July 13, 2012

WaPo Fact Checker gives the Obama campaign 3 "Pinocchios" for using Bain's SEC documents to portray Romney as a criminal.

Glenn Kessler went back over the story (which yesterday he characterized as already well-studied and rejected). Excerpt:
We readily admit that there is grey area about Romney’s involvement with Bain in the 1999-2002 period, because his future post-Olympics role had not been settled and the future of Bain Capital was in flux. Some have seized on the SEC documents as evidence, but we think there are two stronger pieces of evidence that trump these random filings.

Indeed, if someone wanted to make a criminal case, why quibble with ancient SEC documents? In 2011, Romney, as a presidential candidate, filed a public financial disclosure form, under pain of perjury, that stated:
“Mr. Romney retired from Bain Capital on February 11, 1999 to head the Salt Lake 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.”
You can see Romney’s signature, on the first page, in which he states: “I certify that statements I have made on this form and all attached schedules are true, complete and correct to the best of my knowledge.” If Romney lied on this form, that would be a felony.

Moreover, there is another document — the 2002 Massachusetts Ballot Law Commission report that certified that Romney could run for governor.... [A]n official state investigation concluded that Romney no longer worked at Bain as of early 1999, and also was working “12 hours a day, six days a week” on the Olympics from 1999 to 2002. That also would seem to trump the SEC filings....

We were tempted to award this claim Four Pinocchios, but the documents with his signature leave some room for inquiry. But, overall, they shrink in importance to the other evidence cited above.

Still, if the Obama campaign wants to put its money where its mouth is, it should immediately lodge a complaint about Romney’s financial disclosure form, filed just last year, rather than try to mislead people about potential violations in relatively unimportant SEC documents.
ADDED: I strongly disagree with that last sentence. An incumbent President running for reelection should not unleash his executive powers to hound his opponent with a criminal investigation. That is not preferable. There's no decent "put your money where your mouth is" argument for that. It's not his money, it's the authority of the United States government, and that must not be appropriated for political gain. Within the political arena, he can make whatever arguments he wants over any evidence that's out there about his opponent, and he incurs the risks that people will judge his arguments weak or even disgusting and dishonest. That's the process and it's working. Don't push the candidate into some other, abusive process!

155 comments:

Fprawl said...

Sometimes you hit it out of the park. Great analysis in the last paragraph.

God, An Original A-hole said...

Oh me, this attack on Romney was sooooo like, ya' know, pathetic.

I didn't even know about it until now, and I am supposed to be omniscient.

Obama has gone from grand orations about "Hope and Change" to acting like a low-level bureaucratic tight-ass... I picture him now as the old angry lady at the DMV.

This is one more example of how this election is Romney's to lose.

SteveR said...

As I said on an earlier post, the Obama campaign has no interest in the truth on this. They expect the allegations to fade into a background, only significant enough to fuel the simple minds that still believe in hope and change. The media mostly know its a sham and the partisans will never vote for Romney. What else can they run on except various forms of class warfare.

damikesc said...

I find it amusing to watch all of these attacks bomb so badly. Obama will keep mentioning it because lying seems to be all he has.

It's amazing that the Boston Globe --- who WROTE A BOOK ON THE DAMNED TOPIC YEARS AGO --- is treating this like hot news.

I strongly disagree with that last sentence. An incumbent President running for reelection should not unleash his executive powers to hound his opponent with a criminal investigation. That is not preferable. There's no decent "put your money where your mouth is" argument for that.

True, but this is the guy who attacks private citizens for the crime of donating to a candidate other than himself.

Obama is a lot like Nixon.

Hagar said...

I think Mr. Kessler is calling on the Obama campaign to put up or shut up.

On this issue, Althouse and van Susteren have both stated that when they left the law firms where they worked in their youth, it took years for them to get clear of the paperwork associated with their having worked there, and they were just young lawyers, not principals.

As I understand it, Romney was not just a principal, but also a founder at Bain Capital, and I would think that as long as Bain Capital exists, not just Romney's name, but also his those of his children and grandchildren will crop up in their files.

Further, I do not understand this harping on Romney as an out of touch rich man. It is said he is worth 200-250 million, which is a lot of money for you or me, but at the bottom of what Ted Turner said is what you need to be a player. By Democrat standards, whether East Coast or West Coast, it is not all that much.

Michael said...

Something to think about in these discussions is how a filing is made with the SEC. You dont get a form at the Post Office and toss it off to the commission. Someone in your General Council 's office produces the requisite form for your signature. You might sign dozens in a year. You may or may not read them given that most are routine. Bain had numerous investment funds and being an officer of one would mean nothing with respect to the required duties, if any. I would doubt if the sleuths at a newspaper are any good at knowing, or caring of the difference between an officer of Bain Fund XL and Bain Capital.

traditionalguy said...

Obama has always counted on a power that mysteriously knocks out his opponent for a legal reason before the election day. It is not happening this time, so he is grasping at straws.

Old Dad said...

Romney has definitive documentation--probably the relevant Bain Capital operating agreements. When he was merely being accused of being Scrooge McDuck, he fought back conventionally. Now that he's been accused of a felony, he's pissed and will hit back harder.

if the Obama campaign were smarter, they'd back peddle this big time over the weekend, but they are not. In fact, they appear to be doubling down.

Romney is baiting them, and will hit them very hard early next week. Obama will once again be exposed as the incompetent petulant fool that he has always been.

Jay said...

Watching the same people who are so busy ignoring Eric Holder & Fast and Furious call Romney a "felon" is hilarious.

Cedarford said...

There is a long-term danger to Obama hurting his likability numbers and coming off as another Chicago-politics smear merchant - even if he is operating through his progressive jew media surrogates handling the smears and dirty work.
But right now, the attacks of Axelrod, Hillary Rosen, Baeur, Debbie Wasserman are beginning to show some effect on Romney's poll numbers in swing states. Notably with single women, politically not tuned in independents not intested in getting to the bottom of each story, and lower working class whites.

Romney is an out of touch rich guy who got rich destroying companies and jobs - and outsourcing other jobs to China. Romney is of Wall Street. Romney doesn't care about poor people. Romney has Swiss Bank accounts and hides his taxes from review by "Objective Journalists" the Democrat Party wants to review them.
While Obama is a man of the people who never fired someone in his life, never was "of Wall Street". Never shut down a factory. He cares for the little people.

