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Much has been made of Mitt Romney’s career at Bain Capital, the venture capital firm that he helped to found.

Newt Gingrich called his tenure there “exploitive” and claimed that Bain worked to “leverage the game, borrow the money, leave the debt behind and walk off with all the profits.”

Rick Perry described Bain as “vultures,” “sitting out there on the tree limb waiting for the company to get sick and then they swoop in, they eat the carcass.”

Meanwhile, President Obama’s campaign has launched ads attacking Romney on Bain, seizing on a Washington Post report that “During the nearly 15 years that Romney was actively involved in running Bain, a private equity firm that he founded, it owned companies that were pioneers in the practice of shipping work from the United States to overseas call centers and factories making computer components.”

How’s that for bipartisanship?  Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry and Barrack Obama all agree that Mitt Romney and Bain Capital were exploitive vultures who shipped jobs overseas.

But what does Andrei Cherny call Bain Capital?

His second largest donor.

Cherny accepted a $5,000 contribution from Bain Capital big-wig Josh Bekenstein on March 31, 2012, a week after accepting a $2,500 contribution from another Bain investor, Mark Nunnelly.

According to the Bain web site, Bekenstein “joined Bain Capital at its inception in 1984. He has been a Managing Director since 1986,” meaning that he was right there working with Mitt Romney from the start of the company.

In the photo below, he’s the one standing over Romney’s (middle) shoulder, holding up money while simultaneously chewing on more money and having yet even more money coming out of his jacket.  

From left, Fraser Bullock, Eric A. Kriss, Joshua Bekenstein, Mitt Romney, Coleman Andrews, Geoffrey S. Rehnert, and Robert F. White.

While the genesis of Cherny’s ties to Koch Industries seems pretty clear, it’s less obvious how he got himself close to the Bain crowd.

But, given Cherny’s apparent lack of concern about outsourcing, they may just be ideological soul mates.

Here’s a passage from Cherny’s book, “The Next Deal,” which makes the case that the kind of work conducted by companies like Bain Capital isn’t a real reason to be upset:

I’ll pause here to say that despite some truly outrageous and awful policy proposals in Cherny’s book, it is actually rather interesting and I enjoyed reading it.  He’s undeniably a good writer, even if he is more in-line with the Romney-wing of the Republican Party than with your average Democrat.

That said, Cherny isn’t running for Book Club President (unless the seat is open).  

He’s running for Congress, and anyone who doesn’t see a reason to be upset about outsourcing American jobs doesn’t need to be writing our laws.  

The smug attitude displayed about outsourcing and offshoring is a real problem.  Cherny dismisses the issue with a shrug, as if to say, “That’s just the way it is, so get used to it.”

Not so fast, partner.

This isn’t a cry, as Cherny might suggest, to take us back to the ‘good old days.’  

It is an acknowledgement that policy decisions have consequences… that there is a cause-and-effect relationship between the policies our leaders enact and the outcomes in our daily lives.  

What we’ve seen over the past few decades - as the very wealthy suck up more and more while everyone else gets the shaft - is more than just an issue of people being ‘left behind’ in Cherny’s new world economic order.  

It’s what happens when our elected leaders enact laws that gives carte blanche to mega-corporations, Wall Street, oil companies and ‘investors’ like those at Bain Capital, at the expense of everyone else.  

And what have those interests gotten?  Deregulation of Wall Street.  Massive tax breaks for the richest people.  Trade deals that devastate the middle class towns while enriching corporate CEOS.  

The list could go on endlessly.  

As a nation, we don’t have to do those things.  

We don’t HAVE to enter into trade agreements like NAFTA or CAFTA, and we don’t HAVE to provide perverse tax incentives for companies to move jobs overseas, or give subsidies to profitable oil companies. State governments don’t HAVE to contract with companies that outsource to India or other far-flung places.  

Those are among the reasons we’ve gotten into our current mess.  

And as long as the likes of the American Legislative Exchange Council, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Koch Brothers continue to get their way, the middle class will continue to struggle.  

Counter to Cherny’s assertion, those ARE ‘fundamental reasons’ to be upset, not just because they’ve happened and continue to happen, but because, at best, our elected officials allow them to happen, and at worst (embodied today by the Koch-disciples), they willfully seek to enact policies like the Ryan Budget that would make things worse for everyone, save a wealthy handful, like the executives at Bain Capital and the repugnant Koch Brothers.

There are a lot of problems in Congress right now.  

The Tea Party / Koch Heads are certainly among them, but not far behind are Democrats like Cherny, who hypocritically preach about ‘saving the middle class’ while at the same time cozying up to the very forces that are systematically destroying it.  

The last thing we need is another one.  

As always, I continue to encourage you to make a contribution to one or both of his opponents, Kyrsten Sinema or David Schapira.

Originally posted to EyeOnAZ09 on Tue Jul 03, 2012 at 09:57 AM PDT.

Also republished by Baja Arizona Kossacks.

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Comment Preferences

  •  This isn't on the radar in Arizona (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PSzymeczek, Larsstephens

    Maybe this needs to be publicized. Perhaps somebody, like Kyrsten or David, need to bring this view of his to the attention of their fellow Democrats....

    OK. And now we begin the part of the show where we pull out individual words and phrases of the commenter to try to determine the "real" meaning of the comment.... let the games begin.

    by hillbrook green on Tue Jul 03, 2012 at 10:24:51 AM PDT

  •  Chutzvah (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PSzymeczek, Larsstephens

    Andrei Cherny has a lot of chutzvah to sell himself as the savior of the middle class. Between his taking money from the Koch Brothers and Bain Capital, it's clear what type of Democrat Andrei would be in Washington.

