The Mystery of Romney's Exit From Bain
Now there's a debate over when the GOP presidential candidate left his private equity firm—and what it means.
—By David Corn
| Tue Jul. 3, 2012 1:26 PM PDT
There is now a media debate over when Mitt Romney left Bain Capital, his private equity firm—and the meaning of his departure.
The Romney campaign and Bain maintain that he said au revoir in February 1999, when he took over the troubled 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. On Monday, I reported that documents filed in late 1999 with the Securities and Exchange Commission—including one signed by Romney—identify Romney as a participant in a Bain partnership that invested $75 million in Stericycle, a medical-waste firm that in recent years has been assailed by abortion foes for disposing of aborted fetuses collected from family planning clinics. The documents suggest that Romney had not fully removed himself from Bain's business dealings.
Yet here's how Bain responded to questions from me:
A spokeswoman for Bain maintained that Romney was not involved in the Stericycle deal in 1999, saying that he had "resigned" months before the stock purchase was negotiated. The spokeswoman noted that following his resignation Romney remained only "a signatory on certain documents," until his separation agreement with Bain was finalized in 2002. And Bain issued this statement: "Mitt Romney retired from Bain Capital in February 1999. He has had no involvement in the management or investment activities of Bain Capital, or with any of its portfolio companies since that time."
And the Romney campaign, responding to a Washington Post report on Bain-bought companies outsourcing jobs, also recently insisted that Romney left Bain in February 1999 and had nothing to do with firms purchased by Bain after that point. .........(more)