In the short-term, the character assassination on Romney is working.

And Romney best start pushing back before the Bolshevik tactics well understood by the Left, Nazis, and present day media liberals and progressive jews that orchestrate "The Narrative" define him to voters.
To let "The Narrative" become fixed in the mind of voters up to the election.
Like they "defined" Gov Allen, Sarah Palin, Bush the murderer of innocent Iraqis...etc.

So Romney does need to push back...and not only defend himself but attack Obama as a negligent Chief Executive that spends far too many days away from his core duties and responsibilities to the public...a purveyor of the politics of the dirtiest politics city in America.
Even say he wants to continue disaster after disaster on the economy because he still wants to take us on the path of entitlement parasitism and welfare state socialism that has all but ruined Europe.

frank said...

"Obama is a lot like Nixon." Yes--except without the morals or the smarts.

damikesc said...

"Obama is a lot like Nixon." Yes--except without the morals or the smarts

True. I almost said a lot like LBJ since the media also ignored how utterly loathsome of a turd LBJ was.

Old Dad said...

Another reason why Romney most assuredly has decisive documentation. While corporate officers are almost always protected in varying degrees from liability (and insured accordingly), counsel would have thoroughly documented Romney's separation from day to day operations of Bain.

As noted by another commenter above, it's likely that Bain Capital was an operating entity held by a holding company.

Look, these guys don't mess around.

frank said...

" I almost said a lot like LBJ since the media also ignored how utterly loathsome of a turd LBJ was." On that we completely agree.

Andy R. said...

On this issue, Althouse and van Susteren have both stated that when they left the law firms where they worked in their youth, it took years for them to get clear of the paperwork associated with their having worked there, and they were just young lawyers, not principals.

Were those two being repeatedly listed as the CEO on various filings?

Mike said...

So is Obama this ignorant of how things work in business or is it all just posturing? My gut tells me he is ignorant but would do these ads even if he knew they were false because his whole campaign zeitgeist stinks of desperation. And why would the 44th POTUS be so desperate? Because his policies aren't working, the country continues to schlep along anemically, and he sees his opportunity to really stick it to America in a 2nd term diminishing.

We have the Incredible Shrinking POTUS vs. Mr. Competent and the public sees shrinky-dink acting very small while his Pinnochio grows l-o-n-g-e-r every day.

bagoh20 said...

Does the Obama campaign have a candidate? Is it that guy that's not John McCain? The one who was "clean and articulate"?

What ever happened to him?

Michael said...

AndyR. You might visit SEC.gov and see for yourself. You might learn something.

Jay said...

So is Obama this ignorant of how things work in business or is it all just posturing?

Yes, and yes.

Note: just about the entirety of his political base (see AndyR for example) fall into the same category.

Jake Diamond said...

The facts show that Romney lied on his 2011 public financial disclosure form. I'm not convinced it's a significant lie, but it's a lie nonetheless, and it raises questions about his reason for wanting to cover up his apparently marginal role in the operational activities of Bain Capital and its entities after 1999.

By framing his statement about his relationship to Bain Capital as an absolute ("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."), he's provided more evidence that he has a habit of shading the truth.

The Romney campaign has a lot of explaining to do.

holdfast said...

So a guy who thanked his drug dealer instead of his mom in his high school yearbook and has admitted to spending most of his late teens and early twenties high or stoned likes to toss around the word "felon"? A guy who did land deals with Tony Rezko, is a graduate of the Daley Machine and thinks that admitted terrorists make swell family friends?

Bring it beeatch.

Chris Gerrib said...

Romney is listed repeatedly as CEO, Managing Director and sole shareholder of Bain Capital. If he wasn't in charge of Bain, who was?

Old Dad said...

Andy R.,

This is the last time I'm going to help you stop embarrassing yourself.

Do you know which corporate entity that Romney claimed to be CEO of? No you don't. Did you know that the various investment entities were incorporated separately and held by a parent? No you didn't and wouldn't understand it if you did.

Have you seen the relevant operating agreements of the various entities involved? No you haven't.

A wise man shuts up when he doesn't know his ass from a hole inn the ground.

Alex said...

In Andy's world, if you aren't sucking gay dick, you are a criminal.

bagoh20 said...

The POTUS is getting scary stupid. Yea, that's even worse than incompetent.

"Sometimes, I think that letting the Democrats control everything for 2 years would work out just fine. Let one party take responsibility for everything. When they can't whine and finger-point, what will they actually step up and do? It will be interesting to know. " ~ Althouse

Now you know.

Mike said...

So because everyone at Bain then and now agrees that Mitt signed a document ceding "day-to-day managerial control" over Bain and any teams he was on, that leads Jake Diamond to insist that Mitt lied when he said he had no daily responsibilities.

Another fine product of the American Liberal Education system or simply a leftist with no idea how shit works? You be the judge.

Andy R. said...

Romney Testified He Maintained Business Ties During Olympics

Mike said...

And now Chris Gerrib self-identifies as an ignoramus. Do you know WHAT Mitt was listed on? Do you know the PURPOSE of the form? Of course not. Just making wild ass statements is proof enough for you.

Here's a clue, dude: the SEC requires regular periodic filings and any principal listed in the partnership is still listed with the SAME title(s) he held when the fund was established.

Ignorance is not bliss dork, it's a bitch!

Jay said...

Andy R. said...
Romney Testified He Maintained Business Ties During Olympics


Um, "business ties" are not managing the operations of a company.

Note: Massachusetts Democrats tried to keep Romney off the ballot in the 2002 GOV race saying he had been living and working in Utah

Double note: you know nothing (and aren't smart enough to see this) about the private sector.

So you can just stop now.

Jay said...

Jake Diamond said...
The facts show that Romney lied on his 2011 public financial disclosure form.


Except there are no "facts" showing any such thing.

Nor can you present any facts.

Keep flailing.

Mike said...

Wow "maintained business ties" too! That is EXACTLY the legal definition of having "day-to-day managerial responsibility" isn't it?

Guess what asshat Andy? I have maintained business ties with the CEOs of Snap-on and Mattel Toys and ESRI but I'm not running their companies!

Cedarford said...

"Sometimes, I think that letting the Democrats control everything for 2 years would work out just fine. Let one party take responsibility for everything. When they can't whine and finger-point, what will they actually step up and do? It will be interesting to know. " ~ Althouse

---------------
It was for the best that Dems get a chance to own it. Even if they are still screaming to an larger and larger part of the population rolling their eyes - it's all Bush's fault. They won't own it, but at least the public is signalling that they are tired of every Obama fuck up or failure to lead instead of golf - as the responsibility of bumbling Dubya.


If McCain had been President, given his past of doing what the NYTimes and Democrats wanted as long as he got all the wars and Heroes of the military spending he wanted - chances are McCain would have given Dems 90% of what they wanted.
He would have held hands with Nancy Pelosi to announce Pelosicare as long as he got the war with Iran he thirsts for. An Amnesty in return for budgeting an aircraft carrier to be named after him with a 2017 launching date.

roesch/voltaire said...

I suppose the SEC fillings only show that he was the head of Bain and not necessarily in the board room, although he has stated that he flew back to Mass on a number of occasions to attend "board meetings." In any case this just seems to be more of the little white lies that Mitt tells so often.

Mike said...

And in sweeps Roesch to cast even more lame aspersions at Mitt.

Again, I attend the board meeting of the Green Bay Packers so am I lying when I say I'm not running the team?

[Hint: I'm not!]

Old Dad said...

RV,

To attend a board meeting of a holding company has nothing to with day to day management of an operating entity, and directors would make damn sure it didn't.

Piercing the veil and all that.

Andy R. said...

The Difference Between Running and ‘Running’ a Private Equity Firm

"The CEO of the entire private equity firm — in this case, Mitt Romney — may be responsible, in a legal and fiduciary sense, for anything that results from the investments of a firm's individual funds. But he may not be "responsible" – in the sense of having direct operational control – for what the managers of those funds actually choose to do."

Is this Romney's defense? An argument about how he shouldn't be held accountable for things he has a legal and fiduciary sense over? Because his selling point about why he should be President is his business acumen, but he was ignorant and uninvolved regarding the firm he was the CEO of?

Paul Zrimsek said...

You know what would be good? If there were as many jobs in this country now as there were back when Mitt Romney was destroying jobs.

Christopher in MA said...

But he may not be 'responsible' - in the sense of having direct operational control - for what the managers of those funds actually choose to do.

You do realize the same argument could be made about Obama and Fast and Furious, don't you? I suspect you'd find that kind of uninvolvement perfectly peachy.

Just stop, Hat. Garage is enough of a moron on his own; you needn't lobotomize yourself to take his place.

Gahrie said...

Andy:
The CEO of the entire private equity firm — in this case, Mitt Romney — may be responsible, in a legal and fiduciary sense, for anything that results from the investments of a firm's individual funds


You are ignoring the key word in that sentence....

Gahrie said...

In any case this just seems to be more of the little white lies that Mitt tells so often.

In that case, he should just get President Obama to delare executive privilege for him....

Jay said...

Notice how the leftist examples of "lies" and Republican misdeeds always involve leaps of logic, outright falsehoods, and repetition of leaps of logic and outright falsehoods.

Funny that, huh?

Michael said...

AndyR. You are making an utter fool of yourself. You know absolutely nothing about governance and less about public filings. You think you are at the forefront of some breakthrough argument when you are at the forefront of silly. Go to sec.gov and click on filings. Then go to company filings and type in Bain. Then choose an entity you wish to investigate Come back and let us know what you find.

Widmerpool said...

Andy - is this an act or are you really this stupid? Having some meetings with Bain from time to time during this period constitues substantial involvement in Bain's affairs? Lame

edutcher said...

It's bad when the same paper that skews its polls to help the incumbent is handing out Pinocchios to said incumbent like they were lollipops.

PS Hatman really needs to read the articles he links.

Really.

Rocketeer said...

Andy, seriously, I am embarrassed for you. I'm not being snarky, I'm being sincere. You just need to stop. I'm all for opining on crap I don't know anything about in most cases, but sometimes it really is best to know what you don't know, and just STOP.

You're making a fool of yourself.

Jay said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jay said...

Andy R. said...
Because his selling point about why he should be President is his business acumen, but he was ignorant and uninvolved regarding the firm he was the CEO of?



Yes dum-dum!

Because it isn't like we're talking about a Period of time that is specific after Romney left the firm or anything!

No! Romney is claming he didn't have any "operational control" over Bain at anytime, ever!

Really, he is!

Idiot.

Jake Diamond said...

A wise man shuts up when he doesn't know his ass from a hole inn [sic] the ground.

Old Dad needs to practice what he preaches.

From Inwood said...

Funny story about governmental filings & the late Gerry Ferraro, RIP.

When she, having apparently to her friends & relations & neighbors been a stay-at-home mother & wife for her first 14 years out of law school – not that here’s anything wrong about that – first ran for congress in 1978 her opponent in the Dem primary & her GOP opponent in the general election, scoffed at her qualifications. Her campaign, among other things referred to her important position as “Corporate Secretary” of her hubby’s various corporations, indicating that various governmental filings would back this claim up

My Dem friends claimed that they were satisfied with this explanation. Her Dem opponents in the Primary & my GOP friends claimed that they were not fooled by this explanation.

When she ran for VP in 1984, the GOP argued that her hubby’s corporations were gangster fronts & guilt by association, ya know. Her campaign, among other things, referred to her position as “Corporate Secretary” of her hubby’s various corporations as a necessary formality but explained thgaat everyone knew that this designation meant nothing substantive & that she had no idea of what went on in her hubby’s corporations, not that anything untoward had gone wrong, of course.

My Dem friends claimed that they were satisfied with this explanation. My GOP friends claimed that they were not fooled by this explanation.


The moral of the story is ________________ (fill in the blanks).

Jake Diamond said...

In Andy's world, if you aren't sucking gay dick, you are a criminal.

Republican supporters get uglier and dumber every year.

Andy R. said...

Because it isn't like we're talking about a Period of time that is specific after Romney left the firm or anything!


Yeah, but aren't we arguing about what it means for Romney to have "left the firm" and when that happened?

If Romney attended a Bain meeting, would you agree that meant he hadn't left the firm yet?

Having some meetings with Bain from time to time during this period constitues substantial involvement in Bain's affairs?

As fas as I can tell, this "substantial involvement" level is something that you have made up. Is Romney saying he had no involvement, or some involvement after he supposedly left?

Old Dad said...

Certain commenters and journolisters should really consult counsel on the meaning of "legal and fiduciary" responsibility of directors.

Jay said...

Notice this:


Because his selling point about why he should be President is his business acumen, but he was ignorant and uninvolved regarding the firm he was the CEO of?


Has absolutley zero correlation with this:

Yeah, but aren't we arguing about what it means for Romney to have "left the firm" and when that happened?



I'm stunned by this development.

Jake Diamond said...

that leads Jake Diamond to insist that Mitt lied when he said he had no daily responsibilities.

Except that's not what Mitt Romney claimed. "Daily responsibilities" is a phrase of your invention. Here's the correct wording:

"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."

The key phrase is "in any way." As written in his 2011 filing, Romney was dishonest.

garage mahal said...

Please, please, I beg you people that are questioning Romney's departure from Bain. You're only hurting yourself! Stop, for you're own good!

Widmerpool said...

Andy,

Romney has stated on his federal disclosure forms that he has not had any "active role" in Bain since 1999. My standard of "substantial involvment" is synonymous. Your standard of non involvement whatsoever is preposterous.

Your invincible stupidity continues.

Rocketeer said...

Yeah, but aren't we arguing about what it means for Romney to have "left the firm" and when that happened?

If Romney attended a Bain meeting, would you agree that meant he hadn't left the firm yet?


Good grief, I'm begging you now, please stop. Yes, I know it's hard for you to understand - clearly - but it is likely, and evidence supports the notion that, Romney attended a meeting after he left Bain. He attended in an altogether different capacity than that which he would have attended in in 1999. It is not an uncommon occurrence in the business world. There is nothing contradictory, nefarious, illegal, or even questionable about this, except to complete dopes.

Jay said...

rage mahal said...
Please, please, I beg you people that are questioning Romney's departure from Bain.


And of course the imbecile shows up and conflates "questioning" with false assertions.

I'm also shocked by that development.

Jay said...

The key phrase is "in any way." As written in his 2011 filing, Romney was dishonest.

You have not one utter clue what any filings say or mean.

Jake Diamond said...

Note: Massachusetts Democrats tried to keep Romney off the ballot in the 2002 GOV race saying he had been living and working in Utah.

It makes me laugh that Jay is trying to sell the idea that Romney's presence in Utah made doing any work for Bain Capital impossible, because, as Jay will tell you, computers, the internet, fax machines, telephones and express delivery services had not yet been invented or created by 1999.

I shouldn't blame Jay entirely for that bit of stupidity, though. Kessler mentioned it and Jay parroted it immediately without letting it rest in his brain first.

Old Dad said...

Jake,

The key word your missing is "entity." Bain Capital is the parent; the operating entities are the children.

What did you do with that $4 billion you crook.

Rocketeer said...

Funnym Garage! If you were paying attention, you'd see that Romney's the one being thrown into the br'ar patch here...

I guess you're entertained by Andy's dopiness, but it really is embarrassing to watch for those of us with compassion.

Andy R. said...

Ok, so if something happened at the firm during a time period when Romney had a passive role (whatever that means) and little involvement (whatever that means), is it ok to tie him to those happenings?

Romney is welcome to argue that he was passive enough and with little enough involvement. My guess is that American people will not buy that.

Michael said...

Jake Diamond. The key word is "operations". See the difference?

edutcher said...

Andy R. said...

Ok, so if something happened at the firm during a time period when Romney had a passive role (whatever that means) and little involvement (whatever that means), is it ok to tie him to those happenings?

Romney is welcome to argue that he was passive enough and with little enough involvement. My guess is that American people will not buy that.


Hatman thinks he knows the American people. Notice how they took the Occupation to their hearts.

As for passive involvement, if it was during his Olympics work, I think they'll give him a pass.

Howsomever, when are Hatman and the rest of the trolls going to start holding Choom accountable for Fast and Furious?

Oh, that's right...

Nobody's paying attention to that!

Pookie Number 2 said...

Does anyone anywhere doubt that dumb ol' Andy is furiously searching his marching order-issuing blogs looking for something, anything, that can obscure both his well-demonstrated ignorance, and his unwillingness to understand the truth?

It's impressively rare to see such a blatant commitment to dishonesty. Bravo, douchebag!

Rusty said...

Andy. Don't you worry you're pretty little head about it. The grownups will sort it for you.

garage mahal said...

Bravo, douchebag!

+1

Tim said...

Romney found his briar patch.

And Obama and his collection of misfits weren't only dumb enough to jump into it, they aren't smart enough to know they are in it...or how to possibly get out.

shishka said...

My god, we live in a global economy. Even Obama gives foreign companies our tax payer dollars if they're the best company for the job. As it should be. What are you people, Luddites?

shishka said...

My god, we live in a global economy. Even Obama gives foreign companies our tax payer dollars if they're the best company for the job. As it should be. What are you people, Luddites?

Jay said...

Jake Diamond said...


It makes me laugh that Jay is trying to sell the idea that Romney's presence in Utah made doing any work for Bain Capital impossible


So you're saying those Democrats in Mass are just stupid because they don't know anything about the Internet, right?

Jay said...

It makes me laugh that Jay is trying to sell the idea that Romney's presence in Utah made doing any work for Bain Capital impossible,

Of course simpleton, that's not what I'm saying at all.

But let's rephrase things so maybe you can grasp it without beclowning yourself further:

It makes me laugh that Democrats in Mass are trying to sell the idea that Romney's presence in Utah made doing any work for Bain Capital impossible...

Isn't this fun?

Andy R. said...

What sometimes happens at large -even small- corporations is that a CEO,CFO company officer of any flavor is kept on the rolls at a reduced salary until they can find another job, or as an honorarium, or to keep their knowledge on tap. They are no longer involved in the day to day company processes, but are available to advise the company.

A Losing Battle
Running my own little company and him being a bona-fide high-flyer, I never imagined I’d be in a position to teach Mitt Romney a basic lesson about corporate governance and running a business. But here goes: The CEO is in charge and he’s responsible for what happens in the company.