  •  In my diary on Cherny's (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    fundraising, I noticed that many of his Bain Capital and finance industry donors were active in Teach for America/City Year/KIPP-style philanthropy:

    What are their other causes?  Greg Wendt is also on the board of Teach for America, and was the "founding chair" of KIPP: St. Louis.  As it happens, Cherny also got $2,500 from Joshua Donfeld of Los Angeles and "Canyon Capital", who is also on the board of KIPP: Los Angeles--and Donfeld is even more of a Republican, having given to McCain (in the primary, and he also made a refunded general election contribution) as well as to Josh Mandel(!).  Oh, and he gave to the DNC. I don't understand it either, but I am amused by the fact that Donfeld gave from Beverly Hills to give to McCain and from WeHo to give to the DNC.  (He gave to Mandel from both--unless there are multiple Josh Donfelds?)

    Cherny also got $2,500 from Mark Nunnelly, of (uh) "Bain Capital"--and while Nunnelly is a big Democratic donor, who has been to White House events under Obama, he is also on the board of the national KIPP organization.  

    Josh Bekenstein, also of Bain, is on the board of a group called Be The Change, with Alan Khazei, the founder of City Year, and with Richard Barth, the President of KIPP--and Josh gave $2,500 to Cherny, with Sam Bekenstein also giving $2,500.  As it happens, Bekenstein is also on the City Year board, with Wendy Kopp of Teach for America. Moreover, according to Bain  itself, "Bain is a founding sponsor of City Year [...] The leadership team there has said, "We have never made a strategic move without having a team from Bain to guide us."  

    In fact, according to Fortune,  "Mark Nunnelley is credited with helping to first form the relationship [between Bain and City Year]".  And, as this blog points out (critically), "Nunnelley also directs New Profit, Inc, a group of 'social entrepreneurs' dominated by Bain execs like Josh Blankenstein and Paul Edgerley." Also on the board of New Profit is Greg Avis, of Summit Partners--who gave $5,000 to Cherny.  That might seem a little tangential, but the Fortune article quotes City Year founder Alan Khazei that "the first VC to actually pick up was Steve Woodsum of Summit Partners– he now serves as City Year's chairman".  (That's actually outdated, but he's still on the board--see the above link.)

    (Click through for links, including to the blogs and articles that I quoted.)

    26, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-14 (formerly PA-02/NY-12).

    by Xenocrypt on Tue Jul 03, 2012 at 11:40:47 AM PDT

  •  This is complex stuff (0+ / 0-)

    I think your post demonstrates that the walls between right and left, politics and capital, and yes - sometimes good and evil seem to be neatly drawn when seen through the lens of cable news and talk radio - but in reality the lines are blurred by the ebb and flow of corporate cash.  

    Watch any politician - including Obama (and I generally like him and will certainly vote for him) and what you see is a competition with the Republicans to offer the sweetest deal to small business, or tax cuts for hiring workers, or tax credits for doing the right kind of R&D.

    The parties are in a death spiral trying to offer incentives to business because we have let ourselves to believe if business does good - we do good. But the real fact is when we do good - is when business does good. Corporate money has spun the facts on there head.

    The fundamental unit of this economy is the American Family - we work, take care of aging parents, educate the next generation, and buy lots of stuff trying to do it from cars and houses, to kid's shoes and diet coke.  And we - AMERICAN FAMILIES - are running out of money because politicians keep lining up to throw incentives at businesses not families:

    1- Why can't families depreciate the car they need to go to work.
    2-If business can carry losses forward why can't families average income over a period of years.  For instance i have a friend that just got laid off and his severance check will put him in a higher bracket and a bunch of the money will go to tax - he should be allowed to average the income over three years.
    3-Why doesn't every working person get a deduction for the cost of meals while their working.
    4-Why isn't gas and auto maintenance deductible - it's a reality of getting to work for the vast majority of Americans.

    My basic point - Give families the incentives not businesses  - and for once let the money trickle up...bottom line - support the non-corporate candidate but it is unlikely to find that candidate in the Republican party, so party affiliation still matters for now.


  •  Andrei Cherny, Koch & Bain (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    number nine dream

    Who is Andrei Cherny really?  A failed politician from California who moved to Arizona because his ideas and associates are more compatible with the prevailing craziness?  A carpetbagger?  An opportunist who does not have the public's interests at heart?  A Teathuglicant in Democrat clothing?  A ringer?

    I am already sorry that Synema and Shapira are running against each other and not unopposed in two diferent districts.  Having ersatz Democrat Cherny in there is a real spoiler.

    Hopefully, the word will get out to more Democratic voters prior to the primary election.

  •  Too Funny (0+ / 0-)

    I love your vehement, Republican-style post.  You attack Cherney for his donors while ignoring ALEC members like Kyrsten.  The thing is, I really like Kyrsten (I live in Arizona, by the way) and think she has been an incredible supporter of the people for the most part.  But to point to the splinter in another's eye while ignoring the log in one's own does not do anyone justice.  If you want to attack Cherney on his past actions, fine.  But I encourage caution on the personal attacks since there are plenty of people who know both.

    Pat Flickner, candidate for AZ State House of Representatives in LD15.

    by pflickner on Mon Jul 09, 2012 at 09:45:10 AM PDT

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