Lies, Mitt Romney — July 11, 2012 at 6:55 am

Mitt Romney is lying repeatedly to hide his past as a job-killing tax cheat – UPDATED w/video


I need a graphic of a Pinocchio nose with on-fire pants hanging from it…

It may be true that all politicians lie at one time or another, or at least exaggerate their points a bit. But things are starting to crash down all around Mitt Romney. I’m not talking about the constantly changing positions depending on the weather, the audience, sunspot cycles, etc.

I’m talking about him lying over and over again to hide his past as a job-killing tax cheat.

First, let’s take a look at the tax cheat bit. Mitt Romney claimed this week that all his investments are in blind trusts so he doesn’t even know where they are. This was done prior to his running for office, according to him. However, as Jed Lewison at Daily Kos points out, that’s not exactly true:

Yesterday, Mitt Romney told Radio Iowa’s O. Kay Henderson that he didn’t know anything about his offshore investments because they were held in a blind trust. “I don’t manage them,” he said. “I don’t even know where they are.”

As I pointed out, Romney’s statement raised several obvious questions, the first of which was whether he had any of these investments before creating his blind trust. If so, Romney’s attempt to wipe his hands clean would backfire because it would become clear he was trying to cover up the truth. {…}

And now, according to public records cited by the Obama campaign, it appears that Romney did in fact hold at least one of his offshore investments before the formation of his blind trust: a Bermuda-based shell corporation formed in 1997 known as Sankaty High Yield Investors Ltd with Mitt Romney as the sole owner.

In a research document, the campaign writes:

The problem with Romney’s claim? The Bermuda corporation—Sankaty High Yield Asset Investors—was registered in 1997 and Romney was listed as the “the sole shareholder, a director, and president” of the corporation. The Bermuda corporation was under his personal ownership until it was transferred into a blind trust in his wife’s name the day before he was sworn in as governor, possibly to avoid disclosure. In fact, the one full tax return Romney did release shows that he directly owned the company as recently in 2010 and it was not held in his trust.

Mitt Romney’s continued dishonesty on his investments in offshore tax havens and corporations raises serious questions about why he won’t release his tax returns. Only a release of additional tax returns will allow us to see if Romney avoided U.S. taxes with his offshore holdings.

As Rick Perry would say: Oops.

And, don’t forget, Romney only released his 2010 returns after he was pressured to during the GOP primary. He not only was forced to release them, he was forced to amend them because he hadn’t reported his Swiss bank account and other offshored income:

Romney did relent under party pressure and release his 2010 returns. That forced him to amend the personal financial disclosures he had filed earlier in the year because those documents didn’t mention a Swiss bank account or a series of funds that were set up in foreign countries.

In other words, he lied on his 2010 tax returns and had to fix them before he could make them public. Sure does make you want to have a look a few other years, too, doesn’t it?

Then there’s this business about Bain Capital, the company Romney ran, and its odd propensity to kill off American companies and jobs, ship them overseas, and then reap humongous profits on the misfortune of others (others = Americans workers.) Romney claims that the left the company before they did all these nefarious things.

Turns out he didn’t.

Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo has a great piece out titled “No, Romney Didn’t Leave Bain in 1999”.

A central element of the 2012 campaign cycle has become just when Mitt Romney left Bain Capital. The Romney campaign says he left in early 1999 — in time to get him off the hook for some controversial investments. backs up Mitt while David Corn and the Obama campaign have brought forward numerous pieces of documentary evidence indicating he didn’t leave until a couple years later. {…}

The gist of the disagreement comes down to this: There’s no question that numerous public filings and some contemporaneous press references say Romney was still running things at Bain after 1999. But his campaign insists that whatever securities filings may have said, in practice, he was so busy running the 2002 Winter Olympics that he actually had no role at Bain after early 1999. That’s possible in theory. But there’s no evidence for it besides self-interested claims by Romney. And there’s plenty of documentary evidence to the contrary. After all, what you tell the SEC is really supposed to be true. {…}

I’ve found yet more instances where Romney made declarations to the SEC that he was still involved in running Bain after February 1999…The documents go into different aspects of Romney’s ownership of various Bain and Bain related assets. But in both Romney had to say what he currently did for a living.

Here are two SEC filings from July 2000 and February 2001 in which Romney lists his “principal occupation” as “Managing Director of Bain Capital, Inc.”

