Though much of the nation’s attention has shifted to the tragic overnight violence in Aurora, Colorado, the political world will apparently move forward. Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney had already scheduled a campaign event in New Hampshire, and his staff alerted reporters this morning that their plans have not changed.
With that in mind, there are new questions about the candidate’s controversial private-sector background that deserve answers. The Boston Globe has this new report, for example, noting Romney’s ongoing ties to Bain Capital after his departure in February 1999.
Interviews with a half-dozen of Romney’s former partners and associates, as well as public records, show that he was not merely an absentee owner during this period. He signed dozens of company documents, including filings with regulators on a vast array of Bain’s investment entities. And he drove the complex negotiations over his own large severance package, a deal that was critical to the firm’s future without him, according to his former associates.
Indeed, by remaining CEO and sole shareholder, Romney held on to his leverage in the talks that resulted in his generous 10-year retirement package, according to former associates.
“The elephant in the room was not whether Mitt was involved in investment decisions but Mitt’s retention of control of the firm and therefore his ability to extract a huge economic benefit by delaying his giving up of that control,” said one former associate.
So, on the one hand, we see Mitt Romney telling voters, “I was in Utah full time. I had no responsibility for management at Bain Capital.” On the other hand, we see evidence that Romney was not in Utah full time and had quite a few responsibilities for management of Bain Capital.
In the meantime, David Corn has a new report on Bain, during Romney’s tenure, investing millions in a pair of companies that specialized in outsourcing high-tech manufacturing.
As for the still-hidden tax returns, the number of Republicans urging Romney to disclose more materials continues to grow.