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by Gerry Bello, Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman

    Will you cast your vote this fall on a faulty electronic machine that's partly owned by the Romney Family?  Will that machine decide whether Romney will then inherit the White House?

    Through a closely held equity fund called Solamere, Mitt Romney and his wife, son and brother are major investors in an investment firm called H.I.G. Capital.  H.I.G. in turn holds a majority share and three out of five board members in Hart Intercivic, a company that owns the notoriously faulty electronic voting machines that will count the ballots in swing state Ohio November 7.  Hart machines will also be used elsewhere in the United States ( http://www.hartintercivic.com ).

    In other words, a candidate for the presidency of the United States, and his brother, wife and son, have a straight-line financial interest in the voting machines that could decide this fall's election.  These machines cannot be monitored by the public.  But they will help decide who "owns" the White House.

They are especially crucial in Ohio, without which no Republican candidate has ever won the White House.  In 2004, in the dead of election night, an electronic swing of more than 300,000 votes switched Ohio from the John Kerry column to George W. Bush, giving him a second term.  A virtual statistical impossibility, the 6-plus% shift occurred between 12:20 and 2am election night as votes were being tallied by a GOP-controlled information technology firm on servers in a basement in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  In defiance of a federal injunction, 56 of Ohio's 88 counties destroyed all election records, making a recount impossible.  Ohio's governor and secretary of state in 2004 were both Republicans, as are the governors and secretaries of state in nine key swing states this year ( http://www.freepress.org/... ).  

    As we have previously reported,  H.I.G. Capital has on its board of directors at least three close associates of the Romney family.  H.I.G. Capital directors John P. Bolduk and Douglas Berman are major Romney fundraisers.  So is former Bain and H.I.G. manager Brian Shortsleeve.  H.I.G. employees have contributed at least $338,000 to Romney's campaign.  Fully a third of H.I.G.'s leadership previously worked at Romney's old Bain firm.

    But new research now shows that the association doesn't stop with mere friendship and business associations.  Mitt Romney, his wife Ann Romney, and their son Tagg Romney are also invested in H.I.G. Capital, as is Mitt's brother G. Scott Romney.  

    The investment comes in part through the privately held family equity firm called Solamere, which bears the name of the posh Utah ski community where the Romney family retreats to slide down the slopes.  

         Unlike other private equity firms, Solamere does not invest in companies directly.   Instead, Solamere invests in other private equity funds, like H.I.G. Capital.  Solamere calls them “partners.”  These partners, like H.I.G., then invest in various enterprises, like Hart Intercivic, the nation's third-largest voting machine manufacturer.  

    As reported by Lee Fang of the Nation (http://www.thenation.com/... ), Solamere was founded by Tagg Romney and Spencer Zwick, Papa Romney's campaign finance chair.   Ann Romney and Mitt's brother G. Scott Romney are also invested.  Mitt himself threw in $10 million "seed money" to get the fund going, and spoke personally to its first full investors conference.   Solamere's public web presence ( http://www.solameregroup.com/... ) has been reduced to a front page only, so a complete list of it's “partners” can not be found.  But reportage by the New York Times, Boston Globe, Esquire and the Nation have slowly given us a partial picture of which funds are being funded by Solamere.   Some $232 million has been raised so far, according to SEC filings and industry publications.

In addition to Romney's finance chair Spencer Zwick, Solamere has also provided the campaign with its finance director, Richard Morley, and a western regional finance coordinator, Kaitlin O'Reilly.   O'Reilly is listed as an “executive assistant” at Solamere, and also at SJZ LLC, which was founded by her boss Spencer Zwick.  The SJZ LLC campaign finance consulting firm has billed Mitt's campaign over $2 million this election cycle as well as doing another $9,687,582 in billing to various Congressional Campaigns.  The host of the private fundraiser at which Romney made his infamous "47%" speech was Marc J. Leder, co-CEO of Sun Capital, another "partner" of the Solamere fund.  

    As in virtually every close presidential race, Ohio may well hold the key to the Electoral College decision as to who will become the nation's next chief executive.  The presence of Hart Intercivic machines in Hamilton County, home to Cincinnati, means there is a high likelihood the votes that will decide the presidency will be cast on them. Major media like CBS have begun reporting that Cincinnati could be "ground zero" in this year's election ( http://www.freepress.org/... ).

But these Hart machines are deeply flawed and widely know to be open to a troubling variety of attacks and breakdowns ( http://www.bradblog.com/... ).  There is no legal or other means to definitively monitor and re-check a tally compiled on Hart or other electronic voting machines.  Ohio's current governor and secretary of state are both Republicans.  

Does this mean the Romney investment in Hart Intercivic through H.I.G. Capital and Solamere will yield it not only financial profits but the White House itself?  

Tune in during the deep night of November 7, when the electronic votes in swing state Ohio are once again opaquely reported to the nation and the world, without meaningful public scrutiny or legal recourse.  

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Comment Preferences

  •  Talk about buying yourself an election! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Statusquomustgo

    Thanks for this - I hope more people see it!

    I'm a Democrat - I believe that government has a positive role to play in the lives of ordinary people.

    by 1BQ on Wed Oct 17, 2012 at 11:59:03 PM PDT

  •  Can't the dems send in the justice department (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OooSillyMe

    to oversee the voting machines?

    where is the outrage and action from the dems?

  •  What *is* our recourse? (0+ / 0-)

    I believe that the election could be stolen. I don't know how to stop it. Can anyone articulate a legal mechanism by which preemptive actions are taken to prevent this from happening?