Josh has screenshots of the FEC filings and it’s a fine bit of journalism.

Hilariously, the right’s response to the tax cheat revelations is this is to accuse DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz of the same thing.

Disclosure forms reveal that Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a member of Congress from Florida, previously held funds with investments in Swiss banks, foreign drug companies, and the state bank of India. {…}

[D]isclosure forms reveal that in 2010, Wasserman Schultz invested between $1,001-$15,000 in a 401k retirement fund run by Davis Financial Fund. As the fund discloses, it is invested in the Julius Baer Group Ltd. and the State Bank of India GDR Ltd., as well as other financial, insurance, bank institutions.

Wow. Tea any weaker than that would be hot water. $1,001-$15,000 in a 401K fund that invests in a couple of overseas companies by someone no running for president is supposed to justify Mitt Romney’s hiding millions upon millions of dollars in off-shore tax havens? REALLY???! Well, it is the Weekly Standard. Anything run by Bill Kristol is bound to be fail.

UncommonSense at Daily Kos has the predictably comical piling on about this stunning non-revelation HERE.

Oh, and Romney’s response to the Bain Capital revelations is equally weak tea. He’s now calling President Obama the “Outsourcer-in-Chief” because investments in green energy have resulted in purchase of some components overseas. While that sucks, it wouldn’t be necessary if the Republicans would stop doing everything in their power to prevent a robust green energy industry from developing in the USA. Fact is, many important components of renewable energy installations simply cannot be purchased from domestic suppliers.

Mitt Romney’s lying is becoming a very big problem for him. And it’s getting noticed, too. Even the British newspaper the The Guardian has written about it:

Granted, presidential candidates are no strangers to disingenuous or overstated claims; it’s pretty much endemic to the business. But Romney is doing something very different and far more pernicious. Quite simply, the United States has never been witness to a presidential candidate, in modern American history, who lies as frequently, as flagrantly and as brazenly as Mitt Romney.


The good news is that the mainstream media appears to be waking up on Romney’s liying. Last night, ABC World News had this report about his lying about his tax return issue:

DIANE SAWYER – Now a return to something else gaining speed. “Your voice, Your vote.” 119 days until the presidential race ends, and our new ABC News/Washington Post poll shows the two candidates are in a dead heat, tied at 47% each. And today, the Obama campaign turned up the heat on something every American family recognizes—tax returns. How much do American voters really want to know about a candidate’s tax returns? Here’s ABC’s Jon Karl.

JON KARL – Mitt Romney’s been under fire from Democrats over his personal finances, but today he said he doesn’t really know much about his own investments.

MITT ROMNEY – My investments have been held by a blind trust. Have been managed by a trustee. I don’t manage them. I don’t even know where they are.

KARL – The information Romney has released about his $250 million personal fortune has raised more questions than answers, showing he had a Swiss bank account, investments in the Cayman Islands, and a corporation in Bermuda. Speaking to a Latino audience today, Vice President Biden hammered Romney for not releasing more information.

JOE BIDEN – He wants you to show your papers, but he won’t show us his. It’s kind of fascinating.

KARL – When his father George Romney ran for president in 1968, he released 12 years of tax returns, saying a single return could quote, “be a fluke, done for show.” Earlier this year, Mitt Romney was challenged to do the same thing.

DEBATE MODERATOR – Will you follow your father’s example?

ROMNEY – Maybe. [Laughs]

KARL – He didn’t. Instead releasing just his 2010 return and an estimate of his taxes for 2011, telling Diane Sawyer that’s plenty.

ROMNEY – We’ve released all the information required by law and then some.

KARL – We’ve looked back and found every presidential nominee in both parties over the last three decades has released more tax returns. Romney says he’ll release his 2011 return when he finishes it, but that’s it. It’s not that he doesn’t have more returns handy. When he was under consideration to be John McCain’s running mate four years ago, he gave McCain 23 years of tax returns, noting at the time quote, “I’m a bit of a pack rat so I had them all.” The Romney campaign calls all this attention to his personal finances a distraction—an effort they say by the Obama campaign to divert attention from the President’s failed economic record.

I hope all those Romney supporters and anti-Obama tea partiers are watching.

UPDATE: Here’s yet another Obama Truth Team video hammering Romney on his tax cheating: