on his record of business leadership then says "Yep, I was President of this great company and therefore I have lots of experience but I actually didn't do any work and had no responsibility, but got salary and benefits for not being in charge of anything.  Elect Me!"  

      Power, money, and benefits with ZERO accountability.  It's a nice lie if you can get away with it.

      "Out of Many, One." This is the great promise of our nation -9.75 -6.87

      by Uncle Moji on Thu Jul 12, 2012 at 06:08:22 PM PDT

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      •  Well, I agree (0+ / 0-)

        that that's the reason he was first elected to the boards of Lifelike and Staples. But it doesn't necessarily follow that because he was still on those boards in 2002 that he was still active at Bain at that time. Those companies could have kept him on even though he had moved on to other things.

        I mean, based on this story, it's likely that he was still active at Bain, but not necessary. People stay on boards all the time after a change in their status or professional role.

        I don't mean to be defending him here, really. I think he's smarmy. But I just don't see this particular story as conclusive.

        •  I agree with you. This is persuasive but not (1+ / 0-)
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          conclusive.  That's why we need to see the meeting minutes.  Wouldn't that settle it for good?

          But for me, it doesn't matter one bit if he was not involved in the day-to-day operations of Bain.  He was the CEO.  He is legally responsible.  He owns it -- the good as well as the bad.

        •  There's a thing called "pattern of behavior" (1+ / 0-)
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          that we use to look at assessing the credibility of an employee or a man.  By itself, one act should not be seen as determinative, and I agree that if there was only this one act on Mitt's part, it would be hazy and in the grey, and I would agree that he should have the benefit of the doubt.  (This is why I gave an uneasy benefit of the doubt to Pizza King on the first claim of sexual harassment, but by two and three, he was total toast, as far as any benefit of the doubt was to be had.)

          The problem with this story is that his whole political career has been based on taking one position "I was an independent during Reagan" at one time when it was politically convenient, and then "severely conservative" at the CPAC convention, runs as a "pro-choice Republican" for Gov of Mass, then evokes "Reagan as anti-abortion" icon when he runs for President.  

          His Bain behavior isn't about a business decision made by Steve Jobs or Warren Buffett or Jack Welch.  It's a purely political one, by a craven ambitious man who is trying to bootstrap his "business leadership" to political power.  If he wanted to stay in the business world and lie to his shareholders, that's a different issue.  As a candidate for office has to be judged on his past pattern of behavior in business within the context of his political ambitions.

          "Out of Many, One." This is the great promise of our nation -9.75 -6.87

          by Uncle Moji on Thu Jul 12, 2012 at 06:55:48 PM PDT

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          •  For the record, (0+ / 0-)

            I was completely wrong in my take above. I didn't realize that these companies were 100% owned by Bain. I thought they were independent companies in which Bain had invested. So there's no way Romney could have served on these boards without also fulfilling a role or Bain.

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