This is not only morally true; it’s legally true. If Bain had committed bad acts during the period in question, Romney would undoubtedly be on the hook for it, regardless of whether he’d done the bad acts personally or even known about the bad acts. Whether you were paying attention or not would be and is irrelevant. And just as irrelevant if you’d delegated your responsibilities to someone else. Just doesn’t matter. You’re CEO, you’re responsible. End of story.

(It’s a separate and interesting question why an acting CEO was never appointed if Romney was off in another state for years working full-time doing something else.)

To say that you were CEO, owner, Chairman of the Board and all the rest and yet had no responsibility for anything that happened just amounts to elaborate buck-passing. And that’s why this is a losing battle for Romney. Every technical argument about delegation, lack of knowledge and everything else just drives home the point.

Richard Dolan said...

"Within the political arena, he can make whatever arguments he wants over any evidence that's out there about his opponent, and he incurs the risks that people will judge his arguments weak or even disgusting and dishonest. That's the process and it's working."

That comment raises, in a back-handed way, an interesting twist on Citizens United. Breyer et al. dissented in Citizens United on the grounds that money creates the appearance, and sometimes the reality, of corruption in politics, and thus the First Amendment must give way to a compelling state interest. One could argue, at least as persuasively, that gov't has a compelling interest in regulating the accuracy of political advertising (the service purchased with all that money) because it is all aimed at the small swathe of the electorate that is least informed or engaged, and so most easily fooled. "More speech" is not an effective answer because the campaign limits intended to avoid the appearance of money-corruption limit how much speech can actually be disseminated, and those limits would bite more strongly if Breyer et al. had their way. Once you start down the road of conjuring up 'compelling state interests' in regulating the marketplace for political discourse, it's not so easy to draw hard-and-fast lines that make sense.

Ann's comment that "the process [is] working" presupposes that Citizens United remains the law. Let's hope it does. If Obama gets another appointment to the SCOTUS, however, I wouldn't count on it.

David R. Graham said...

From the sock puppet flurries and persistence on this matter, I would guess their mission is battlefield preparation ahead of DOJ or SEC, whichever dems/campaign most reliably control for the purpose, filing some criminal and/or civil charges against Mitt Romney. Accomplishing what Althouse says should not be done, appropriating the authority of the US government for political gain, making an abusive process. I think the heavier-than-usual sock puppet activity here signals just that development.

Rocketeer said...

Ah. Yes. "Talking Points Memo." The battle is lost, then. It's over.

Rocketeer said...

Romney is welcome to argue that he was passive enough and with little enough involvement. My guess is that American people will not buy that.

The Washington Post is buying it. I guarantee you the American people will.

Chris Gerrib said...

Mike -

The purpose of the various forms (note the plural, it's there for a reason) varied. In general, they were to inform the SEC who owned, ran and was legally responsible for various entities created by Bain Capital.

No, people are not listed with the same title as when the fund was founded. They are listed with the title they hold as of the date of the form.

Jay said...

A Losing Battle

Says Talking Points Memo, the voice of real Americans everywhere!

DADvocate said...

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, er Switzerland, George Cloony's hosting fundraisers for Obama.WTF?

Old Dad said...

A Losing Battle:

Stick to what you know. Do you know which company Romney claimed to be CEO of? Why Bain, you say.

Which one?

Thanks for playing.

roesch/voltaire said...

Mike are you listed on the SEC papers as the chairmen of GreenBay Packers-- news to me. And do you get $100,000 a year for just sitting on the Board-- nice work if you can get it.

Andy R. said...

I asked Brooks Jackson, the director of FactCheck.org, what he made of the Globe story. He replied over email:

We see little new in the Globe piece. So far nobody has shown that Romney was actually managing Bain (even part-time) during his time at the Olympics, or that he was anything but a passive, absentee owner during that time, as both Romney and Bain have long said.


Maybe we're arguing past each other. I'm saying that Romney was "a passive, absentee owner" and hence it is fair game to tie him to what Bain did during that period. Other people say that he was "a passive, absentee owner" and it's not ok to tie him to what Bain did during that period.

If that is the situation, I don't see how anyone could convince anyone else about who is right. Are there any facts that are actually in dispute?

Andy R. said...

Sorry, here is the link to my previous comment, "Rehashing the debate about when Romney left Bain"

Rocketeer said...

We're not talking past each other. What's happening is that you're clinging to this week's teddy bear.

Again, even the Washington Post has given up on this one.

Calypso Facto said...

To say that you were POTUS, the President and head of the executive branch and all the rest and yet had no responsibility for anything that happened just amounts to elaborate buck-passing. And that’s why this is a losing battle for Obama. Every technical argument about delegation, lack of knowledge and everything else just drives home the point.

FTFY

Applicable to Fast & Furious, a 10% unemployment rate, $5 trillion in additional debt, Gitmo, drone assassinations, etc. etc.

C'mon Mr. Chief of the Executive, run on your record, not smarmy incorrect charges about your opponent.

Andy R. said...

Again, even the Washington Post has given up on this one.

This is what the Washington Post said, "The SEC documents, especially the ones Romney signed, do raise some questions. One can certainly argue that because Romney did not fully extricate himself from Bain till after his Olympic sojourn ended, he should bear some responsibility for what happened in that period."

Do you agree with that? How is it different from my previous comment about Romney's role as "a passive, absentee owner"?

LarsPorsena said...

Blogger Andy R. said...

Again, even the Washington Post has given up on this one.

This is what the Washington Post said, "The SEC documents, especially the ones Romney signed, do raise some questions. One can certainly argue that because Romney did not fully extricate himself from Bain till after his Olympic sojourn ended, he should bear some responsibility for what happened in that period."

Do you agree with that? How is it different from my previous comment about Romney's role as "a passive, absentee owner"?

7/13/12 2:04
__________________________________

I think you're on to something. On to something in the same way the birthers are on to something. Keep up the good work.

BoboFromTexas said...

I'm saying that Obama was "a passive, absentee owner" of Fast & Furious and hence it is fair game to tie him to what the ATF/DOJ did during that period.

He could even be guilty of a felony a an accessory to murder.

Hope&Change!

Methadras said...

Isn't this considered slander?

Rocketeer said...

Do you agree with that? How is it different from my previous comment about Romney's role as "a passive, absentee owner"?

