The Bain Capital Controversies That Are Now Fair Game (Again)

A new Boston Globereport has disproved another important aspect of Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital mythology, amassing evidence that Romney did not leave the private equity firm in 1999 as he previously claimed.

According to the story, which builds on previous reports in Mother Jones and Talking Points Memo, “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.”

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.

The report could have a devastating impact on Romney’s campaign; in addition to exposing him to possible felony charges, it raises serious questions about Romney’s involvement in several Bain deals that occurred after 1999. Although Romney was not listed as a Bain manager in the firm’s offering documents after 1999, he was still legally responsible for every investment and decision made by the firm.

Consider just three major Bain-related controversies that, in light of the Boston Globe report, we now know occurred under Romney’s leadership:

Thousands Of Layoffs

In the three years between Romney’s declared departure date of 1999 and his actual departure in 2002, DDi Corporation cut 275 jobs, GS Industries cut 750 jobs, Dade International cut 1,700 jobs, and KB Toys cut up to 3,500 jobs. All four companies were owned and operated by Bain Capital.

When a Newt Gingrich-friendly Super PAC pointed to these job losses in an incendiary campaign video, “The King of Bain,” it was widely criticized for blaming Romney for layoffs that happened after he left. According to the SEC filings flagged by the Globe, however, those layoffs should now be fair game.

Outsourcing Pioneer

The Washington Post shook up the campaign in late June when the paper published a report on Bain’s involvement with three companies that outsourced scores of American jobs: Stream International Inc., Modus Media, and SMTC Corp. The revelations have led the Obama campaign to repeatedly brand Romney as an “outsourcing pioneer.”

Romney supporters have responded to the attacks by invoking the 1999 departure date — a defense that now rings hollow.

Shady Winter Olympics Deals

While he was running the Salt Lake City Olympics, Romney made a number of deals for corporate sponsorships with companies — such as Staples, Gateway, Marriott, and Sealy — that had extensive business dealings with Bain Capital. As the Boston Phoenix’s David Bernstein points out, “Those negotiations look very, very sketchy even if he had really severed ties with Bain, but stink to high heaven if he was really still running the company.”

The exact details of those deals may never be known, however, because Romney exempted them from his pledge for “total transparency” at the Olympics.

Want to dig deeper into the “King Of Bain” attacks? Check out this by the numbers breakdown of Winning Our Future’s attack video.


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