for the ballot in 2002 is causing problems
in 2012 (Jim Bourg/Reuters)
As we've learned over the past couple of weeks, Romney actually remained the sole owner and top corporate officer for Bain Capital until 2002, when he signed a retroactive severance agreement—one that continues to pay him $20 million annually, to this very day. His campaign's explanation?
This is nothing more than a quirk in the law. When Governor Romney took over the Olympics, he was not involved in the operations of any Bain Capital entity in any way. He was too busy working to make the Olympic Games among the most successful ever held.Well, if you call owning the firm and remaining its top corporate officer "a quirk in the law," then I guess it's a quirk, all right. But it's the kind of quirk that completely undermines the campaign's and the candidate's claim to have been completely severed from Bain as of Feb. 11, 1999.
And now there's more.
It turns out that in June of 2002, Mitt Romney testified before the Massachusetts Ballot Law Commission in order to prove that he met residency requirements to run for governor. During that testimony, Romney said that while he was working on the Olympics, he served on three corporate boards of directors. And yes, you guessed it, two of those companies were affiliated with Bain: Staples and LifeLike, a doll manufacturer in which Bain held a stake.
Bain, a private equity firm, held a stake in the LifeLike Co. until the end of 2001, including during the period in which Romney claimed to have no business involvement with Bain entities. Bain had heavily invested in LifeLike, a company that Romney identified personally as an opportunity, in 1996 and sold its shares in late 2001. His involvement with LifeLike contradicts his assertion that he had no involvement with Bain business. His testimony is supported by his 2001 Massachusetts State Ethics Commission filing, in which he lists himself as a member of LifeLike's boardSo despite Romneyland's claim that he had nothing to do with any Bain entity after February of 1999, Romney clearly did. Moreover, the notion that Romney would sit on LifeLike's board and would have nothing to do with Bain's decision to sell its shares in 2001 defies credulity. So it's no wonder that as of last night, Romneyland had started changing its tune about Mitt's ties to Bain. Actually, they didn't change their tune. They shut their lips:
The Romney campaign repeatedly declined to say Thursday evening whether the Republican presidential candidate attended any meetings or had any contact with Bain Capital during the time he ran the Olympic Games.And the fact that they are clamming up pretty much says it all.
If Romneyland were just saying that Mitt wasn't the guy running Bain on a daily basis, I guess that would be fair enough. But that's not what they are saying. They are saying he had absolutely nothing to do with Bain whatsoever in any capacity at all. They are saying he had no responsibility for anything that took place at Bain or at any entity related to Bain after Feb. 11, 1999. And even despite Mitt Romney's refusal to release anything more than the bare minimum required by law, we can already see that claim is bull. So this is just the beginning of the story. We're nowhere near the end.
And we still haven't explored that Chinese outsourcing company in which Bain invested millions through Mitt Romney's Bermuda shell company. And that happened in 1998, while even Mitt Romney admits he was running the firm.