Three "Pinocchios," that's how.

The Washington Post calls it a lie. The non-hedge hedge there is a concession to their target audience, so their heads don't immediately explode.


I see your head is still on, so that part worked, at least.

Nathan Alexander said...

Hey, don't be too hard on Andy R. and his ilk!

Andy doesn't have to actually understand the talking points he's assigned to repeat, you know. He just has to keep repeating them.

Old Dad said...

Rocketeer,

Yeah, hatboy pulled an MSNBC intern stunt and edited out the context of the quote.

Down home we call that chicken shit.

jeff said...

The issue isn't that Romney didnt divest himself of Bain as a couple of people apparently think is required to relinquish day to day control. (although that didnt help Cheney and his former company) The issue is that Milt Romney (R) isn't spelled John Kerry (D). If it was, the article would never seen the light of day in any of these publications, and no one would have any problem with it. Politically, those opposing Kerry understand how filings work, and those supporting Kerry, would suddenly recognize this is a non issue.

Michael said...

A "passive absentee owner" is an investor. You are probably one yourself if you own stock.

K in Colorado said...

Andy R and others also seem not to understand some basics about business. Someone can have any sort of title, but not have any duties related to that title, or even any duties at all. Please note the following from the Washington Post:

We consulted with securities law experts, with many years of experience with these forms. One expert examined this document at our request. He suspected that someone had simply duplicated a filing that had been made many times before, though he acknowledged, “it looks inartful in retrospect.” He pointed out that the titles are basically meaningless, that someone can be listed as a chief executive and actually have no responsibilities whatsoever.

I think that Obama and his election team trying to use Chicago thug tactics like this will end up hurting Obama in the end.

Revenant said...

Andy R and others also seem not to understand some basics about business.

It isn't that they don't understand. It is that they aren't interested in understanding.

They are repeating talking points. They will do so until different talking points appear. In those rare cases where the talking points can be refuted beyond any possible doubt, they will simply disappear from the discussion.

You think they're here to engage in debate. They aren't. They're here to repeat the party line and get in shouting matches.

Jake Diamond said...

So you're saying those Democrats in Mass are just stupid because they don't know anything about the Internet, right?

No, Jay. I'm saying you're stupid, but to be honest, I'm not at all surprised that you can't even figure that out.

uncompassionateconservative said...

It's nice that Obama's entire strategy in swing states like Wisconsin is to get people that voted for out-of-touch rich guys like Herb Kohl to turn on the out-of-touch rich guy Mitt Romney.

Jake Diamond said...

Jake Diamond. The key word is "operations". See the difference?

So Michael believes that Bain Capital had no filing responsibilities with the SEC as part of its operations. Apparently Michael thinks Bain Capital submitted the SEC filings as an extra credit project.

Funny stuff.

Jake Diamond said...

It's pretty damn funny to see all the Romney apologists use the Washington Post as the basis for their appeal to authority logical fallacy. I never realized that the right wingers had so much confidence in the output of the Washington Post--usually this bunch instantly dismiss anything that is produced by the MSM. It's hilarious watching them cling to the Washington Post opinion piece like it's a life raft.

Michael said...

Jake D. I work in the securities industry. You? You dont know jack shit, dude.

Andy R. said...

WaPo:
Romney’s sudden departure from Bain had left the partnership in flux, in fact almost breaking up the firm, and a final resolution was not reached until he ended his Olympic sojourn and decided to run for governor. At that point, he signed retirement papers that set his departure date as February 1999, the month he left for the Olympics.

Business Wire from July 19th, 1999:
Bain Capital CEO W. Mitt Romney, currently on a part-time leave of absence to head the Salt Lake City Olympic Committee for the 2002 Games said, "Geoff and Marc have each made very significant contributions to the growth of our business, and have played important roles in furthering its success. ... While we will miss them, we wish them well and look forward to working with them as they build their firm."

Maybe Romney can clarify what his responsiblities were during his part-time leave of absence.

Michael said...

AndyR. He was on a part time leave ubtil it became permanent. You are not following this very well. Hot foot it over to sec.gov and sleuth around.

We dont have a president now who could run the olympics OR Bain Capital. Much less both at once.

Jake Diamond said...

Jake D. I work in the securities industry.

Really? How is it possible that you're still so ignorant then? I would have guessed that you'd have learned at least a bit working the photocopier.

Michael said...

Jake D. Your post at 12:52 makes it clear you are clueless. You know less than jack shit and have weak comprehension skills. You don't know how to read your own post.

But you do have the summer off. Right?

Rocketeer said...

Maybe Romney can clarify what his responsiblities were during his part-time leave of absence.

I can: his responsibilities were heading up the Salt Lake City Olympic Committee. Then, his part-time leave of absence became permanent, at which point his responsibilities became...heading up the Salt Lake City Olympic Committee.

Jake Diamond said...

Poor Michael doesn't have a rebuttal. It's understandable, though, since the facts aren't on his side. His squawking is mildly amusing but not at all convincing.

The facts are simple:

1. In 2011, Romney, as a presidential candidate, filed a public financial disclosure form, under pain of perjury, that stated:

"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."

2. Statements by Mitt Romney and by employees at Bain demonstrate that Romney was indeed still involved in Bain Capital entity operations after February 11, 1999. Documents filed with the SEC also show that Romney continued to have some involvement in Bain Capital entity operations.

3. There is a contradiction between Romney's public financial disclosure form statement and the facts of his continued involvement at Bain Capital after February 11, 1999. Romney evidently lied on his public financial disclosure form.

4. The fact that you can't formulate a rebuttal proves how weak your defense of Romney is. Kudos to you for trying anyway.

Jake Diamond said...

He was on a part time leave ubtil it became permanent.

Hey Michael, if this is true, give us the dates corresponding to Romney going on "part time leave" and "permanent leave."

Jay said...

Jake Diamond said...

It's pretty damn funny to see all the Romney apologists use the Washington Post as the basis for their appeal to authority logical fallacy


Notice you've made 20 posts on this issue but have yet not been able to point out or explain how or why the Washington Post is wrong.

Do you know why that is?

Jay said...

Documents filed with the SEC also show that Romney continued to have some involvement in Bain Capital entity operations.

Um, no they don't.

