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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Mitt Romney--The Sociopath

Read the excerpts from's excellent article detailing Romney's business past. Read the full story here.

A recent Vanity Fair story further shows how Romney used foreign bank accounts to raise the initial money for a fledgling Bain Capital:
One cannot properly understand Wall Street's size and power without appreciating the central role of offshore tax havens. There is absolutely no evidence that Bain has done anything illegal, but private equity is one channel for this secrecy-shrouded foreign money to enter the United States and a filing for Mitt Romney's first $37 million Bain Capital Fund, of 1984, provides a rare window into this. One foreign investor, of $2 million, was the newspaper tycoon, tax evader and fraudster Robert Maxwell, who fell from his yacht and drowned, off of the Canary Islands in 1991 in strange circumstances, after looting his company's pension fund. The Bain filing also names Eduardo Poma, a member of one of the "14 families" oligarchy that has controlled most of El Salvador's wealth for decades; oddly, Poma is listed as sharing a Miami address with two anonymous companies that invested $1.5 million between them. The filings also show a Geneva-based trustee overseeing a trust that invested $2.5 million, a Bahamas corporation that put in $3 million and three corporations in the tax haven of Panama, historically a favored destination for Latin-American dirty money - "one of the filthiest money-laundering sinks in the world," as a US Customs official once put it. 

Malt [Brad Malt who ran Romney's trust] said he had repeatedly increased Romney's stake in the Cayman fund since 2003. He said he was unaware of the specific figures, but added that he knew he "wrote a lot of checks," and that it paid a return of 20% to 30% a year.


With all this secrecy in his life, could he pass a security clearance check or a Congressional confirmation hearing? No Congress would pass him for a presidential appointment or give him a special access security clearance with this much secrecy and especially with all these hints of undisclosed foreign money.

Romney is asking us, as in a job interview, to hire him and trust him with our most important secrets, but he is not willing to trust the public with his.

For example, here's what Romney did not say when he was confronted with questions about a "criminal scheme to defraud Medicare in 1993" by Damon Corp., whose board he was a member of, according to an October 11, 2002, report in The Boston Globe. Romney claimed, at a news conference in 2002, he and other board members uncovered the crimes and took "corrective action," instead of reporting it to the federal government, which he was required to do. The Globe, however, determined, "Romney's comments are contradicted by federal court records and Damon's [Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)] filings."
"Other court records, including Damon's blood testing records, show that the practice that was found to be criminal continued until August 1993, many months after Romney said he and the board put an end to it," the Globe reported. "Romney also said the reporting of the billing problems was made public to the SEC in letters sent by Damon to its shareholders in July 1993, urging them to accept an offer by Corning to buy the firm. But the letters, which [Romney's campaign] provided the Globe, state only that federal authorities were engaged in an investigation of potentially fraudulent billing practices at a number of clinical laboratories and make no mention of any particular problems at Damon."

....a year after Bain took over a controlling interest in Ampad, the firm laid off one-fifth of the Indiana plant's employees, scrapped the retirement plan and gutted health benefits and wages.


When he was being called upon to release his tax returns in the 2002 gubernatorial election in Massachusetts, Romney and his running mate refused. "Mitt Romney and Kerry Murphy Healey will complete all the financial disclosure forms required by law of candidates for public office," said Eric (Etch a Sketch) Fehrnstrom, Romney's deputy campaign manager for communications, in April 2002. "They do not plan to release their actual tax returns. It's not required and they both value their privacy."
Questions about transparency in Romney's tax returns have been going on for years. There were questions about whether Romney could legitimately run for governor of Massachusetts. In 1999 and 2000, Romney declared himself a resident of Utah and received a $54,000 tax break on his $3.8 million Park City home because he listed his residence there as his primary one. He had insisted for weeks that he had filed Massachusetts tax returns for 1999 and 2000.

Romney said he first learned of the tax break he received when he read about it in the Boston Globe on June 7, 2002, according to a report in the paper. He then called a news conference in an attempt to explain the discrepencies in his previous public statements. Here's the lede from the Globe story:
Republican gubernatorial hopeful Mitt Romney contradicted his previous public statements yesterday and said for the first time that he did not file Massachusetts income tax returns for 1999 and 2000 as a resident of the state.
Romney told reporters at a news conference that he filed as a "part-year resident for 1999 and a non-resident for 2000. He amended those returns, claiming Massachusetts resident status, on April 2 [2002], a week after he announced he was running for governor of Massachusetts and four days before the state Republican convention that endorsed his candidacy."

A week later, Phillip W. Johnston, Massachusetts Democratic Party chairman, said Romney told a "bald-faced lie" when he "originally told reporters he filed income tax returns as a resident of Massachusetts when living in Utah," the Globe reported.


Here is a Romney quote: 

I'm not familiar precisely with what I said, but I'll stand by what I said, whatever it was.


Now, can someone argue that Mitt Romney is NOT a sociopath?