Like all presidential candidates, Romney has to submit a financial disclosure statement to the Office of Government Ethics. He filed his most recent one last month, and the disclosure contains a very clearly stated footnote:
Mr. Romney retired from Bain Capital on February 11, 1999 to head the Salt Lake [Olympics] Organizing Committee. Since February 11, 1999, Mr. Romney has not had any active role with any Bain Capital entity and has not been involved in the operations of any Bain Capital entity in any way.Why? According to a February 11, 1999, AP article by Kirsten Moulton: (h/t Shuksan Tahoma)
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.If Romney does not say he was completely gone from Bain by Feb. 11, then he breached his Olympic contract.
It was also vitally important for him to protect his Olympic legacy, considering he was parachuted in to fight corruption in the organization. Bringing a scandal of his own would have put him in the record books right alongside the other fired officials.
EARLY BIRD UPDATE:
In the comments, we've been discussing the significance of this timing and what evidence is there that what the Romney campaign says about cutting ties with Bain is false.
In testimony before the state Ballot Law Commission on June 17, 2002As this was sworn testimony, we are supposed to take Romney's lawyer and his client, a Harvard JD who didn't correct the record, at their word.
“[Romney] succeeded in that three-year period in restoring confidence in the Olympic Games, closing that disastrous deficit and staging one of the most successful Olympic Games ever to occur on US soil,” said Peter L. Ebb from Ropes & Gray. (Romney's lawyer)
“Now while all that was going on, very much in the public eye, what happened to his private and public ties to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts? And the answer is they continued unabated just as they had.”
More about Mitt's residency and tax problems and how Massachusetts Republican "Angels" saved his bacon.