And no matter how many times you type your 'facts' they don't become true.

Jay said...

Jake Diamond said...

Really? How is it possible that you're still so ignorant then?


Says the person getting talking points from Mother Jones she does not understand.

Jake Diamond said...

Notice you've made 20 posts on this issue but have yet not been able to point out or explain how or why the Washington Post is wrong.

Do you know why that is?


Oh, it's poor Jay again. Do I know why you can't understand the simple facts and logic I've presented? One possibility is that you're incredibly stupid, or as your mother might say, "special." The more likely explanation is that you use denial to keep facts from penetrating your bubble.

Jake Diamond said...

Um, no they don't.

Ok Jay, enjoy life in your reality-free bubble.

Jake Diamond said...

Um, no they don't.

Ok Jay, enjoy life in your reality-free bubble.

Pookie Number 2 said...

Now that the supreme douchebag did exactly what I said he would do, can I point out the irony in his simultaneously calling people bigots while expressing negative sentiments - driven by ignorance - about a group of people (businessmen, in this case).

Douchebag gotta douche

Jake Diamond said...

Says the person getting talking points from Mother Jones she does not understand.

Hey, Jay thinks "Jake" is a woman's name. How does someone as clueless as Jay manage to function in the world?

Jay said...

Jake Diamond said...


Oh, it's poor Jay again. Do I know why you can't understand the simple facts and logic I've presented?


You haven't presented facts.

Your assertions, or things you accept as true, are not "facts"

Idiot.

Jay said...

Jake Diamond said...


Hey, Jay thinks "Jake" is a woman's name.


Er, you've posted on this Web site before under a different name, sock puppet.

Idiot.

Jay said...

ake Diamond said...


Ok Jay, enjoy life in your reality-free bubble.


I'm not that one simply repeating things from Mother Jones I do not understand.

It is fun to watch you project though.

Idiot.

Jay said...

Jake Diamond said...



Oh, it's poor Jay again. Do I know why you can't understand the simple facts and logic I've presented?


Notice you've made 20 posts on this issue but have yet not been able to point out or explain how or why the Washington Post is wrong.

Do you know why that is?

Jake Diamond said...

You haven't presented facts.

Poor Jay is determined not to let any facts into his bubble.

Jake Diamond said...

Er, you've posted on this Web site before under a different name, sock puppet.

No. Nice try but you're just continuing to make a fool of yourself.

Jake Diamond said...

Notice you've made 20 posts on this issue but have yet not been able to point out or explain how or why the Washington Post is wrong.

I assume you mean the op-ed by Kessler on the Washington Post website.

Kessler and I agree on the facts. We have different opinions on the implications of those facts. Since I've presented my case, it's pretty damn obvious where I disagree with Kessler. Even you should be able to figure it out.

Why don't you stop clinging to Kessler as a source of absolute authority? You're allowed to think for yourself here.

Jake Diamond said...

It's great entertainment to watch the Romneybots try to defend their man's serial lying.

Rusty said...

This from CNN.
Part of a interview with 4 of Romneys former collegues 3 of which are democrats.

"Liberal blogs were quick to list Bain-tied companies that lost jobs in late 1999 and beyond -- and just as quick to suggest it is now fair game to blame Romney.

And inside both Bain and the Romney campaign, there is a strong belief that either the Obama campaign or a Democratic ally wants to use another Bain investment against Romney late in the campaign but cannot do so with any credibility under the February 1999 departure scenario.

The investment in question: Stericycle, a medical waste company that, among other things, disposed of aborted fetuses.

How could the Stericycle investment be used against Romney?

Bain's involvement in a company that disposed of aborted fetuses could make a powerful final week direct mail piece or attack ad on Christian radio. And in a close election, turnout of the religious right is one of the keys to a Romney victory in November.

Bain negotiated the Stericyle investment deal in November 1999, nine months after Romney said he left.

Bain's investors pour money into numbered investment pools. Several sources said that Fund VII was the main investment vehicle at that time.

"You don't see his name anywhere -- in the meetings list, the investor documents, the manager paperwork -- it would have to be there if he was involved in any way," one current Bain officer said of Romney and Fund VII. "He was long gone then."


What I said all along. His name was a simply a placekeeper.


Jake. Quit digging. You look foolish.

Michael said...

Jake Diamond. As stated in your post, Romney was not involved in operations in any way after he left for the Olympics. He retained interests in the firm, thus the SEC filings. You do not understand the difference between "involvement" and operations and ownership? I file many forms with the SEC for entities in which I have holdings but no operational involvement. You dont know what you dont know, dude, and you look as stupid as hatman.

Take a tour through the Bain filings ar sec.gov and let us know what you uncover. Dipshit.

Dave E. said...

Bush had the Truthers. Obama had the Birthers. And now Romney has the Bainers.

Jim said...

And once again we enter an Obama election season, which means that Axelrod has deployed his army of AstroTurfers "just asking questions," you understand....about the latest Obama campaign smears.

It's a sign of his campaign's desperation that he is deploying them this early and so obviously.

You can practically smell the flop sweat through the computer.

Old Dad said...

To Whom It May Concern:

Re: Mr. Jakey the Sockie

In that said sock knows nothing about private equity, and that said sock is concerned about its gender, I conclude that Jake is about 15 years old, 16 tops.

Therefore, we should encourage him/her to fetch his/her mommie or daddy and confess.

Jake Diamond said...

I file many forms with the SEC for entities in which I have holdings but no operational involvement.

Michael,
It's really swell that you file forms with the SEC. Is it correct that, unlike Mitt Romney, you're not listed as "sole stockholder, sole director, Chief Executive Officer, Managing Director and President" on those forms? That would be an important and relevant distinction you ought to make.

If Mitt Romney had absolutely no involvement in any way with Bain after February 11, 1999, he wouldn't have signed those SEC filings as "sole stockholder, sole director, Chief Executive Officer, Managing Director and President."

BTW, I'm still waiting for your Mitt Romney-BCI timeline. List the dates when Romney went on "part time leave" and "permanent leave."

Hagar said...

Come to think of it, is not China where GM, Obama's favorite motor company, is making most, if not all of its profits now?

Jake Diamond said...

said sock is concerned about its gender, I conclude that Jake is about 15 years old, 16 tops.

Old Dad confirms his senility.

