Lies, Mitt Romney — July 12, 2012 at 2:15 pm

The web of Romney lies continues to unravel – he was at Bain Capital long after he said he left


Did you think we wouldn’t find out or what, Mitt???

There is more evidence out today showing that Mitt Romney has been lying for years about his position at Bain Capital. As I wrote about earlier this week (“Mitt Romney is lying repeatedly to hide his past as a job-killing tax cheat”), Romney’s claims that he left Bain Capital in 1999, before much of the outsourcing and company bankrupting took place, have proven to be false.

Today, the Boston Globe has a devastating new piece out titled “Mitt Romney stayed at Bain 3 years longer than he stated”. In it, they reveal an additional NINE SEC filings showing that Romney was at the helm through 2002.

Government documents filed by Mitt Romney and Bain Capital say Romney remained chief executive and chairman of the firm three years beyond the date he said he ceded control, even creating five new investment partnerships during that time.

Romney has said he left Bain in 1999 to lead the winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, ending his role in the company. But public Securities and Exchange Commission documents filed later by Bain Capital state he remained the firm’s “sole stockholder, chairman of the board, chief executive officer, and president.”

Also, a Massachusetts financial disclosure form Romney filed in 2003 states that he still owned 100 percent of Bain Capital in 2002. And Romney’s state financial disclosure forms indicate he earned at least $100,000 as a Bain “executive” in 2001 and 2002, separate from investment earnings.

The timing of Romney’s departure from Bain is a key point of contention because he has said his resignation in February 1999 meant he was not responsible for Bain Capital companies that went bankrupt or laid off workers after that date. {…}

The Globe found nine SEC filings submitted by four different business entities after February 1999 that describe Romney as Bain Capital’s boss; some show him with managerial control over five Bain Capital entities that were formed in January 2002, according to records in Delaware, where they were incorporated.

This is not trivial stuff. If he did, indeed, lie about this, it’s a BFD.

“You can’t say statements filed with the SEC are meaningless. This is a fact in an SEC filing,” said Roberta S. Karmel, now a professor at Brooklyn Law School.

“It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to say he was technically in charge on paper but he had nothing to do with Bain’s operations,” Karmel continued. “Was he getting paid? He’s the sole stockholder. Are you telling me he owned the company but had no say in its investments?” {…}

“If someone invested with Bain Capital because they believed Mitt Romney was a great fund manager, and it turns out he wasn’t really doing anything, that could be considered a misrepresentation to the investor,’’ she said. “It’s a theory that could be used in a lawsuit against him.”

Indeed, some are beginning to ask whether or not he violated federal law. From Politico:

Earlier this month, stated that if Mitt Romney had not left Bain Capital in 1999, he “would be guilty of a federal felony by certifying on federal financial disclosure forms that he left active management of Bain Capital in February 1999.” made that argument to dismiss complaints by President Barack Obama’s campaign, but a new Boston Globe report on Romney’s true tenure at Bain Capital — which reportedly lasted until 2002, three years longer than Romney has stated — brings’s statement into sharp relief. {…}

[ said at the time ]”In fact, if the Obama campaign were correct, Romney would be guilty of a federal felony by certifying on federal financial disclosure forms that he left active management of Bain Capital in February 1999.”

On a conference call today with reporters, Obama for America General Counsel Bob Bauer told us, “Romney IS the controlling person [according to the SEC filings]. The consequences of this misrepresentation are very, very serious.”

Also on the call was Deputy Campaign Director Steffanie Cutter. She described Mitt Romney as “playing by a different set of rules” than previous candidates for president, referring to the precedent set by Romney’s own father of releasing several years of tax returns. She described Romney as “the most secretive candidate to run for president since Richard Nixon”, referring to his hiding of tax returns, taking hard drives from state computers when he left as governor of Massachusetts, not disclosing potential conflicts of interest during his time running the Olympics and not disclosing who is his campaign fundraising bundlers are.

At every turn, at every piece of Mitt Romney’s record or credential, whether it’s Bain, whether it’s his own personal finances, whether it’s who is raising money for him or his time in the Statehouse in Massachusetts, there is an enormous cloud over Mitt Romney’s record because of his penchant for secrecy and not wanting to be transparent and open with the American people.

David Corn at Mother Jones has even more to add to the conversation. In a blockbuster piece yesterday, he revealed that Bain Capital, under the guidance of Mitt Romney, invested millions of dollars in a Chinese firm that profited heavily from American companies outsourcing their work.

On April 17, 1998, Brookside Capital Partners Fund, a Bain Capital affiliate, filed a report with the Securities and Exchange Commission noting that it had acquired 6.13 percent of Hong Kong-based Global-Tech Appliances, which manufactured household appliances in a production facility in the industrial city of Dongguan, China. That August, according to another SEC filing, Brookside upped its interest in Global-Tech to 10.3 percent. Both SEC filings identified Romney as the person in control of this investment: “Mr. W. Mitt Romney is the sole shareholder, sole director, President and Chief Executive Officer of Brookside Inc. and thus is the controlling person of Brookside Inc.” Each of these documents was signed by Domenic Ferrante, a managing director of Brookside and Bain. {…}

At the time Romney was acquiring shares in Global-Tech, the firm publicly acknowledged that its strategy was to profit from prominent US companies outsourcing production abroad.

Note that the timing on this is even before Romney’s stated departure date from Bain in 1999.

This makes Romney’s claims that President Obama is the “Outsourcer-in-Chief” a bit laughable. As Steffanie Cutter explained during the conference call today, Mitt Romney is telling us that he is more prepared to run the country because of his business experience. Since Bain Capital’s success was largely wrapped up in downsizing American companies and sending the jobs overseas, it’s very much relevant to ask what he was involved with at Bain, when he was involved with it, and what that experience tells us about how he would run our country.

When Mitt Romney tells us that his understanding of the American economy is different than that of President Obama’s, I tend to agree. The business experience that led to his understanding of our economy would make him a dangerous president.

[Romney image credit: Anne C. Savage]