  •  once again, your post contains outright malarkey (0+ / 0-)
    In 2004, in the dead of election night, an electronic swing of more than 300,000 votes switched Ohio from the John Kerry column to George W. Bush, giving him a second term.  A virtual statistical impossibility, the 6-plus% shift occurred between 12:20 and 2am election night as votes were being tallied by a GOP-controlled information technology firm on servers in a basement in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
    You must know it's malarkey, because if such a swing had occurred, it would be blatant fraud, not just "a virtual statistical impossibility."

    However, people who watched election night coverage know that Kerry was behind in Ohio all night long. It's ridiculous to say that he lost because of an "electronic swing" between 12:20 and 2:00 am. Even if we assume that the election was stolen, this is nonsense.

    This isn't a one-time slip-up in words. This is the third consecutive diary in under a month which you've made this claim, tweaking the language each time. (Of course I don't know who chose these exact words, but as the poster, you own them.)

    Harvey, why is repeatedly posting blatant misinformation a good idea? Do you think it 'raises consciousness'?

    Election protection: there's an app for that!
    Better Know Your Voting System with the Verifier!

    by HudsonValleyMark on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 03:08:16 AM PDT

    •  we have documented this swing (0+ / 0-)

      in 5 consecutive books.   please take a look.  this swing occurred in 9 other states as well.

      •  I bought the first two before giving up (0+ / 0-)

        Harvey, I can't assess your subjective state of mind, but I will point out again: many of us were watching on election night, and we know that there wasn't a swing of more than 300,000 votes after 12:20 am on election night.

        It barely seems possible that you believe otherwise. It does not seem creditable that your surrebuttal is to tell us to read your books.

        Election protection: there's an app for that!
        Better Know Your Voting System with the Verifier!

        by HudsonValleyMark on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 09:35:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  WHAT WERE YOU WATCHING? (0+ / 0-)

          cnn reported kerry winning ohio by more than 4% at 12:20.  after 2am he lost it by more than 2%.  that's a 6% swing, a virtual statistical impossibility---unless somebody was jiggering the numbers.

          similar shifts occurred in numerous other swing states.  look at any of our 5 books on this, but especially the most recent:  WILL THE GOP STEAL AMERICA'S 2012 ELECTION?

          are you saying karl rove, the koch brothers etc don't have the money or IT troops to swing a few voting machines or state electronic vote counts?

          •  status: false (0+ / 0-)
            cnn reported kerry winning ohio by more than 4% at 12:20.
            Dude, don't you think that if that were true, you would be able to present evidence, other than "Yo, go buy my book"? Are you consciously bluffing, or does this not even strike you as weird because you've been doing it for so long?

            My best guess is that you're referring to an exit poll tabulation. If you spent your election night hitting "Refresh" on exit poll tabulations, I suppose you might believe that CNN reported Kerry winning Ohio at 12:20 AM. If you were watching CNN, or really if you were watching any network, or any vote counts, or if your tireless investigative journalism has ever extended to reading transcripts, then....

            Here, let me help. No charge whatsoever.

            The transcripts are only stamped by hour, but here are some verbatim quotations from CNN in the midnight hour:

            JEFF GREENFIELD: ...Ohio still becomes the key, I think. And right now John Kerry is running behind in Ohio. It all depends where the rest of the votes are coming from, Wolf.
            WOLF BLITZER: It looks like 100,000 votes separating Kerry and Bush in Ohio with about 75 percent of the precincts reporting.
            CANDY CROWLEY: They [at Kerry headquarters] still believe that their votes are not in, in Ohio. Now I get pushed in on that when I talk to people on the Republican side, and they say that's baloney. We have, in fact the urban vote, which is largely Democratic, has already been counted largely in Ohio.
            BARACK OBAMA: Obviously, Ohio is important. I think that we all knew that this was going to be a nail-biter. It is. And I am still confident that John Kerry can pull this out.
            BILL HEMMER:  It's 12:38 a.m. back in Columbus, Ohio. We're starting to crunch the numbers trying to figure out George Bush about a three-point lead right now in the overall vote count. Where does he need to get votes and conversely where does John Kerry need to get votes.
            This (or something like it on another channel) is what a lot of us were agonizing through. What on earth were you doing?

            Election protection: there's an app for that!
            Better Know Your Voting System with the Verifier!

            by HudsonValleyMark on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 06:16:09 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  holy shit.... (0+ / 0-)

    "It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment." *Ansel Adams* ."Even if you are on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there."*Will Rogers*

    by Statusquomustgo on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 04:41:57 AM PDT

  •  Here's E-Fraud Deterrance Strategy that (0+ / 0-)

    I'd posted hours earlier on Oct. 17, responding to research by these authors.

    "Strategy to Pre-Empt a GOP Cyber-Theft of the 2012 Election"

    We must pre-emptively shape public narrative/frame NOW & signal to potential GOP plotters DEMS won't prematurely concede until any "surprise victory" is forensically investigated. This is a signaling deterrance strategy that increases the perceived risks/costs of cyber-flipping the vote & shapes cultural expectations in advance perceive any DEM protests & refusals to concede w/o investigation as justified.

    Otherwise, we've no strategy & will look like sore losers if we fail to accept even a stolen election.

    Think Ukranian Orange Revolution after EXIT POLLS detected fraudulent results. We MUST re-fortify EXIT POLL "Gold Standard."  

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