Jay said...

We have different opinions on the implications of those facts. Since I've presented my case, it's pretty damn obvious where I disagree with Kessler. Even you should be able to figure it out.

Hysterical.

Note you didn't answer the question.

Also note: Kessler did not and does not publish "Op-Eds"

You silly little dipshit liar.

Jay said...

t's pretty damn obvious where I disagree with Kessler.

Nobody said you didn't "disagree" dumbass.

You have not yet been able to point out or explain how or why the Washington Post is wrong.

Not "disagree"

Wrong.

Idiot.

Jay said...

Jake Diamond said...


Poor Jay is determined not to let any facts into his bubble.


Keep shouting you've presented "facts"

That will make it true.

Really. It will.

Idiot.

Jay said...


If Mitt Romney had absolutely no involvement in any way with Bain after February 11, 1999


Um, who is making this claim?

Because despite posting all these "facts" you seem to be conflating what was said with absolutely no involvement which was never said.

Gee why would a big truth teller like you do something like that?

I'm stunned by this development.

Jay said...

Bain:

Due to the sudden nature of Mr. Romney’s departure, he remained the sole stockholder for a time while formal ownership was being documented and transferred to the group of partners who took over management of the firm in 1999. Accordingly, Mr. Romney was reported in various capacities on SEC filings during this period

Of course our little sock puppet is lying about all of it.

Jay said...

Jake Diamond said...

It's great entertainment to watch the Romneybots try to defend their man's serial lying.


Keep projecting, puppet.

Notice you can't actually explain how the Washington Post (and Forbes, FactCheck.org and ABC News) are wrong in the conclusions.

Gee, I wonder why that is?

Jay said...



We have different opinions on the implications of those facts


You have no experience, knowledge, or intelligence that would enable you to draw relevant conclusions.

Jay said...

By the way, I love this.

Idiot says:

The facts are simple:
Statements by Mitt Romney and by employees at Bain demonstrate that Romney was indeed still involved in Bain Capital entity operations after February 11, 1999.


Then:


Kessler and I agree on the facts.


Er, Kessler never said or agreed to your "fact"

Idiot.

Jay said...

By the way, this:

Statements by Mitt Romney and by employees at Bain demonstrate that Romney was indeed still involved in Bain Capital entity operations after February 11, 1999.

Is an absolute lie. Not a "fact"

Michael said...

Jake Diamond. I hold various officer positions in various filings. The General Counsel of the entities fills out the forms and submits them to the SEC. I do not fill out the forms myself and neither does Romney. You should really take a moment to visit the SEC's website which handily provides all filings of all registered companies whether traded or not. You could then tell your lefty friends that you yourself have read one of these filings and sniffed out the possible wrongdoings.

If you are required to sign a filing it may or may not have to do with your title. Again, it is possible to own one hundred percent of an entity and have no involvement with its operations whatsever. You would have to know a little about business to fathom any of this and not, as you have done, muddle it up.

Jay said...

There is a contradiction between Romney's public financial disclosure form statement and the facts of his continued involvement at Bain Capital after February 11, 1999

No there is not and this is not a "fact" it is a stupid assertion by you.

A sockpuppet who is actually dumb enough to think that signing a form constitutes "operationally involved" and who is also stupid enough to believe that filing forms with the SEC is part of a company's "operations"

Gee, let me guess, you've never ever worked in the private sector.

Jay said...

Jill E. Fisch, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and co-director of the Institute for Law and Economics, said Romney would not have committed a felony by listing himself as managing director — even if he now claims he had no role in running the company after February 1999. There is no legal obligation to describe how active one is in the day-to-day management of the company, she said. And just because he held title of managing director doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s responsible for decisions like layoffs or outsourcing.

But what does she know?

I mean we've got ourselves a self appointed truth teller here!

Someone who is actually asserting that Kessler publishes "OpEds" no less!

I mean, it is almost as if the dummy simply can't comprehend that involved in the operations of a company is commonly understood to be actively involved in management decisions or those affecting the actual operation of the company (such as investment decisions, staffing, benefit plans, mergers, acquisitions, etc, etc, etc.)

Fact check concludes the resident idiot is beclowning herself beyond belief.

Michael said...

Jake Diamond. You assert that Romney signed over the following titles. "sole stockholder, sole director, Chief Executive Officer, Managing Director and President"

What was the entity? Bain Capital is a partnership isnt it? Or is it a C corp? I cant recall but i am sure you can. Do pnartnerships have Presidents? Or is that LLCs? Bain wouldnt have a sole stockholder if it was a partnership would it? Do partnerships have stock?



Help us ou. What entity was it?

Synova said...

"Maybe we're arguing past each other. I'm saying that Romney was "a passive, absentee owner" and hence it is fair game to tie him to what Bain did during that period."

Perhaps, though this would go for any politician who had any investments whatsoever, even if they never worked at a company. And yes, we do that. If someone is investing in bordellos but never uses them, it's still going to be a political issue.

In this case, though, it seems that there isn't really anything to hang on Romney while he was making decisions there, so people want to hang the decisions on him that were made after he left, because Bain didn't do as well and there's more to hang.

But, if we'll be entirely honest about THAT, wouldn't the real story be that Romney was particularly good at his job and when he left that others didn't do as well?

Michael said...

Synova. Exactly the point being avoided.

gk1 said...

I see President Retard has doubled down and wants Romeny to "come clean" on Bain. Fuck, November can't come fast enough for me. He's gone from Cartereque to Nixonian in just a few short weeks.

Calypso Facto said...

Would Romney's alleged and disputed felony be somehow worse than the coke-snorting felony Obama freely admits to?? Or ??

Revenant said...

Maybe Romney can clarify what his responsiblities were during his part-time leave of absence.

"Can you clarify what your job responsibilities were during your vacation?"

"Can you identify which part of Texas your trip to Scotland involved?"

"Please identify which of these women is the father of the bride".

This is kind of fun, actually.

Calypso Facto said...

Follow-on extra credit question: Would Romney's alleged and disputed felony for perjury be somehow worse than the felony perjury that then-President Clinton admitted to? Or??

Rusty said...

Ferget it Jake, it's Althouse.

Michael said...

Forget it, Jake, its a blog where some people know what they are talking about, versus the blogs you are used to.