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  •  Slick Mitt in his own words-Staples & the Olympics (5+ / 0-)
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    cany, ThatPoshGirl, loretta, gustynpip, plume

    The Boston Phoenix did a long article in 2007 about Romney and on pg 5 has this about Romney, Staples, and the Olympics.

    Does this sound like an ethical businessman? This smacks of a bribe to me.

    To launch his political career, Romney needed to financially rescue them. To do that, he needed corporate sponsorships. And he got many of those sponsorships by working his business connections, and his skill at finding ways to make deals worthwhile to the person across the table.

    The details of those deals were never disclosed: Romney exempted them from his “total transparency” pledge regarding the SLOC’s finances and business arrangements.

    One story told by Romney himself suggests his methods. In Turnaround, his 2004 book about his Olympics experience, Romney tells of the deal he offered to his friend Thomas Stemberg, founder and then-CEO of Staples, for that company’s sponsorship: his Olympics staff “would get to work lobbying SLOC board members and other corporate contacts to switch their office-supply contracts to Staples.”

    Romney was on the Staples board at the time, and holding a financial stake in the company, as he was offering to use his SLOC leverage and staff to drum up business for the company, an apparent conflict of interest.

    But before Stemberg accepted, SLOC’s outside-sales firm landed Office Depot for the sponsorship. Romney wanted it to go to Staples. As he writes in Turnaround, he arranged for Stemberg to offer a million dollars more than Office Depot had — and then had his SLOC staff offer Office Depot a million dollars to back out of the sponsorship deal. Office Depot declined, and kept the sponsorship.

    In other cases, generosity to the Winter Olympics was followed closely by lucrative deals from Bain Capital, which do not prove a quid pro quo but do raise questions.

    And an articleon Friday says both Romney and Bain still had Staples shares,

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