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Severely Conservative Gov. Willard Romney had no problem releasing his state and local tax documents when his residency was challenged, but when ask for federal returns or any that pointed to the inner working of his investment practices and the bobbing and weaving began.

As far back as 2002, in what was  called his "first serious crisis" in his bid for governor of Massachusetts, he dodged federally-linked tax questions. One might think that in sworn testimony before the State Ballot Law Commission he would be forthright, considering his ambition of the time. Perusing the list of requested documents, however, tells a chillingly different story.

His lack of candor may have revolved around the fact that, in a state that then had 3.9 million voters with only 526,000 of those being Republicans, his panel consisted of "three Republicans, a Democrat and an independent." This prompted the Tribune author to muse, that if Republicans had lost this battle, they "would have been at a loss to find another strong candidate."

His transparency with taxes involving his income likely stems from his "heroic" pledge to accept no salary while leading the Olympic games. A proviso of his tenure with the games, however, was that he cut his links to Bain Capital. Yet he still drew pay from Bain.

Romney will have to sever ties with any companies that do business with the games. Bain Capital has ownership stakes in many companies and Romney serves on various corporate boards.
We all now know, in his own words, he never completely cut those ties as required.

With President Obama running about 19 points better than Romney in Massachusetts, it appears the state has developed a severe case of buyer's remorse and is suffering a major Mitt hangover. I'm betting the rest of the country won't be as charitable as was his Republican elections commission.

Following is the list of documents requested by the Objector (Democrats), response from the Respondent (Romney) and final disposition. We find a remarkably consistent pattern in which documents were objected to. From the commission's finding:

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For convenience, the requested documents are listed below together with the response of the Respondent in italics and in parenthesis after each request. (NOTE: Bolding and underlining added by diarist.)


1. The first page of Form 1 or Form 1-NR/PY of your Massachusetts Income Tax Returns for each of the years 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001, including, but not limited to, all amended returns, redacted to show only your address and whether you filed a Form 1 Resident Income Tax Return or a Form 1-NR/PY Non-Resident/Part-Year Resident Income Tax Return for each of these years. (The Respondent agreed to provide redacted copies of the same).

2. All property tax bills for the property at 171 Marsh Street, Belmont, Massachusetts. (The Respondent agreed to provide redacted copies of the same).

3. All property tax bills for the property 3853 Rising Star Lane, Park City, Utah. (The Respondent agreed to provide redacted copies of the same).

4. All property tax bills for any other land, houses, condominiums, townhouses or apartments in which you and/or your wife have ownership interest. (The Respondent agreed to provide redacted copies of the same.)

5. All excise tax bills for any motor vehicle owned by you or your wife. (The Respondent agreed to provide redacted copies of the same).

6. All motor vehicle licenses, both expired and current. (The Respondent agreed to provide redacted copies of the same).

7. All automobile insurance policies and bills for all motor vehicles owned byyour or your wife. (The Respondent agreed to provide redacted copies of the same).

8. All automobile registrations for all motor vehicles owned by you or your wife. (The Respondent agreed to provide redacted copies of the same).

9. All water and sewer bills for the property at 171 Marsh Street, Belmont,Massachusetts. (The Respondent agreed to provide redacted copies of the same).

10. All fishing, hunting or other recreational licenses or registration. (The Respondent agreed to provide non-redacted copies of the same.)

11. All documents evidencing membership or participation in any charitable, social or civic organization. (The Respondent agreed to provide redacted copies of the same).

12. All correspondence sent by you, or on your behalf, to the Summit County Assessor’s office. (The Respondent agreed to provide non-redacted copies of the same.)

13. All correspondence received by you or your agents from the Summit County Assessor’s office. (The Respondent agreed to provide non-redacted copies of the same.)

14. All correspondence between you and your taxaccountants, tax preparers, and any other tax advisors. (The Respondent objected to this request.)
On June 10, 2002, Objector Thomson, in accordance with 801 C.M.R.§ 1.01(8)(b), filed Objector’s Second Request for Production of Documents. For convenience, the requested documents are listed below together with the response of the Respondent in italics and in parenthesis after each request.


15. All of your federal and state income tax returns for each of the years 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2001, including, but not limited to, all schedules, worksheets,and amended returns. (The Respondent objected to this request.)

16. All documents, memoranda, correspondence and communications, evidencing: (1) stock trades or any other event triggering a capital gain or loss for each of the years 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001; (2) capital gains taxes incurred by you in Utah and Massachusetts for each of the years 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001; (3) short-term and long-term capital gains taxes paid by you in Massachusetts and Utah for each of the years 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001. (The Respondent objected to this request.)

17. All United States passports, both expired and current. (The Respondent agreed to provide non-redacted copies of the same.)

18. A cancelled check from each bank account or money market account held inyour name, either individually or jointly, for each of the years 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2001. (The Respondent agreed to provide redacted copies of the same).

19. One month’s bank statement for each of the years 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001 for each savings and checking account held by you, individually or jointly, redacted to show only (1) your name; (2) your mailing address; (3) name of the financial institution; and (4) address of the financial institution. (The Respondent agreed to provide redacted copies of the same).

20. All cancelled checks evidencing the payment of your property taxes and state income taxes in Massachusetts and Utah. (The Respondent agreed to provide redacted copies of the same).

21. All documents filed with, or received from, the Summit County Assessor’s office, including, but not limited to, a Signed Statement of Primary Residence. (The Respondent agreed to provide redacted copies of the same).

22. All correspondence, communication (including email communications), press releases, press statements, and any other documents regarding your residency status, including, but not limited to, your intention to remain in Utah or move to Massachusetts after the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. (The Respondent agreed to provide redacted copies of the same).

23. One month’s electricity, gas, oil, and telephone bill for the property at 171Marsh Street, Belmont, Massachusetts for each of the years 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001. (The Respondent agreed to provide redacted copies of the same).

24. A sample bill for each of the years 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002, for the payment of dues or membership fees for each social, recreational, civic, political or charitable organization or club of which you are a member. (The Respondent agreed to provide redacted copies of the same).

25. All documents, correspondence, and communications regarding jury service in any federal court, any Massachusetts state court, and any Utah state court. (The Respondent agreed to provide non-redacted copies of the same.)
...SNIP...

Commission findings


On June 14, 2002, Objector Thomson,  in accordance with 950 C.M.R. § 59.03 and 801 C.M.R. § 1.01(8)(i), filed a Motion to Compel Production of Documents. In her Motion and at oral argument, Objector Thomson limited her requests, seeking only the following:
a. transmittal letters accompanying completed Massachusetts and Utah tax returns sent to Romney for review and signature;

b. such correspondence as may refer or relate to Romney’s tax filing status (resident
or non-resident);

c. documents evidencing stock trades and capital gains taxes incurred and/or paid in Utah or Massachusetts.

At the pre-hearing conference held on June 14, 2002, the Commission allowed that Motion to Compel insofar as it sought correspondence that may refer or relate to the Respondent's tax filing status as a “resident” or “non-resident.” Consistent with allowance of the Protective Order, the Commission denied the remaining requests. (Emphasis added)
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Cross-posted in a quiet corner of the internet at:
MKSinSA InSAnity Reigns:
   Ramblings on the InSAnity that is the prospect of a Willard Romney presidency

Originally posted to MKSinSA on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 02:13 PM PDT.

Also republished by The Bain Files.

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